Stay On Target (Revised)

Stay On Target

Matthew 14:22-33

But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.

tar·get

–noun

1.

an object, usually marked with concentric circles, to be aimed at in shooting practice or contests.

2.

any object used for this purpose.

3.

anything fired at.

—Idiom

15.

on target,

a.

properly aimed or on the right course toward a target.

b.

accurate, correct, or valid: Their description of the event was on target.

c.

filling or meeting a requirement or expectations: The amount of supplies we took was right on target.

When I was in the Army, we were always required to qualify with you individual weapons at

least twice per year.  We would always go to the range and spends at one, sometimes two weeks

there, depending on what unit you were assigned to.  When at the range, we would always

qualify in two sessions, once in the day and the other at night.  During these sessions we would

get the standard safety briefings to include weapon maintenance.  What is the main point here is

that when we were on the firing line, we always had a coach next to us.  That coach would tell us

whether or not we were firing correctly.  On one particular day, it was my turn to fire.  I jumped

in my foxhole, loaded my weapon and aimed.  I fired the first ten rounds successfully.  I then

proceeded down range to inspect my target.  To my surprise, I missed several shots that were

fairly easy to hit.  I looked at my coach in bewilderment.  He looked back and said, “I see your

problem.  You didn’t focus on the target.  You had the weapon pointed but you weren’t aiming

correctly.  Let’s try this next time.  Take a breath, then, after you exhale, squeeze the trigger.

The point is, while doing all of this, to keep your eye on the target and you won’t

miss…HOOAH”  Well, on the next set of ten, I followed the instructions my coach gave me.  10

out of 10!!!  I qualified as an expert that time around.

This brings us into focus to the Word we are sharing today.  At the beginning of Chapter 14, we

find John the Baptist put to death and his head placed on a charger as a gift from Herod to the

daughter.  After John’s disciples buried his body then went to inform Jesus what had happened.

When Jesus hear the news, he departed the area by ship to a desert place only to be followed by a

multitude of followers in need of  being healed of their sicknesses and of food; both physical and

spiritual.  We then find Jesus going off to pray after telling His Disciples to go out to the sea and

wait for Him.  After going to the mountain to talk to His Father, the disciples feared for their

lives as the seas started to get rough and the boat rocked and reeled back and forth.   Suddenly,

they see a figure walking on the water.  Once they realize that it is Jesus, Peter calls out to Him;

28And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.

When Jesus told him to come, Peter jumped out of the boat and starter walking toward Jesus.

That was when the wind began to become even more violent and when Peter noticed this he

began to sink and called for help in verse 30:

But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.

There are three points to this Word we are sharing today.  The first is that, you can never EVER

lose your focus even when times get rough.  We have shared on several occasions that life has a

lot of difficulties.  There are those times when you feel like everything and I really mean

EVERYTHING is just all wrong.  From the time you get up in the morning until the time you lay

your head on your pillow, something just ain’t quite right in your life:

There seems to be more bills than money – That’s not right

You keep hearing, “don’t call us, we’ll call you” – That’s not right

The plans you try to set in motion aren’t moving at all – That’s not right.

That one particular employer that just can’t seem to understand that not only are you qualified but, you really do need the job – That’s definitely not right.

The point I am trying to make here today is that, even though the bills are piling up and, even

though the man isn’t calling you back when you want him to and, even though your rough places

aren’t so plain and your crooked places aren’t so straight, you cannot EVER lose focus even

when if it means when times are getting rough.  Our focal point is and should always be Jesus.

When we have our eyes fixed on Him, we can’t lose sight of the target because HE IS the target.

Sometimes, we will look right at Him but we will lose focus; lose sight of who He is and what

He can do for us.  All Peter had to do was to stay fixed on Him.  The very second he took his

eyes off Jesus, he began to sink.  That’s when he cried out to Jesus to “save me…”.  When I lost

focus of the target I was aiming at, I missed it, BAD.  But when I took aim again, took a deep

breath and exhaled, I squeezed the trigger and BANG!!!  Right on target.  We have to take aim at

THE TARGET.  When we do that, we take a deep breath, and exhale (that means to let go and

let God) and cast your prayers on Him.  I promise you this, you will hit The Target every single

time!!!

We must always keep our eyes focused on the target.  While we are focusing, we have to be

prepared to step into the deep water…BY FAITH.  See I can step into a puddle of water and not

think two twice about it but, stepping in a 12 ft pool expecting to stay afloat without assistance is

something totally different.  When I was a boy, my Dad worked as a lifeguard at the West Tampa

Pool during the summer months.  I was still fairly young so, the need to teach me to swim was

always in order.  Well I first learned to blow bubbles in the water.  The next thing my Dad taught

me was how to go under the water.  Then he taught me how to glide underwater.  After that he

taught me how to float on top of the water.  Finally, I got my chance to learn to actually swim in

the water.  All of this was to prepare to me to be able to survive in the water.   Finally after all of

the lessons that day it was time to jump into the water.  Dad would take me to the edge and

instruct me on how to jump in and swim to the edge.  I was really excited at this point because

now Dad and I were getting ready to JUMP…in the water.  We would wake to the edge and on

the count of 3, we would jump in and swim to the edge.  We’d get out and go back to the edge

and, again, on the count of 3, we jumped right back into the water and swam over to the edge.

We did this a few more times and I really got the hang of it to the point that I thought I was Mark

Spitz.  Well this time, we came back up to that edge.  He asked me if I was ready and I said, Yes

Sir!  On the count of 3, I jumped as far as I could.  I looked to the side of me and my Dad wasn’t

there.  When I landed in the water, after what seemed like forever, I panicked.  I totally lost the

faith in my abilities that my father had given me.  So not only had I not kept my eyes fixed on

my Dad, I forgot the entire lesson that he had been teaching me all day.  I splashed all around the

pool making more noise that what was required until I finally called out to my Dad to come save

me.  When my Dad heard my cry, he dove into the water and grabbed me by the arm just as I

was going under.  I grabbed him clung to him like never EVER before.  When we got out of the

water, the first thing he asked me was what had happened.  I told him that I didn’t see him there

and I got scared.  In that stern yet reassuring voice, he said, “Tiger, I showed you what you

needed to do.  All you had to do was remember what I taught you and that I was never far away.

I said that to say this.  When you step out on that water, don’t be afraid because God has taught

you how to use your faith but will always be right there when you really can’t stand it anymore.

We must always remember to keep our eyes focused on the target.  While we are focusing on the target,

we have to be prepared to step into deep water by faith.  However, while we are doing all of that, we have

to remember that by using our faith, it will help us to be stronger than the stress!  Once Peter called to

Jesus to bid him to come to him by walking on the water and once Peter took his eyes off  Jesus and

began to sink and once Peter called out to Jesus to save him and once Jesus grabbed Peter by the arm and

brought him into the boat, it was then that Peter realized that he needed to be stronger than the stress.

When we are going through life’s difficulties, when we are bombarded with all of the struggles that this

life has to offer, and just when we think that we’ve had all we can stand until we can’t stand anymore, we

have a God that that is all powerful.  A God that is almighty.  A God, that knows just how much we can

bear.  A God that has told us time and time again to cast his cares upon him.  My cousin Cynthia says this

all the time, “you have to know that you know that you KNOW that God will take care of you.  All you

have to do is put it in his hands.  Just like the songwriter said:

Put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water

Put your hand in the hand of the man who calmed the sea

Take a look at yourself and you can look at others differently

By puttin your hand in the hand of the man from Gallalee.

And not only that, when you put your hands in God’s hands, you can testify beyond a shadow of a doubt:

Yes, I know the man

Yes, I know the man

Yes I know the Man from Galilee

He walked out on the water

And he calmed the raging sea

YES I KNOW THE MAN FROM GALILEE!!!

All you have to do is stay on target, don’t lose focus of the Target, step out on faith, and be stronger

than the stress!  Amen, and Thank God

Stay on Target

Good Day Readers:

 

I was talking to a minister friend of mine today.  I shared some things with her that I had bottled up for a long time.  It wasn’t a confessional by any means but, talking to her did give me a chance to let some things go and get those same things off of my chest.  Shedding tears is not a forte of mine but, today, some had to be shed.  As always she told me to “get back to God”.  I’m not one to admit that I can be too proud at times, but I know I can be.  Sometimes to my defeat.  I’ve lost many things that were dear to me because I was too proud.  I was too proud to see that, sometimes, Andre needed to take a back seat and I mean WAY in the back…lol.  Well, I am here to let you all know that I am taking the VERY back seat.  I encourage you, if you haven’t already, to do the same.

 

Matthew 14:22-33

But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.

 

tar·get

–noun

1.

an object, usually marked with concentric circles, to be aimed at in shooting practice or contests.

2.

any object used for this purpose.

3.

anything fired at.

 

—Idiom

15.

on target,

a.

properly aimed or on the right course toward a target.

b.

accurate, correct, or valid: Their description of the event was on target.

c.

filling or meeting a requirement or expectations: The amount of supplies we took was right on target.

 

 

When I was in the Army, we were always required to qualify with you individual weapons at least twice per year.  We would always go to the range and spends at one, sometimes two weeks there, depending on what unit you were assigned to.  When at the range, we would always qualify in two sessions, once in the day and the other at night.  During these sessions we would get the standard safety briefings to include weapon maintenance.  What is the main point here is that when we were on the firing line, we always had a coach next to us.  That coach would tell us whether or not we were firing correctly.  On one particular day, it was my turn to fire.  I jumped in my foxhole, loaded my weapon and aimed.  I fired the first ten rounds successfully.  I then proceeded down range to inspect my target.  To my surprise, I missed several shots that were fairly easy to hit.  I looked at my coach in bewilderment.  H e looked back and said, “I see your problem.  You didn’t focus on the target.  You had the weapon pointed but you weren’t aiming correctly.  Let’s try this next time.  Take a breath, then, after you exhale, squeeze the trigger.  The point is, while doing all of this, to keep your eye on the target and you won’t miss…HOOAH”  Well, on the next set of ten, I followed the instructions my coach gave me.  40 out of 40!!!  I qualified as an expert that time around.

 

What does this have to do with our Growth Moment?  Well, for starters, our focal point is and should always be Jesus.  When we have our eyes fixed on Him, we can’t lose sight of the target because HE IS the target.  Sometimes, we will look right at Him but we will lose focus; lose sight of who He is and what He can do for us.  All Peter had to do was to stay fixed on Him.  The very second he took his eyes off Jesus, he began to sink.  That’s when he cried out to Jesus to “save me…”.  When I lost focus of the target I was aiming at, I missed it, BAD.  But when I took aim again, took a deep breath and exhaled, I squeezed the trigger and BANG!!!  Right on target.  We have to take aim and THE TARGET.  When we do that, we take a deep breath, and exhale (that means to let go and let God) and cast your prayers on Him.  I promise you this, you will hit The Target every single time!!!

 

Until Next Time…