Target Practice

If you are a Christian perhaps you have heard the saying that when Jesus changes your life all your problems are solved and your life will be wonderful. Well, part of that is true. Becoming a Christian is truly a life changing event. You have been snatched from the grasp of Satan and now your journey has begun as a new believer. However, the devil wants to make sure you do not succeed.

When my new life began as a Christian I had no idea that the life changing decision would put a bullseye on my back and the devil would want to use me for target practice. Matter of fact the very night I returned from my life changing week at Young Life Camp in June of 1970 when my mom picked me up at the Young Life office I told her what had happened when I was there. The first words out of her mouth when I shared that I had given my heart to Jesus was, “Just what the world needs, another arrogant Christian!” What? I was in shock, confused. I thought this would be news that would make her proud and happy. It was my first taste of opposition as a Christian. Perhaps I should have had some warning that these things would happen.

Jesus warned his disciples of this very thing. “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. He prepared them with these words ahead of time so that when trouble would come they would be prepared. They would remember those words and stand tall against opposition.

John 10:10 says, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” The devil’s mission is to knock you off-center. He does not want you to succeed. He wants you to fail. Your mission is to make sure that you are aware of his tactics. How do you know what ways the devil will work? You make sure you know what Jesus said in His Word then you will know what to look for. The truth is the weapon we use against our adversary. He cannot stand against that! Since he is the father of lies the truth will cause him to turn away.

In my forty-seven years as a Christian I cannot enumerate all the attempts I have encountered from the enemy of my soul to knock me off course. There were times I was knocked off course but as I matured in my walk as a believer I soon learned that the best weapon was my voice. Just like Jesus did in the wilderness when the devil came to tempt him he quoted the scriptures. Each time he spoke the truth of the Word the devil was defeated. We have authority given to us by Jesus to tell the devil to take a hike!

You may think it silly to open your mouth and speak the scriptures out loud but Proverbs 18:21 says “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Take the posture that the devil cannot use you for target practice any longer. Instead, have your weapon ready daily and before you know it you will find the target on the back of your opposition. You are the victor not the victim any longer. Adversity and challenges will still come because they always do but when you know the truth you can stand knowing the One living inside you is greater than any challenge you face. He is able to keep you until that final day when we see Jesus face to face and target practice is over for ever!

Living by the brook,




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