Aim to please Christ

"So we are of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please Him."
~ 2 Corinthians 5:6-9

aim - v. (used with object)
1) to position or direct so that, on firing or release, the discharged projectile will hit a target or travel along a certain path.

philotimeomai - v. (Greek)
1) to aspire a goal, have an ambition

A well trained soldier will carefully set their sight, intently look into their scope, and set their aim, to hit a specific target. If a soldier does not take his/her job and equipment seriously, and has a lackadaisical attitude, they will completely miss their target and may injure themselves or someone else.

There is no place for a lazy, self-centered, self-glorifying soldier in battle. This kind of soldier is not only useless to the cause in which all soldiers are fighting for, but they are also a danger to others and a hazard to the entire unit. Moreover, this type of soldier causes their Captain much grief.

On the upside, a good soldier, a selfless soldier; one who wholeheartedly submits to the authority of their Captain and  considers the welfare of others above themselves, is a soldier that builds up the entire team.

They are a an asset, not a liability.

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil."
~ Ephesians 6:10-11

Like a good soldier in the military, children of God  need to remember that we've been enlisted as well -- into the Lord Jesus' army, and we need to highly regard the "equipment" He provided for us (Ephesians 6:14-17).

We are equipped with the armor of God:
  1. the belt of Truth;
  2. the breastplate of Righteousness;
  3. shoes with the Gospel of Peace;
  4. the shield of Faith;
  5. the helmet of Salvation;
  6. and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God
To be a good soldier in the Lord's army, we need to set our "sights" on Christ Jesus our Lord. We need to  make sure we're looking at everything through His eyes; through His "scope"; not ours.

What are some signs that we've lost our aim? It's when we return from mission trips, retreats or serve in a ministry and after all the hoopla is gone, we feel a bit depressed. We don't want the moment to end. That's when we know we've lost Christ's aim to please and glorify the Father, and replaced it with self-fulfillment and accolades from others (Galatians 1:10).

I pray that the Holy Spirit would quicken our hearts to be fixed on Jesus alone. I pray that whenever I get whisked away in all the excitement of activity, I will give thanks to the Lord first for allowing me to participate in His work. The times I've done this, I remember why I'm still here and Who I am truly living in, for and to (Galatians 2:20, Romans 14:8). I realize that it is not I that has done a good work, but the Lord Jesus Himself that is manifesting His life through me. It's very humbling; something I need much of.

"It is arduous work to keep the master ambition in front. It means holding one's self to the high ideal year in and year out, not being ambitious to win souls or to establish churches or to have revivals, but being ambitious only to be 'accepted of Him.' "
"The Worker's Ruling Passion"
My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers

How about you, have you ever been to a retreat, mission trip, served in ministry, etc. and end up getting so caught up with the experience itself, you lose sight of Christ and His pleasure? If so, what has helped you keep your aim on pleasing Christ alone?