Updated: Mar 16
My earliest memory of a bow and arrow in action was watching a neighbor boy fire an arrow straight up into the air. It wasn’t the wisest direction to shoot it, but the arrow's incredible height left a lasting impression on my young mind.
A bow and arrow symbolize what it takes to live a Christian life. The bow represents power. The arrow represents purpose. God is the bow and the arrow too. The energy in the bent bow is transferred into the arrow upon releasing the string. Likewise, God provides the energy we need to do His will. “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20 NIV). “For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13 NIV). “I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13 NIV). “I love you, LORD, my strength” (Psalm 18:1, NIV). “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing (John 15:5 NIV).
The Lord is also the arrow. Specifically, His word is the arrow that accomplishes His purposes. “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints, and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12 NIV). "So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:11 NIV).
Surprisingly, we Christians are also both the bow and the arrow. We are the bow. Our energy is required. Both God and we draw the bow string to accomplish His will. The energy is Christ-generated, but we become weary because our human energy is consumed. That is our part in bending the bow. The arrow of our ministry that the energy propels is the word of God on our lips. We proclaim Christ and admonish and teach others with all wisdom to present them fully mature in Christ. To this end, we strenuously contend with all the energy Christ powerfully works in us (Colossians 1:28-29). Living out God’s will is 100 percent God and 100 percent us. God and we are both the bow and the arrow.
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Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash