One of my favorite Scripture verses is Isaiah 49:2-3: “He made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me. You are my servant, he said to me, through whom I will show my glory.” Isn’t that a beautiful image? We are meant to be a “polished arrow” in the Lord’s quiver. If we are surrendered and obedient to Him, He pulls us out of His quiver and uses us as a vessel for His power and purposes.
Let’s take a moment to inventory the parts of an arrow and the necessary things to deploy that arrow, as an analogy of how we might be a “polished arrow” in the Lord’s quiver. There are four core parts of an Arrow: The Fletching (feathers on the end of an arrow - direction), the Shaft (the long body of the arrow - strength), the Arrowhead (the point of the arrow - impact), and the Nock (the notch on the end of an arrow - connection). Then, we need a Bow (the power source), an Archer (the ultimate director of the whole process), and a Target (a destination for the arrow). Why I think this analogy is so awesome in the spiritual life ties back to this beautiful scripture from Isaiah. We are that arrow, hopefully a “polished arrow” in God’s quiver. Furthering the analogy, Jesus is the Bow, the power source that we must be connected to by our “Nock” (a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as a disciple), and the Father is the Archer, whose Divine Will determines everything. The Holy Spirit travels with the polished arrow (we as disciples) to help ensure it hits the mark - God’s target (by the way, in archery, the term for missing the mark or the bulls-eye is “sin”).
There is much more to this beautiful analogy that I will share in two follow-up articles: (1) The Making (or Preparation) of a Polished Arrow, which will be coming during Lent as a reflection on God’s process for preparing us to become a “polished arrow” in His quiver - one that He can use to send His power through at a moments notice to accomplish His will. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen by accident and it is not an easy process on our end (Hint: it requires dying to self in Christ); and (2) The Engagement of a Polished Arrow, which will come after Easter as a reflection on truly being a vessel of God’s resurrection power in and through your life – which is the ultimate goal of discipleship and making a difference for Christ in the world.
I have one last point of reflection for you on this introduction to the concept of being a “polished arrow in the Lord’s quiver” and the parallel to the spiritual life: Target – an arrow does not determine it own destination, the Archer does. Power – an arrow has no power on its own, and in fact is quite helpless until it is connected to its power source, the Bow (Jesus Christ), and released by the Archer (God the Father). Timing – an arrow does not choose the timing of when it will be deployed, and it must wait until it is the will of the Archer to engage it.