|Photo: Evgeni Dinev|
Intentional living. Intentional parenting. Intentional devotions. Intentional spirituality. What are we talking about? Intentional means “done on purpose, deliberate, pre-planned, intended.”
I love the quote,
“Wherever you are, be all there!
Live to the hilt every situation you believe
to be the will of God.”
Jim Elliot (1927-1956), missionary to the Auca Indians in Ecuador,
martyred at only 28 years of age.
He was a man who lived like this quote—fully.
Intentional. With a purpose. Deliberate.
It sounds so good! Do everything purposefully, deliberately, planned.
But life isn’t always like that.
I believe in goal setting and planning. I like knowing what I plan to do each day. I like short-range and long-range goals. I even like meal planning—especially if I’m expecting guests.
But, life doesn’t always go according to plan. Sicknesses sneak up on us. Friends need special help. Children need attention. Messes are made. Accidents happen. Unasked-for problems come up. And then, all our intentionality goes out the window!
That’s when our reaction matters. That’s when we see what our real intentions are!
Is our intentional living goofed up when things don’t go according to plan?
Is a wrench thrown into the works when someone needs us?
Do we get angry when interrupted in our intentionality?
Or, do you find yourself just trying and never “living intentionally”?
You’re not alone.
I believe it’s important to live intentionally and at the same time with flexibility. Let me explain.
My plan might not necessarily be God’s. My plan might be a good one, but God’s is better. I need to be open to His permitted interruptions and flexible enough to accept them with grace. I need to adapt to the unexpected things in life and even embrace them as opportunities for a higher purpose.
- Does God want me to minister to my child?
- Does my husband’s request give me a chance to show him love and respect?
- Does the noisy neighbor give me an opportunity to display Christian grace?
- Does my friend’s need for love and counsel provide me with an opportunity to share biblical truth and comfort?
- Does the death in the family give me the opportunity to share the gospel with lost family members?
- Does the accident put me in contact with people I’d never meet otherwise, along with the opportunity to share Christ?
I like this verse as a goal. I’m sure you can think of many others like it. This describes a biblical intentionality: Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Whatever we do.
Do it to glorify (hold up high) the Lord.
That, my friends, is intentional living!