The Intentional Life


Have you ever thought about your life in a real intentional way. I didn’t used to be a goal setter. But, as I got older I realized that to reach a goal in my life, I needed a plan to reach it. If I didn’t I would hit anything but my target.  I had dreams of being a writer, but without a plan or goal I wasn’t going to get there. There were other areas of my life I wanted to change but just wanting them to change and actually changing was two different things entirely.

Does this sound familiar to you? Are you trying to reach something and you haven’t? Are there changes you want to make but haven’t made them?  Maybe you need to embrace the concept of an intentional life.

We all have dreams. We all have something that we want to do or achieve with our lives. We also have habits that we want to break that are not good habits. A lot of us just want our lives to look different.

It wasn’t until I started to look soberly at my writing life and dreams and my writing schedule to see where I wanted to be and how to get there.  I had a dream to write books but I knew that would not happen unless I was intentional about the actual writing part.  I saw things in my life that needed to change. Time was one of those things.

As you get older, you begin to see time as something very precious. If you are not a planner of your time and your day you will find that it will get away from you and you reached nothing.

But what are goals all about anyway? Why do you and I need to plan anything? Can’t we all just get up and let the day happen and whatever happens happens. Is that so bad?  Yes it is bad. Here is why.

You and I are created in the image of God. God is the God of time and He is not wasteful of it. God is also a planner and very good at it too. He wants us to make the most of our day and time. You and I only have so many days on this planet and we need to make the most of them for His glory. We need to live our lives in a way that is pleasing to Him and that benefits others and His kingdom.

We are to live our our purposes on the earth and die empty. There are so many around us each day that have no idea why they are here and what they are to be doing. God didn’t create us to live haphazardly or without direction.

What does intentional or intentionality mean anyway?  According to the Webster dictionary it means: done on purpose; deliberate.

Wow! Deliberate. That means you meant to do it. No mistake, no guessing.

An Intentional Heart

The Bible says that our very life is a vapor. We are here one moment and gone the next. Our days are numbered to get done what the Father wants done. We are to live our lives soberly and with much wisdom.

Many live their days floundering and going about the day much like a merry-go-round except to get off for work, sleep, children, fun, and anything else they can fit in. But no intentionality.

God is such a faithful God. He gives each of us a call, a purpose, or a destiny. He knows what that is and we are to seek Him out as to what to do with it and how to live it each day.  Be intentional in finding out what your purpose is. Do not live your life in a way that you have no direction. Be intentional about your heart towards God and finding out what you need to be doing.

Being intentional forces you to think about your life in a sober way and with clarity about who you are and why you are? It causes you to examine your heart and heart motives. The why behind what you do.

Do you have an intentional way that you make decisions, watch TV, interact with others, etc.?

Intentional Speaking

Jesus said, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63   His words are life. Jesus’ words were on purpose and with intent. They were spoken to give life.

The Bible also says that we can have what we say.  What are your words like? What are you speaking about your life every day?  Your words should be bringing you and others life not death.  Are you speaking life to your life?  Are you saying what you want your life to be. This can be very difficult if you are used to speaking a certain way about yourself and your circumstances. But, you must try and you must do it on purpose.

The Bible says this about our words: “And I say to you, that every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the day of judgment,” Matthew  12:36.  Careless words are idle words.

That means that if you say an idle or careless word, it will never produce. So what? Why is that so important? Because God never spoke an unproductive word. Remember you are made in His image. That means to me, and it should mean to you, that our words are supposed to be producing something good and life giving. I believe that when we speak carelessly God is going to call us into account as to why we spoke that way when we could have spoken another way and produced something far better. Your idle words produced nothing and God is not in the business of producing nothing.

Your words are eternal containers and they never leave your life.

But it is more than speaking. Thinking is another area we need to be intentional in.

Intentional Thinking

This one is my favorite because I believe it helps the previous one, the way you speak. What do you really think about? Are you thoughts wandering all day? Are they focused on good things? Are they productive thoughts of belief and life?

Your speaking is linked to your heart. The way you speak will tell the condition of your heart.

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” Luke 6:45 (KJV)

What you think about in your heart, you desire.

What you think about, you do.

Philippians 4:8 tell us what to think about.  It is a great roadmap or guidebook for our words.

It says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (KJV)

Your thoughts are not really as random as you may believe they are. You can choose what you think and thus effect your speech.

Being intentional is a great discipline to add to your life. Make a decision today to change. Take a look around inside your life and see where you may need to be intentional.







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