Lately I have really been meditating on intentional living. So many of us have ideas and thoughts concerning our walk with God, the relationships in our lives and the activities that we would like to do. Yet, we don’t live with intention.
My encouragement in this article, will be to get you thinking about your purpose, your goals, and then how are you planning on getting there. I have two phrases that my family can tell you I do not like, and they are “I will try” and “sorry”. We will leave the “sorry” comment for another article! However, we will address the “I will try”. It is so often an overused and meaningless phrase. Living with intention is not trying, but doing.
The Bible says, “For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish it, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ ” Luke 15:28-30. A wise person sits down and makes a plan; they lay a foundation. May I suggest that you sit down individually to work on a personal purpose statement and then as a couple or family to create a purpose statement for the family. Decide what you want to look back at, in 2017 that you envisioned for 2016 and see what you have accomplished. Men, decide what areas specifically you want to grow in. This will allow you to be a better leader for the entire family. What a wonderful thing to do every year.
Once you make the plan, decide what you are going to do monthly and weekly. At the end of the day, go to your Heavenly Father and ask Him if He is pleased with your progress. Ask yourself, where did I succeed? Where do I need to work harder tomorrow? Do I need to reconcile anything from today? This is intentional living. Make a list of what you will do for the next day. Keep the list with you and look at it; do the items on the list! So many have grand plans, and yet do not accomplish anything. Change starts with a decision. Plans start with a decision. Decide daily what you can and will do.
God even has plans. He says in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Do you know what His plans are for your life? Do you spend time daily in His Word? His Word is the foundation on which our plans rest. Husbands, do you discuss with your wife and get her thinking about the areas that need a plan in your life and in the home? Do you pray about these plans together?
Eph. 5:15 says, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise.” And James 5:12 says, “Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned.” Living intentionally is being careful and wise on how we live; then doing what we set out to do. When we wake up in the morning, the first thing we should do is to pray over the list we made together as a couple the night before. Just think about how much closer our walk with God will be and how we can look back at what we have intentionally completed if we make the decision to live life with purpose!
Once the decision is made, do it! Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, says he to you; but his heart is not with you.” Will you be a person who thinks in his heart and does it; or a person who thinks it and your “heart is not with you”…aka “I will try”. Let’s choose to live intentionally, daily.