Being Intentional With God
Jesus has ALWAYS been intentional with us in our relationship but so often we become passive with Him and go about our days not considering Him. To some, He is a trophy on a shelf that take down occasionally but then put back up. This should not be. Our relationship with Jesus matters more than anything else in the world. Think about that. And if that is true, then we need to be more intentional with how we spend our time with Him.
Isn't it easy to go through our days with no plan, no purpose, no intentions. We wake up, lay in bed for an extra hour on social media or YouTube, oblivious and ignorant of what we have to accomplish that day. But at the end of that bland, unmotivated day, don’t we feel sort of, unfulfilled?
I believe every day I waste by being unintentional with God, shows me more about how humanity has fallen farther and farther from our creator. A creator who is by nature, intentional.
Scripture is clear our God is an Intentional God…
- Ephesians 1:11
- Isaiah 45:7
- Isaiah 14:24
- Proverbs 16:4
- Daniel 4:35
- Psalm 135:6
We know that God holds this world and our lives in the palms of his hands, he knitted us together in our mothers wombs, and before the creation of the universe he planned to send his son Jesus to save us from our sins. He IS intentional. But what exactly does intentionality mean for us as Christians?
The definition of Intentionality is: “doing things for a deliberate purpose”
As Christians we must ask ourselves then… What is our purpose? I believe the book “Radical” by David Platt shares our purpose incredibly simply. David shares the purpose of a Christian is to “Enjoy God’s grace and extend God’s glory”. If we seek a relationship with God every day, we are enjoying his grace, and if we preach the Gospel to the lost, we are extending his glory. I believe this purpose mirrors the command of Christ to "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27 NIV).
Understanding our need for God’s grace and then sharing that Gospel is something every Christian should reflect on daily. But that is sometimes harder said than done in the distracting world we live in. So how can Christians practically live an intentional life for God?
I believe that even Christains who have been saved from the penalty of sin and been born again need to hear the Gospel every day in their own lives. This means understanding and realizing we are still sinful people who need God’s grace. This calls us to SUBMIT to God every day.
- “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing” (Romans 7:18-19 ESV).
To strengthen our relationship with Christ and practice our purpose as Christians every day we must submit to the savior and understand our own sinfulness.
The next realization a Christ follower must have is the importance of trusting God’s intentional nature. We must RELY on the goodness and control of God. When we submit to God we are saying that we need him, when we rely on God we are saying that we trust his plan for our lives.
- “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:4-5)
The trust that comes from reliance on God shows that we fully believe our God is intentional and that we are fully devoted to his purposes. We must rely on God because it is him who we seek to glorify.
Lastly, we must act in accordance to the call of his Spirit. We need to DO what his word says. All of our faith is in vain if we are only hearers of the word of God and not doers.
- “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing” (James 1:22-25).
If we take away the good deeds that our faith breeds, we will not be extending God’s glory. If we fail to act on the promptings of the Holy Spirit in our life, it shows the lack of faith we have by not submitting and relying on God’s goodness and control. In other words, if we do not do what his word says, then we do not fully believe it.
The great John Calvin once said, “There is no worse screen to block out the Spirit than confidence in our own intelligence”. If we trust our own minds and hearts more than those of God, we will not be able to see the work of God displayed through our lives. Our purpose and relationship with Christ falters if we fail to submit, rely, and do. May we know that the best way to become more intentional with our relationship with Christ, is to be willing to be conformed to his image.
I pray that the Church would be able to understand that Christ wants to use his people to bring others to him. May we know that of course it is never us who saves anybody, but the Holy Spirit working through us. May we continue to submit to Christ and his grace. May we rely on his goodness and control. And finally may we do what his word says and what his Spirit calls us to, only for the glory of our God, amen.
Peace and Blessings.
(If you would like to hear more on this topic please go listen to the AskUsWhy podcast (vessels), and watch on Youtube!)