Jan 22, 2008

Intentional Living

“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deut. 6:6-7

This morning I spent an hour putting together a rough daily schedule for my family and me. You see, I have been frazzled with so many things vying for my time and attention that I decided it was time to sit down and figure out exactly what I’m supposed to be doing with myself everyday. Am I supposed to be pouring into our ministry leaders? Into the high school folks? If I’m working when Cooper is in school, when am I to write? I really have a heart for women. . . what am I supposed to be doing with that? So many questions. As I began to bring my queries to God, He reminded me of what He said to us last week. Relationships. It’s all about relationships. People. And the priority people He has given me to nurture are living right underneath this roof.

As I stared down at what I had already sketched, I realized that I had our ministry days marked down, church diligently recorded, and our day of rest set aside, but there was nothing designated—preserved—for the two most important people in my life. Yes, I had our Little Gym and library days noted, but nothing planned for real family connection. There were plenty of events for us to DO, but nothing that just allowed us to BE together. It got me thinking, “Am I living my priorities or am I just saying I have some?”

Recently, I was listening to Bible teacher Beth Moore speak about believing God to get us to our lives of victory. I love what she expressed. “Nobody goes to their place of promise accidentally. We must be intentional.” She planted a seed in my mind that God watered and made sprout this morning. I realized that if I was going to live according to my priorities I was going to need to be intentional. If I want to raise a godly son who knows he is cherished and loved by the Lord and his parents, I need to make sure that I’m not letting anything impede my communication of that love. If I want him to come to know and love the Word, I must teach it to him. If I desire for him to learn to pray, I should be setting that example. In Deuteronomy, God informs us that as parents, we are the primary teachers of our children. We are to be spending as much time as we can processing life through the filter of God’s commandments with our children. How can they learn to live a Christ-centered life if we have not taught and modeled it before them?

And am I being intentional with my husband? We’ve all heard 1 Cor. 13:4-8 at every wedding we’ve ever been to. “Love is patient. Love is kind…” This speaks of intention. I can’t be patient or kind, let alone all the other qualities listed in these verses, without aforethought. It doesn’t come naturally. I must work at it. It must be deliberate.

What are your priorities? Are you scheduling your life to fit them or are they being pushed aside for less crucial obligations? Maybe it starts with simply sitting down and letting God show you what needs to be on the schedule and what doesn’t. For me, it was cutting out high school sports events and adding a weekly family night and bi-weekly date night. Ask God what He wants you to be doing and then trust Him to help you rearrange your agenda. Make a plan. Stick to it. Learn to say no when you’re asked to do something that will distract you from what is most important. Live your life intentionally. Don’t let your life live you.

Father, thank you for gently rattling our cages. For waking us out of our slumber. We ask that you would show us where you want us spending our time and that you would help us to be obedient when you do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen


mb cameron said...

Thank you for your words. After our long talk you would be happy to know that I am pursuing being intention in seeking god. God put a scripture on my heart and I wrote it down on a notecard like you told me. Luke 14:3 "But seek his kingdom [FIRST] and these things will be given to you as well." Thank you for letting the Lord use you in my life

Anonymous said...

thanks for your thoughts. Last week I took my three children to participate in a match(2,000 young people)in London.The match was entitled LIVE-(live intentionally versus existance) They were demonstrating against the rising knife crimes by young people againist young people.This got me thinking about living intentionally as christians and I was looking for something on the internet. I found your site which I found most practical and helpful and will share the ideas tomorrow at church