The song “I will follow” which we sing, is a song of intention. It says, “Where you go, I'll go, Where you stay, I'll stay, When you move, I'll move, I will follow you. Who you love, I'll love, How you serve, I'll serve, If this life I lose, I will follow you”….WOW, that is purpose!!
The word INTENTION is about a determination to conduct yourself in a certain way with commitment and resolve…
RESOLVE is about steadfastness of purpose with boldness and deep personal conviction.
So if you break it down, An intentional life has purpose, discipline and vision for an attainable future.
If anyone should ask why this is so important, the answer is simple: If we do not have a clear agenda for our lives, one will be provided for us—either by the events of life itself that we are experiencing, or by other people that we inter-act with.
We will follow the crowd or follow the vision….Someone said, “Lead, follow, or get out of the way, but don’t block my purpose”
It’s about taking control and determining with God’s help, how we will live our lives and spend our time, our energy and our resources. Without intentional living, our lives can easily “get away from us” and our outside world can have us at its mercy. I’m reminded of the story about the old West, or “the wild west”,when a devout Quaker had been bullied and harassed until he could stand it no longer. Speaking up to his tormentors, he announced: "Sirs, I do not believe in violence and I would not harm thee for anything in the world. But my compassion for all men compels me to warn thee, that thou art standing in the very place where I am about to do some shooting."
Intentional living is about staying on course while being responsible for the wake that we are creating as we move through our uncharted waters…. as we move toward our own goals and dreams.
So, watch your wake!!! I have a neighbor in our building, who
used to play his bass guitar through his boom box, till 3:00 in the
My gut level response after 3 months of this was to bang on his
door and give him a piece of my mind (which I can’t spare) but While
I applaud his dedication, I don’t like his wake!!!
I wrote a nice, neighborly, reasonable, note that would hopefully let him see the insanity of doing that, and posted it onhis door, and we have not had a problem since.
I don’t believe God wants us to live a life, controlled by the world
around us, because we understand our higher purpose.
1 Corinthians 6:12 "All things are lawful for me," but not all things edify (are profitable for my life). All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any (but Christ)”. This word “Edify”, is from the Greek word, oikodomeō, which literally means “to build a house.” So, it’s a fact that not all things will build up the house that I choose to live in.
The reason Paul begins with “All things are lawful for me”.. is because he is stating the excuse which those in the church have used for not living intentionally!
The laws of the land, might permit you to live in such a way, that you are able to break the law of Love towards God and one another without suffering any consequences from the law of the land.
If you back up to 1 Corinthians chapter 5, Paul is actually addressing a problem that has come up in the church in Corinth because they tolerated a guy in the church who was having a sexual relationship with his step mother (or his father’s wife). They figured that it was not his biological mother, so there was no law broken, and it was a personal matter between consenting adults, therefore it should be up to them to work it out.
Paul was emphasizing that it might be legal, and with consent, but it was not expedient as an example that the church should be reflecting before the world.
If our light is no brighter than the darkness, then what good is it.
If the salt has lost it’s saltiness, how can it salt anything.
Salt is a preservative, not only a means of flavoring something.
So how can your claims in Christ, keep back the rottenness of society, if it is also rotten!
How can your faith in Christ, enhance, improve and make a difference in people’s lives if your life is no different than their’s, and your priorities are no different than their’s.
In one of the Peanuts cartoons, Lucy has a sign up that says “Advice—5 cents.” Charlie Brown is her client in the cartoon, and Charlie Brown is not happy with the way his life is going, and asks Lucy’s advice on finding a purpose in life.
Using the example of the deck on a cruise ship, Lucy tells Chuck, “Some people go through life with their deck chair facing backwards, and they can only see where they’ve beenand not where they’re going.” Then she asks him, “Charlie Brown, which way is your deck
chair facing?” Charlie Brown tells her in an uncertain, shaky tone, “I really don’t know—I’ve never been able to get my deck chair unfolded!”
So unfold your deck chair! And make sure it’s facing in the right direction! And make sure your ticket isn’t on the Titanic!!!
Paul councils the church in 1 Corinthians 6:2 “Do you not know that the saints will one day rule the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to judge in the smallest matters? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more then should we be competent to judge the issues of this life”?
Then Paul shares with them something that they clearly understand, because they were big on taking the Lord’s Supper as an external practice of their faith. They know that the communion bread is to have no leaven in it, but Paul makes it a personal matter of the heart.
1Corinthians 5:6 “Do you not know that a little leaven (yeast),leavens the whole lump of dough? v7 Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, so that you are in fact unleavened (and without yeast).
Throughout scripture, yeast is likened to sin and compromise. So Paul is telling the church to live intentionally, on purpose for Christ. Choose the materials which you want to build with….He’s emphasizing that you can’t be double minded, compromising and undisciplined, without it affecting everything else in your life.
Another truth that Paul shares is 1 Corinthians 3:12 “If anyone builds on this foundation (folks can have a good foundation, but we must must carefully choose which materials we will use to build on that foundation) using gold, silver, costly stones, or wood, hay and straw, v13 their work will be revealed for what it is, because the Day (of the Lord) will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person's work”. One of the signs that psychologist look for as an indicator that a person has matured properly, is whether or not they understand that actions have consequences and then accept responsibility for their own actions.
A guy was eating breakfast with his wife....when he hears a knock at the door, he gets up and opens the door and sees two people. "You need to be saved!" the first person at the door says. "Get outta here with that mess" the guy says. "But sir, if you don't get saved, the time is coming when it will be too late!" the second person says. "I don't give a blankety, blank, blank. Now get off of my porch and out of my yard!" The guy slams the door, goes back to the table and opens his newspaper. His wife asks him, "Who was that, the Jehovah Witnesses, at the door, dear?" "Naah, just A couple of fireman" The guy says….
One of the great challenges we all have is to live intentionally when the world all around us is on fire. That’s theability to judge between WHAT IS IMPORTANT and what is NOT IMPORTANT as we are building our lives into the future, .
Intentional living is manual, it’s hands on. It’s about us deliberately steering our lives in the direction of our goals, our plans and our hopes and dreams, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher…..
I would never have stood a chance at getting a second glance from Winnie, my black haired sweety, if she didn’t think that I would be the spiritual head of our home together. She was intentional about who she would let into her heart, in that way. I learned to drive with a manual shift with no power steering. It was manual everything…. Most kids wouldn’t know how to shift gears, because they have automatic transmission. We have cruise control, so that if your foot gets tired of pushing the pedal you just set a speed and let her rip! Now engineers are working on sensors that steer the car for you and stop the car or decelerate if anything is too close to you. (I don’t think I would trust too much of that, I prefer hands on)
How many things are set on cruise in our lives? I’m talking about patterns we haven’t re-thought in quite a while, things we do on a regular basis (I mean we just keep doing what we’ve always done without asking why or if it’s producing anything in our lives)
A guy bought one of those CDs that teach you Spanish in your sleep. During the night, the CD kept skipping. So now, he can’t speak Spanish but he is able to stutter, in Spanish very fluently.
Doctor Phil has many folks who come to him with their lifeproblems, who keep doing the same dysfunctional things, over and over….And he asks them, “So, how’s that working for you”… They are doing things, that just don’t work, or don’t produce the results they need, because their actions are not attached to their goals and purpose….Since the purpose is not clear, the solution is never found.
Ask someone….”How’s that working for you?”
Paul, made a powerful statement of intentional living in his letter to the Philippian Christians in Philippians 3:13 “forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, v14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the high call of God in Christ Jesus”.…. Don’t let your past determine your future…
If we cut God out of the equation, money won’t get you there, or fame, or power, or the accumulation of stuff! When God is not a priority in our life of purpose, nothing else can fill that vacuum.
Now I’m from Virginia, so the Washington Redskins are my home town team. That being said, at least the Nationals didn’t let me down!
But when it comes to fulfilling your purpose, let me use the Redskins.. Question…. What's the difference between the Washington Redskins and Cheerios? A: Cheerios actually see a bowl…
How do you keep Redskin players out of your yard?
A: Just put up a goal post….
What's the difference in the Washington Redskins and a dollar bill? A: You can still get four quarters out of a dollar bill.
What is the difference between a Redskins fan and a baby? A: The baby will stop whining after a while.
What do you call 53 millionaires watching the Super Bowl on TV? A: The Washington Redskins.
How do you stop a Washington Redskins player from beating his wife? A: Dress her in a Patriot’s uniform!
(Can you handle one more)
What do the Redskins and the mailman have in common? A: Neither one delivers on Sunday.
And that my friends, is just a few examples of not fulfilling your purpose and living intentionally!!!!
Saint Augustine wrote, “You, oh God, have made us for yourself,
and our heart is restless until it finds its place of rest in You.”
We cannot give to others what we do not have ourselves. The most effective impact on others, must flow out of our own purpose filled life. If we have lost our purpose, how will we help others to find theirs. The blind will be leading the blind.
Hey, here’s some intentional living for you….. how about…
“thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven”.
What God desires should be a major part of what we desire. And His greatest desire is to see all people everywhere, saved and following Him and His plan for their lives.
I would love to see everyone at Eagle’s Rest, be part of the training program of witnessing, in preparation for and leadingup to the Billy Graham Crusade on January 16th.
Now that’s a great item on your intentional list, if you truly want to
see revival in our city and the Keys!
Intentional, is about putting actions where our belief for the future is! If we are praying for revival, and believing it is coming, we will put action behind it and be involved in improving our confidence level and aptitude level in being a witness for the Lord.
Don’t pray for revival and have your deck chair turned in the wrong direction!
Regardless of how we choose to live our lives, and how we decide to build upon the foundation we have been given in Christ, when all is said and done, we will all stand before Him and give an account for what we have done with our lives.
Romans 14:10 “In that day, we shall all stand before Him. v11 For it is written: “‘As I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee shall bow before Me, and every tongue shall confess that I am Lord.’ v12 So then every one of us must give an account of ourselves unto God”.
I remember when I was a kid, there was a time when my mom, owned a restaurant and had to be there a lot, so when I got out of school, she fed me, called a cab, and sent me off to the movies, until she closed up. She was so busy, she never checked what was playing, so I watched all kind of movies. I remember sitting there in some of the movies, praying that Jesus would not come while I was there, because I was afraid I would miss the rapture.
I was very aware that I had to stand before him and give an account.
Without that awareness of making God our priority in all we do, we have no North Star to guide us, and we can easily lose our direction.
I’m not saying that we must live in fear, but we have the knowledge that there is something greater than this temporary place and time. Otherwise we are just existing and not really living.
It’s knowing that there is a greater plan for our lives than the problems on the job, or the conflicts in our home, or the financial stress, and momentary health problems…. Knowing our purpose gives us a greater and larger view of life and what it’s all about.
The world, as we know it, WILL END—The rapture WILL TAKE PLACE--The tribulation WILL HAPPEN----Jesus WILL RETURN to earth to reign for 1,000 years----There WILL BE a new heaven and a new earth---- God has an intended outcome— and that outcome is that we will be with Him and have a loving relationship with HIM forever!!.
If we understand the bigger picture….We’ll see ANGELSinstead of DEMONS everywhere…. We’ll see PROMISESinstead of just PROBLEMS…. We’ll see BLESSING instead of DISAPPOINTMENT all around us…..It’s the difference in the boat being in the ocean and the ocean being in the boat.
Scripture says “This light affliction is not worthy to be compared with the glory that is waiting for those who are in Christ”….
I can stay on course and fully expect a good outcome because Philippians 1:6—tells me to “be confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion”.
I can move forward with confidence because He tells me in Hebrews 13:5— “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
I don’t have to get up tomorrow worried that God is in a bad mood, so I’d better tread softly….. He tells me in John 10:10—"the thief only comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come that you may have life and have it more abundantly.” He’s the same yesterday, today and forever!
We had a dear friend, whose husband was an alcoholic and chained to the bottle. Many times she would have to go out and find him passed out in a drunken stupor somewhere. She told us that she had found him passed out in the rain in a rain filled gutter and had to drag him out and bring him home. When his little daughter passed away, he went into the funeral home and took the new shoes off of her body and pawned them for a drink. I had the opportunity to invite him to come with me to church. At the end of the service, I took his hand and walked him up to the altar where he received Christ. He became a sold out Christian and saw God do some incredible miracles in his life.
So we call the things that are not….We look not at things that are, but we call the things that are not. THAT IS INTENTIONAL LIVING, FOLKS!!!! That’s what intentional people do!!
God has a plan for the drug addict, for the prostitute, for the sex trafficker, for the gender confused, and for all those he has created.
Our task is to take away the veil, and help them open the curtain, so that their purpose may be revealed and that, my friend is the glorious work of the Holy Spirit, who is waiting to work through us!
When His plans become my plans, a powerful force is released into the earth! So, Jesus take the wheel!
It all begins when we honestly and sincerely declare from the core of our being… JESUS, YOU ARE THE LORD OF MY LIFE!!!!
JESUS, YOU ARE THE CAPTAIN OF THIS VESSEL!!!
JESUS, YOU ARE THE ARCHETECT OF MY FUTURE!!!
ALL TO JESUS I SURRENDER, ALL TO HIM I FREELY GIVE!
Any time is a good time to refocus and make the proper adjustments. Any time is the best time to evaluate our priorities. Any time is a great time to tune in to what He is saying in the midst of all the voices and things that demand our attention….
I recall an altar service when I had finished the message and one young sailor, stood before God and tuned back in to God’svoice…He is now an evangelist who has established several bible colleges in Africa that is training and sending out pastors to establish churches.
I recall another young man, who went off to bible college and is now a youth pastor who is influencing many young lives.
Who can know what that moment will bring to pass in us, as we tune back in to His voice and let Him have His way!!!
Are you willing to let Him truly speak, and let Him have His way…..
You will be amazed at where it will take you. To do all that we do with the simple goal of pleasing the Father. To allow Him to have a say in our daily plans and work through our connections and relationships.
Living intentionally begins with living for him!