Last month, Ali Shaw wrote about intentional spiritual growth. Now, let’s consider intentional living.
Let me begin with a brief personal testimony. I grew up in a home where the idea of goals, or intentional choices about living, was non-existent. The unspoken philosophy was “life is hard and is random, so just do the best you can and go with the flow.” I’ve come to realize how such thoughts promote a victim mentality, and Jesus never wants that for us. Life is not random, and he does care.
Remember when Jesus read the scroll at the Temple, and he “just happened” to read from Isaiah? When he finished, he declared the words were his mission (Luke 4:18-19). Jesus knew his mission and made intentional choices to accomplish that mission. I’m so grateful for Jesus’ examples and the ways we can incorporate his mission into our lives.
Regardless of our age or stage of life, women have specific choices about how we live and what we think. Our foundational security lies in God’s Word, and as we implement those truths and principles, life becomes clear and more functional.
Have you ever planned your day and then had it totally disrupted with a call or visit or some demand that alters your time? Or are you on a time schedule so full and tight that any change blows the whole thing? That describes how I was, and I’m grateful to no longer be a slave to that mindset. I remember praying, asking God to help me be flexible and interruptible. It’s not that I care less than I did, but I’m free from being rigid about most things. God often reminds me of that prayer.
Ask God to enable you to have eyes to see and ears to hear so unexpected changes may become godly opportunities. Ask him to help you lay down an overly scheduled life. Consider intentional living by giving what you have; present your life as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1) by offering your time, your abilities and your availability to him on a daily basis. Remember, God wants obedience rather than sacrifice.
What does this mean in your women’s ministry leadership? Intentionality is the key word: being deliberate and purposeful. Know WHY you do what you do. What appears as coincidental or accidental is God’s way of allowing us to participate with him. Let me share an example:
Sunday a young mom walked into our church because her 10-year-old son needed a restroom. Of course, I welcomed her and then visited with her a bit. I learned she was divorced, and her children lived with their dad in another city. It surprised me that she stopped at a church rather than McDonalds or some other place. As we waited, I shared with her that God cares for her and how what seemed to be a strange stop for her was something God used for us to meet, to show he cares for her. Her eyes welled up with tears, and she gave me her phone number and soon left.
What is the value of helping someone understand that God knows and cares and that he will use whatever means to communicate that? I think it’s huge. Our Lord is intentional and we can be too.