I’ve written previously about intentional living. Intentional living has become somewhat of a catch phrase, which is unfortunate because there is great value in living with intention. As I’ve endeavored to live intentionally this year, I have often found it difficult to translate the concept into practical application. Recently a light bulb went on for me.
I had previously identified the areas of my life which were important to me. They are, in order, God, my health, spouse, family, friends, my writing, and finally my career. The epiphany I had about living with intention concerned these priorities. Living with intention means everything I do feeds one of these areas in one way or another.
Whenever I am pondering what to do with this moment in life, I need only look over my list of priorities and ask what I can do to build one of those areas right now. That’s what intentional living is all about: consciously choosing in each moment to do what is best in that moment. Jim Rohn once said, “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” For Christians, I think the application is clear: If you aren’t pursuing God’s plan for your life, you’ll fall into Satan’s; and guess what he has planned for you? Nothing good!
The most important thing we could be doing at any moment is what Jesus would do in that moment. If you study the life of Christ, you will see He was incredibly intentional about everything He did. As His disciples, it is our job to mimic Him. Ultimately Jesus did only two things: He communed with His Father and He served others. Love was the unifying theme around both of these. Everything Jesus did demonstrated love and thus furthered His Kingdom in this dark world.
Beyond any dreams or goals we may have, the overarching theme must be how we will best impact the world for Jesus. Everything we do must be to either grow closer to Christ or serve others in His name. Our challenge then is determining how to love others utilizing the unique blend of talents, gifts, and passions God has created within each of us.
In order to best serve others, I need to be intentional about staying healthy. It’s harder to serve when you can’t get out of bed! When I love my spouse, family, and friends well, I demonstrate the character of Christ to those around me. I write to instruct and encourage others to live lives wholly devoted to Jesus, and thereby to build the Kingdom. Until I can write full-time, my career enables me to provide for my family and to give generously wherever needs arise.
Everything I endeavor to do somehow relates back to Jesus. Unless of course I stop living with intention. When I don’t choose to do something which contributes to my priorities and ultimately His Kingdom, I begin to drift into the plan Satan has for me. I don’t want to go there. Ever. So what are your priorities? How do they apply to building the Kingdom? Living with intention is easy once you’ve defined your life plan in this way. Now it is up to you and me to keep our eyes on Jesus and choose our actions in every moment with great intention. For disciples of Jesus, living with intention means living for God. What will you do next?