Several years ago, I heard a Christian communicator say that born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ must live "intentional lives," meaning that we must realize the necessity of making conscious choices regarding our thoughts, attitudes, plans, actions, and relatings to God and people. This is certainly true, but the gentleman neglected to mention the basis upon which we live intentionally.
"God hath said, I will dwell in them and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people" (II Corinthians 6:16).
No amount of determination to live purposeful lives can successfully begin apart from God's eternal determination to be the light and life of our being. This we must know if we are to avoid seeking to make bricks without straw. The quality of intentionality to which our Heavenly Father calls us transcends our capacity to consistently make the choices of spiritual and moral Christlikeness that comprises His holy standard. "Walk even as He walked" commanded the Apostle John (I John 2:6). Yes, John, but how? Thankfully, the same Apostle provides the answer: "this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith" (I John 5:4). The consistent intentionality of the human flows from the consistent intentionality of the Divine. "I will dwell and walk in them" empowers "Walk even as He walked." This we must know and believe with our hearts in order to make consistently intentional choices to act with our minds, tongues, hands, and feet. "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:12-13).
The Christian life involves keen and conscious exercise of the heart and mind - as based on the keen and conscious exercise of the Heart and Mind. Our calling to "think on these things" begins and continues with "the Lord thinketh upon me" (Philippians 4:8; Psalm 40:17). The concept of intentionality offers a bright path of necessary consideration so long as we walk thereupon in the illumination of God's purposeful planning and working on our behalf. "I am... the beginning" declared the Lord Jesus (Revelation 22:13). The writer of Hebrews echoes, commanding that we live our lives "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2). Thus, we set forth intentionally in the recognition of our privileged responsibility to make the countless conscious choices of faith and faithfulness that characterizes our intentionality, but which far more reveals God's intentionality.
"I am thy God… Thou art my God."
(Isaiah 41:10; Psalm 63:1)
Weekly Memory Verse
Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."
(I John 3:16)