4 Things to Remember About Living Intentionally
We don’t live intentionally to be more productive women, or better homemakers, or better moms or wives, or better people. Of course, as we seek to be intentional those good things tend to follow, but our ultimate goal isn’t to “be better” or “do better.”
Our ultimate goal in living intentionally is to glorify God.
As we seek God’s will for our lives, He will lead, guide, and ask us to follow Him over and over and over again. He is ever drawing us nearer, ever drawing us closer, and ever leading us onward. We must be intentional to pursue Him and His will for our lives.
Throughout the Gospels, we hear Jesus’ command to, “Follow me.” In Matthew 8, Jesus calls His disciples, and they immediately head out to sea.
And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” and he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and sea obey him?” ~Matthew 8:23-27
This passage speaks to intentional living and what we should remember as we seek to live for Him.
4 Things to Remember about Living Intentionally
Jesus is calling us to follow Him.
Like the disciples, Jesus is calling us to follow Him. He has a purpose and plan for each of us.
- Are you seeking to obey His call on your life, or are you holding back?
- Are you holding back out of fear?
- Are you waiting for better timing?
- Are you waiting for sure footing before you take a leap of faith and follow Him?
Jesus wants to give you more of Himself. Living intentionally is about following Him wherever He may lead you.
Not sure what He’s calling you to do? Check out my eBook, Live for Him: A Grace-filled Look at Planning. I walk you through how to seek His will and make a plan for your life.
Jesus is not calling us into a life of comfort and ease.
Immediately following Jesus’ call to His disciples to “follow me,” the storms came. When we follow Jesus and the dreams He has placed in our hearts, we must expect storms. Storms shouldn’t come as a great surprise to us.
Too many give up when the storms come. Too many choose to stay on solid ground where the footing is sure instead of follow Jesus into the dangerous sea. Choosing to endure the storms with Jesus can be hard, but so is living with regret.
- Are you willing to go to sea with Jesus?
- Will you follow Him wherever He takes you?
Being intentional isn’t about living so as to avoid the storms or to be comfortable. Living intentionally means you face storms head on, and you follow Him all the way to Heaven.
Jesus is calling us to need Him.
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. ~John 15:5
We need Jesus all the time, every day, for every second. There is not a moment we do not need His presence to fill us, for apart from Him we can do nothing. When things are good and when things are bad, we need Jesus.
While the storm raged, Jesus slept. He was silent. The disciples thought Jesus had abandoned them and left them to die. I can hear them muttering among themselves:
We dropped everything – our jobs, family, friends – to follow this man. And now? Now, he’s just going to leave us? Forsake us? Forget us? Look at him over there – sleeping. He doesn’t care about us. Someone go wake him up. This is ridiculous. We’re going to die out here!
Though He slept and stayed silent, Jesus never left His disciples. His presence was ever with them on the storm tossed waves of the sea. Jesus slept and waited on the disciples to need Him.
Jesus is waiting on us to need Him. It is in the storms where we learn to pray, “Lord, help me! Save me!” (Acts 2:21). He doesn’t rescue us until we are ready, until we know we need Him. If He rescues too early, change is not lasting.
Apart from Jesus, we can do nothing. Living intentionally means we don’t abandon our calling when the going gets tough. Instead when the storms come we say, “Jesus I need You! Lead me! Guide me! Save me!”
Jesus is calling us to wait for His glory to be revealed.
God didn’t have to send a storm for His disciples to endure, but what of His glory? How would He have proven His power over the land and the sea without the magnificent storm surrounding His disciples?
Jesus took this opportunity to show His power and to build the faith of the disciples (John 11:4). Jesus spoke the word and the stormed ceased, all effects disappeared. Complete and total calm came over the sea!
As we seek to be intentional to pursue God’s call on our lives, we will come into a storm tossed sea.
- We’ll want to give up.
- We’ll wonder if we misheard God.
- We’ll wonder if He has left us.
But if we wait upon Him, we let His strength shine through in our weakness, we will see His glory. We will see His power.
Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. ~Psalm 30:5b
God could take away this trial you’re facing. He could make your life easier. But what of His glory?
Seeking to live intentionally means when the going gets tough, we bear down, we lean hard into Him who called us, and wait for His glory to be revealed. It will get uncomfortable. It won’t be easy. But don’t quit. Don’t ever give up.
Keep seeking Him.
Keep laying down your life for God’s glory instead of your own.
As you seek to live intentionally, you will inspire others. Your life can be a testament to the glory of God.
What challenges do you face in living intentionally?
Thank you so much for this!! The timing couldn’t be more perfect! In the past several months God has called us to leave the family business and start a full time ministry (one that no one has ever done before), move 100 miles away, buy a new house…we have obeyed every step but at the same time have been hit with extreme health issues and financial issues. But we know we are following His will and shouldn’t give up. My husband still has to work where we used to live so he is gone hakfnthe week from me and our 2 year old son. We feel God told us to be done with this by July and are trusting him for the finances as we also feel we aren’t supposed ton raise support. I have seen God has asked you to do similar things…I could definitely use some mentoring! 🙂 thanks for all your awesome articles and grace planner… I have always tried to live this way, and recently God has had several people say to me “I love how you look to God in every single area of life”. God is working!!
Great post! Jesus is definitely not calling us to a life of ease, yet He gives us hope to persevere through life’s struggles!
Lately I have been struggling with feeling that God doesn’t hear or doesn’t want to answer my prayers, but I know that is a lie from Satan. He works in ways that are too great for me to understand and I’m doing my best to focus on God’s truths and patiently waiting on His timing.
Thank you so much for this encouragement!
I totally understand! It is tough when we feel like God doesn’t hear us. But we know the truth is that He does and that He works all things for our good and His glory. I just don’t always like or enjoy how He goes about it. 🙂