The Intentional Life

| January 30, 2017

Intentional living

I didn’t used to be a goal setter. I just lived from one day to the next not really being a planner, but instead flying by the seat of my pants.  I had dreams of being a writer, but without a plan or goal I couldn’t get there.

Can you relate?

We all have dreams.  I bet there are things that you want to do but haven’t done.  I even bet there are some habits in your personal life that you want to change.

It wasn’t until I started intentionally planning my writing schedule that I began to see the fruit if my labor. Now, that is good don’t get me wrong but, what about my personal life. I saw things there that needed to be changed also.

As you get older you see time as something very precious and if you don’t plan, organize or be intentional about your life and time it really gets away from you. You look up one day and the week is gone and you accomplished nothing. So goal setting is a good thing I have now added to my life to keep my life moving smoothly and productively.

But what are goals all about anyway? Why do you and I need to plan anything? Can’t we all just get up and let the day happen and whatever happens happens. Is that so bad? Well, yes it is and the reason is because we are created in the image of God and God does nothing haphazardly. He is very clear and intentional about what He does and how He does things. I think because we are created in His image we need to have the same heart as He does.

An Intentional Heart

Our lives are but a vapor. We are here one moment and gone the next, with only a certain amount of time to get done what the Father says we were put here to do. We have a purpose. There is a reason we are here. We are to live our lives soberly and with much wisdom.

Many people have no idea what they are called to do. They live each day floundering and going about the day much like merry-go-round except to get off for work, sleep, children, fun, and anything else they can fit in. But no intentionality.

God is such a faithful God. He gives each of us a call, a purpose, or a destiny. He knows what that is and we are to seek Him out as to what it is and how to live it out. It may be years before some of us discover what that is but God is faithful to what He puts in us. But, once we discover what that purpose is, we must be intentional about His plan and our gifts.

What does intentional or intentionality mean anyway?  According to the Webster dictionary it means: done on purpose; deliberate.

Wow! Deliberate. That means you meant to do it. No mistake, no guessing. So again, I ask, but differently, do you live your life intentionally, on purpose, in a deliberate way towards God and His plan for you?

I know it’s a sobering thought when you really think about it. The question forces you to think about how you get up and start the day. With a plan or no plan. With goals or no goals.

Do you have an intentional way that you make decisions, watch TV, interact with others, etc.?

Part of my intentional life looks like this. Each day I plan for the coming week.  I have my schedule planned of what to do for the week on my calendar and a to do list on my desk. Now this doesn’t mean that I get it all done. But I have a plan. I make sure I spend time with God in the evening. While I am not really a morning person, so I don’t really start my day with God the same way others do. I do more talking to Him in the evenings and late at night into the early morning. I do a lot of my bible study time in the day.

The point is, have a routine and make it your own.

Intentional Speaking

Jesus said this, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63   His words are life. Jesus’ words were on purpose and with intent. They were spoken to give life.

The Bible also says that we can have what we say.  What are you saying? What are you speaking about your life every day?  Your words should be bringing you and others life not death.  You should be speaking life to your life not death. This is difficult for some people because they have become a negative conduit or portal for words. They just never say anything positive.

The Bible says this about our words: “And I say to you, that every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the day of judgment,” Matthew  12:36.  Every careless word is given into account. Powerful!

That means that if you say an idle or careless word, it will never produce. So what? Why is that so important? Because God never spoke an unproductive word. Remember you are in His image. That means to me, and it should mean to you, that our words are supposed to be producing something good and life giving. I believe that when we speak careless, God is going to  call us into account as to why  we spoke that way when we could have spoken another way and produced something far better. Your idle words produced nothing.

Words are eternal and never leave our life. The good ones or the bad ones. Ouch again! If you have spoken negative, dead, and idle words, dig them up in the spirit and change your language.

But it is more than speaking. Thinking is another area we need to be intentional in.

Intentional Thinking

This one is my favorite because I believe it helps the previous one, the way you speak. What are you thinking about on a daily basis? I believe we can control what we think about a lot easier than what we say because our speaking is linked to our heart.

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” Luke 6:45 (KJV)

What you think about in your heart, you desire.

What you think about, you do.

Again, I ask you, what are you thinking about?

Philippians 4:8 is great to help you with this. The verses tell us what to think about. We have a road map or guidebook to how to speak.

It says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (KJV)

Your thoughts are not really as random as you believe they are. You can choose what you think and thus effect your speech.

You don’t have to be discouraged or feel this is a hopeless task of intentionality. Sure it will take some work at first if you are not disciplined in your thoughts and speaking. But, because Christ is in you, you can do this.

You Can Do This

God wants us to have a good life (John 10:10). It starts with being intentional about our words and thinking. Start today, you get a do-over with God.

Be intentional and live a life worthy of our Lord.

You can do this!

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26 Comments

  • Reply Terri January 30, 2017 at 7:43 am

    I love this. i want to be intentional

  • Reply Debbie January 30, 2017 at 8:15 am

    Thanks, Stephanie, for these valuable reminders regarding our actions and words. God bless you!

  • Reply Heather Hart January 30, 2017 at 8:35 am

    Great post, Stephanie! As always, you speak right to my heart. It is so easy to let life control us, and just kind of haphazardly move through it. But by being intentional we can do so much more.
    Heather Hart recently posted…Don’t Face Your Fears, Face JesusMy Profile

    • Reply Stephanie January 30, 2017 at 11:37 am

      Yes. Life gets away from us. Must be intentional.

  • Reply Nicole Kauffman January 30, 2017 at 8:58 am

    Love this. We definitely have to be so intentional in our pursuit of living for Christ. There is so much that begs to steal our hearts and our attention away from God’s will for us. Thank you for this encouragement!

    • Reply Stephanie January 30, 2017 at 11:38 am

      We must guard our hearts. So true a lot begs for our hearts. I like that.

  • Reply Andrea January 30, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    As long as our living is for God and not for the things of the world…
    Andrea recently posted…Two Great Magazines You Can Get For Free Today!My Profile

    • Reply Stephanie Carter January 30, 2017 at 6:28 pm

      Thank you so much for commenting. We must live only for Him.

  • Reply Tami Qualls January 30, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    I always make more progress when I write things down AND include Jesus. That’s how my intentionality works best.

    • Reply Stephanie Carter January 30, 2017 at 6:28 pm

      That is great way to do it. Thanks for sharing that.

  • Reply Amy Hagerup January 30, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    I love this. I really liked how you helped direct my thinking to three different areas: my heart, my speech, and my thoughts. I want to be intentional for Jesus every single day.
    Amy Hagerup recently posted…You Can’t Out-give GodMy Profile

    • Reply Stephanie January 30, 2017 at 10:37 pm

      Thank u Amy. There are lots more ways to be intentional but I only listed 3. God so faithful to us all even on our lack. Glad u enjoyed the blog. Bless u.

  • Reply Alex January 31, 2017 at 4:46 am

    Great ideas! When I make a schedule and a to-do list, and then place it before God in prayer, everything that needs to get done does get done. And God manages to sneak in some surprises every day!
    Alex recently posted…4 Things We DO BuyMy Profile

    • Reply Stephanie January 31, 2017 at 6:40 am

      That’s great. I love His surprises too.

  • Reply Amy Christensen January 31, 2017 at 6:51 am

    Good post, Stephanie. As both a Faith and Fashion blogger I am often talking about this very thing. Thinking ahead or thinking something through is so helpful to make life run smoother, as well as keep us on the alert and aware, not only of our enemy, but of the movement of God in our lives. It is something I need to keep working on. Thank you for sharing. – Amy

    • Reply Stephanie Carter February 1, 2017 at 8:27 am

      Amy hey that sounds interesting faith and fashion blogger.. send me your blog address… i would like to check it out

  • Reply Jaime Hampton January 31, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    Stephanie, as soon as I saw the title of your post I knew God had something to say to me! Thanks for the much needed message. I struggle with just going with the flow, and putting out the fires that are right in front of me daily. Sometimes I use the excuse that I’m “just not a very organized person,” but really, it’s an area where I’m being kind of lazy! Everyone is different, and you don’t have to be incredibly organized to be intentional . I really feel God calling me to develop the habit of intentionality, and this post was a great encouragement and starting point. Blessings to you!
    Jaime Hampton recently posted…5 Lessons From the Tightrope: Finding Your BalanceMy Profile

    • Reply Stephanie Carter February 1, 2017 at 8:33 am

      Jaime your so welcome. I am launching a coaching program this month of February and one of my modules contains lesson on intentionality in our lives. yes it is something that we really dont think about much we just float through life and let things happen.

  • Reply Michele Morin February 1, 2017 at 9:43 am

    This is good — and I especially relate to the intentional speaking because so often I practice faithless speech that not only discourages me, but also anyone who has to listen to it!
    Michele Morin recently posted…Filling Up a Concept: Black History MonthMy Profile

    • Reply Stephanie February 1, 2017 at 10:40 pm

      We all need to work on our speech. Tongue is hard to tame but with grace we can. Glad u enjoyed the blog. Be encouraged.

  • Reply Sylvia Brown-Roberts February 1, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Thanks for this timely reminder, Stephanie.

  • Reply Sylvia Brown-Roberts February 1, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    Thanks for this timely reminder.

  • Reply Ginger Harrington February 3, 2017 at 11:10 am

    Great reminders today. I have a few more things I intend to do today, and I’m motivated to get at it!

  • Reply Meredith February 3, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    I like the way you broke down intentionality into the different parts of our lives. It’s helpful to think about it that way. And it’s just always good to be reminded that we need to be making our life choices intentionally to honor and serve the Lord. Thanks!
    Meredith recently posted…Pro-life or Just Anti-Abortion?My Profile

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