That one sentence shot through my heart like an arrow. I chided myself on how even moments before I heard it, I had been making a mental list of all of the things I needed to do after church. My heart was convicted by thirteen simple words. Later, as I spent some time in repentance and asking God what I needed to do to get close to Him again, as I’d been before, I heard the word “intentionality” in my spirit. You see, intentionality is the exact opposite of apathy; and apathy is death to passion, death to focus, and death to relationships.
Living your life with intentionality means having one focus to put your attention on, your relationship with God must take precedence in your life. It doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as it may sound; God gives us a clear path to that end in Psalm 32:8, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” There are three things that we can do in order to build or rebuild our relationship with Him: first, spend time in God’s Word; second, learn to listen to the Holy Spirit’s prompting; and third, trust Him in the process.
The Bible tells us to meditate on the Scripture daily, reading it and praying for God to open our eyes to His wisdom (Josh. 1:8). The Bible is the living word of God, and therefore, we must understand that each day might bring new revelation to something that seemed inconsequential the day before. Reading the word every day can open up your heart to understanding things that you never knew before, and it opens you to revelations that might be useful to others around you in their times of need, as well. We are all meant to be used as instruments of God’s word.
The discernment brought by the Holy Spirit is something that takes some time to comprehend. The Bible mentions that some actually gain a spiritual gift of discernment, but I think that it is something that most people really have to work on grasping. Praying for discernment is something that I highly recommend, as it is a tool that can help you in your daily walk. Discerning the Spirit can help you in many ways - for instance: Discerning when God is telling you to do or say something to someone; discerning when a thought that you have is of God or of the flesh or the enemy; and discerning what kind of things that you allow into your life such as relationships, movies, and music. God will use the urging of the Spirit in you to communicate His will. Learning to be still and hear that voice is an essential duty in this life.
The third part of living with intentionality is learning to understand when God is using a situation to teach you. God is with us always, but sometimes we go through extremely difficult times that don’t seem to make sense. Sometimes we even cry out to God asking why He is “doing this” to us. The thing that most people don’t grasp is that sometimes God allows those things to happen in order to shape you. The Bible talks about the process of refining gold in relation to cleansing our spirits; when gold is purified, it is put in the fire, and smelted until all of the impurities have burned up. Once it comes out of the fire, it shines and glistens with a purity unlike any other. Anyone who has been in that fire knows the pain that you experience while burning away the old you, but in the end, you become a shining example of the love of God.
Remember to meditate on the word daily; get in there and dig deep! Even if you are not used to reading the Bible, and you have no idea where to start, try going back through this message re-reading the scriptures mentioned. Learning to inscribe His love and words in your heart is a great way to begin the healing process. Praying throughout the day whenever you are reminded of sins, mistakes, guilt, or pain will help you to be able to gain the control once again over your thoughts and actions. God will help you, and all you need to do is ask for the strength.
Have you been living intentionally, or in apathy?
Which areas do you feel you could use improvement in?