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Archive for May, 2014

May 13, 2014

For several weeks I have desired to write on the topic of intentionality, and yet, have held my tongue (or fingers) from expressing myself.  Until now that is.

Intentionality is something I have always recognized as a strong characteristic.  Intentionality in pursuing Christ in daily decisions.  Intentionality in conversing with God– “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere” (Ephesians 6:8).  Intentionality in living a life according to God’s initial plan (Psalm 139: 13-16): 

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.

For truly it is said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21). Surely, we are to live our days in pursuit of God, “work[ing] with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people” (Ephesians 6:7).

With an adventurer’s spirit, I have always prepared myself for the next call to move, to go out into the nations, to lead, to give, to follow God’s grandeur plan.  Several times, I have admitted to God that I am content.  Rarely, have I truly meant that I see that God is using me in great efforts right where I am, that I am exactly aligned with what He had set forth years ago while I remained in my mother’s womb.  Now, today, I see that I have fallen in line with God.

I stopped. I waited.  I read.  I prayed.  I praised.  And waited.  And waited.  No answer.   If I were to move across the country in pursuit of a degree that would move me closer to the ministry God has promised, I would be walking away from current opportunities for evangelism.  I saw the opportunity to learn, to study, to disciple as a greater value than to live, to encourage, and to serve.  After one email, I see the truth.  God remained quiet for the first time since I can recall.  He has given us His Word as guidelines and entrusts us to move according to His Truth.

On day 59 of 90 in reading through the full Bible, I found myself feeling foolish.  I had just read 5 books–books of wisdom–and yet, I pondered the absence of God’s voice.  The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;he rescues those whose spirits are crushed” (Psalm 34:16-17).  He was not ignoring me.  Rather, He knew my thoughts and entrusted me to seek Him through His Word. 

The email was my dedication to God’s work within my current circumstances.  I see now that God’s light shines through me and that He is connecting with my co-workers, church members, new friends, fellow volunteers, individuals struggling through suicidal thoughts, and families of autistic children.  God is being seen in me, and there is no greater delight.  The call of a Christian is to grow in likeness of Jesus Christ.  May we intentionally seek Jesus’ example in acting and speaking to those in our immediate proximity–whether family, associates, friends, or strangers.  God is at work.  May we have the eyes to see and the ears to hear (Mark 4:9, 8:18; Luke 8:8).

My prayer for us tonight is this: In pursuing intentionality in serving as Jesus has before us, I recommend researching “The Treasure Hunters.”  In full expectancy, be prepared to encounter God in new ways as He opens doors, deepens relationships, and transforms sinners into His embraced, beloved children.  Intentionally call upon the LORD for signs of who and how to interact with others.  Intentionally call upon the LORD for clarity, but do trust that His Word is true, for God uses His Word to correct and guide us in a way that is pleasing to Him (Ecclesiastes 3:14, Proverbs 30:5, 2 Timothy 3:16, Philippians 2:13).

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