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How to Live Intentionally

How to Live Intentionally

By Shana Schutte

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:15-17, ESV

There are times in all of our lives when we know there is something we need to do. We need to start taking better care of our bodies. We need to make more time for our loved ones. We need to give up a bad habit or complete a particular work project.,

But, have you noticed that often, right alongside the knowing that we need to do a particular something, there is a resistance to do the thing we need to do?

Maybe we resist doing what’s right because we are afraid of the outcome, afraid of failure, afraid of succeeding or afraid of what others will say. Maybe we love the couch more than we love the treadmill, or maybe we love our bad habit more than we respect ourselves.

If you are swirling in inaction regarding something you know God wants you to do or is the right thing to do, here are four tips that I hope help.

When you know you need to do something and are reluctant to do it, do it now. Don’t wait. If you wait, you may start thinking about how you can put it off.

In your mind, you’ll start heading down the Road of Distractions: “I will just sit down here for a few minutes, then I’ll start”, “I have other things that I need to do right now”, or the Road of Justifications; “I can do that tomorrow. It doesn’t really matter if I start later.”

When you recognize these hindering thoughts creeping in, push them aside. Instead, do what you know is right and what God is calling you to, even if it’s uncomfortable.

If you need to develop a new habit such as exercise, make an appointment with yourself and guard that time. Don’t allow anyone to encroach on your habitual appointment. God wants His kids to live fruitful and productive lives and that often comes through living intentionally.

If you know you need to nurture your relationship with your kids, set aside regular time for them. If you don’t intentionally leverage time, you will find that it gets filled with all kinds of other priorities.

Don’t focus on what could go wrong. If you do, fear will creep in—and fear is an immobilizer. Sometimes you have to move forward in the face of fear. If you consider everything that could go awry, you won’t move ahead. Instead, focus on what can go right and that the Lord is with you. He will give you the strength to accomplish what He is calling you to.

Ecclesiastes 11:4 says, “Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.”

There will always be something in your circumstances or some imagined disaster in the future that will keep you from moving forward. Keep your eyes on the Lord.

If you set out to accomplish something that requires repeated discipline, watch your thoughts. In your thoughts, you can agree with God and you will be encouraged and strengthened, or you can think negative, ungodly thoughts that discourage you.. Guard your thoughts.

Lastly, remember that if the Lord has called you to something, He will empower you to do what you need to do. You can because He says you can.

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Prayer: Lord, thank you that when you have called me to a particular task, I can do it. Help me to reject ungodly thoughts that would hinder me from moving forward. Amen.

Application: Take one intentional step today toward what you know God is calling you to.

Related Readings: 2 Corinthians 15:7; 1 Chronicles 22:13; Deuteronomy 20:3-5

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