“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.” ―
It seems in life we are always waiting for the perfect circumstance or storm to jolt us forward. Most times we are left with pocket book intentions, hoards of gel pens filled with ink, and multiple agendas with bare margins, and only a few “to do’s” crossed off. All of this can cause some major stresses in our lives. We place a lot of importance on things that society tells us are important, placing impossible demands on ourselves, leaving the important things on the back burner. God does do things in His perfect timing, but sometimes we miss the boat because we are living in fear, rather than being courageous.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Living on Purpose
God has a purpose for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11), and we fail to find that purpose because our vision is clouded by our own to do lists. We do not live intentionally anymore, we live because we “have to.” God did not create us to live like our lives are a chore. He wants us to enjoy our work and use it for His Glory (1 Corinthians 10:31), but also to benefit ourselves. We don’t even know how to rest anymore. Even God rested on the seventh day. There is something beautiful about rest. (Genesis 2:2) Take a look back and look on all you have done, to see if it is good.
“Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion. Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God. For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart.” Ecclesiastes 5:18-20
Stuck in a Rut
Many people stuck in jobs they hate, because they feel they have to live up to the stigma of what “living” means. Material wealth will always leave you feeling empty as the novelty wears off, and then you are in over your head in debt trying to catch up with payments on toys you may never even use, because you are too busy working to pay for them! We get two and three jobs to make ends meet, when really if we learned to manage money, and get rid of some unnecessary things, we would not only be able to work with what we have, but we would be happier for it. We should work to live, not live to work.
Needs vs Wants
Sometimes what we think we want isn’t what we want at all. Materialism can stunt us from growing into the people we were designed to be. There is joy in the simple things, we just need to shut of our brains for a while to be able to see what’s important, and practice gratitude for all that we have. We seem to live in a constant state of, “I need.”
|Kind Is the New Classy
By Candace Cameron Bure / Zondervan
Today’s women often feel pressured to meet unrealistic expectations and be somebody they’re not. How can you learn to stand your ground and stay true to yourself and your faith? Sharing practices that empower her as an actress, author, wife, and mom, Bure helps you respond to criticism with grace, live centered in God, and more. 272 pages, hardcover from Zondervan.
I’m not saying “throw all caution to the wind, and let’s see where we end up.” We must use wisdom in our decision, (James 1:5) but sometimes God wants us to take a risk and live intentionally. To live intentionally means being a doer, and to have vision.
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” James 1:22
It means taking the vision that God has given you for your life, and creating goals that are specific and measurable, in order to achieve that vision. It could be the dream of a better marriage, finding a fulfilling career, having more faith; being healthier. If you don’t have a vision, ask God to help you find your purpose. We ALL have one, that’s why we were born. But also, ensure that your vision lines up with His purpose for your life. Read the word, live on the principles, and God will lead you in the right direction.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Proverbs 29:18
Here are some steps to Living Intentionally on Purpose:
- Slow down, find a quiet place with God each day and ask God to help you zoom in on His purpose for your life, and see if it matches up with your vision. Discern God’s will.
- Stop wandering aimlessly down different roads, and find the right one. Or, stop wandering down the same road expecting a different result. “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:14
- Give your dream to God. “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Psalm 37:4
- Count the cost of following your dream. Count the cost of not following it. You must plan out your success. Some things are just done on pure faith, but trust God’s leading on this one. “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?” Luke 14:28
- Take a risk! Write it down, and give it to a friend so that you are accountable. Ask them to pray for your success.
- Make small , specific measurable goals, and reward yourself for each achievement. If you make your goals too outrageous , good chance you will be disappointed and quit.
- Be careful who you tell your dream to. “Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more.” Genesis 37:5
- Realize that our purpose is bigger than ourselves.
We must have patience when trying to reach our goals/dreams. But, we must also realize that our time on this earth is limited. We always put off tomorrow what we can do today. I am guilty of this one. I can live months on a good intention/idea. The problems with good intentions, is that there is no action required. We need to turn our good intentions into goals and take the first step toward reaching them.
I’ve seen articles that give the average amount of days a person lives. If I had to average out all the different numerical conclusions, I’d come to the conclusion that we have up to 28,000 give or take. This depends on a lot of different circumstances. Women seem to live longer than men, genes play a part, medical breakthroughs help us live longer … The problem is that we do not know the time nor the hour (Matthew 24:36). The time to do something for God is now. So ahead, today is the start of a new beginning!
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19