I sat here pondering what image to put to my words.... a word picture.
I am always intentional about this.
And not to play on my title more than I am going to, I realize that even in this there is a purpose.
When I think of the word that keeps buzzing around me... everywhere I've been going for the last month, I wanted to convey with a bit of impact what my heart has and is sensing in the full meaning of the word.
So..... I've chosen a picture personal to me.
One of my son.
He is an athlete to the core.
He loves it all.
If his dad and I will let him try it.... he'll do it.
I love that he goes for it with everything in him.... and I mean everything.
He is fearless when it comes to sports.
It's interesting to me because there are areas in his life that he has struggled through when fear has gripped him... and we have stood with him, standing on the promises of his God. And he has conquered those fears. And we continue to marvel at how God is shaping this young man that we have been gifted with.
But I have to say that one of the areas in his life that I marvel at the most, is his tenacity in anything he sets out for, and anything that he wants to do.
In pondering for this post... something I have been doing for the last week.... I kept seeing a runner.
As I sat down today to put my picture up first, what I do almost every time.... I saw something else.
I saw my son.
He does well at all the sports he is currently engaged in... but his two loves right now are soccer and baseball.
I have a well stream of options for images to choose from... but the one I settled on shows something that I wanted to convey more.
Succeeding in the attempt.
My over seas friends may not be able to appreciate the image as well as my American ones... but I am hoping that I can paint a picture better with my words.
My son is a master at stealing base.
His coaches have learned this quick about him.
If you can get him on... your golden.
He leaves the current base he's on faster than the ball leaving the pitchers hand.
He flies through the air... head down... eyes keenly focused... and rarely does he not make it to his intended goal.
His body poised and coiled to let go.... he bursts from the base mound launching himself through the air.
There have been moments when I'm holding my breath.... watching to see if his feet are even touching the ground.
And then he's there.... dusting himself off from the slide... and smiling bigger than anything.
I think mostly at the confusion that he has caused because the other team never saw it coming.
But we did.
We always do.
We have learned to anticipate his body language and the look in his eyes.
The determination... the intent.
And he is intentional about when he's going to go for it... and there is no doubt in any ones mind that he weighed the risk before going full on toward his goal.
I hope you are catching on to my intent.... I hope that you have the image planted in your head...
Because I feel that even this image is one God is wanting me to convey.
God started whispering this word to me weeks ago.
I believe He was beginning to prepare me for what He has coming.
Since then, I have run into this word... A LOT.
It is everywhere.... television... conversations with friends.... at the pulpit... and just last week as I was being prayed over.
I got it.
I am trying to grasp onto the meaning and intent of what it is that God is saying.
I have to be honest and say that I think that I am a pretty intentional person.
I never start something unless I am going to finish it. And if I don't, or can't, it haunts me.
But I know that it is in what is most important that I struggle to be intentional.
My son is like me in this.
If it is something that he knows he should be doing but doesn't like doing.... he lacks the intention with gusto that he goes after those bases with.
We have begun working on this one with him.
Knowing me... I hesitate to begin because I'll kill myself to make sure I finish what I start.
This can be good and bad about me.
God knows this about me.... so I think it is far from accidental that He has been burning this word in my head and now my heart for a while now.
Intention with God goes hand in hand with discipline and obedience.
And how good are we at those things?
I feel like I lack lately... big time.
I allow my physical "stuff" to excuse my lack of enthusiasm.
I have been really good at "doing" and meeting my personal commitments and trying to make sure I check the boxes on my own personal "goals".
But what I have failed in miserably, at least in my own estimation, is being like my son when he is playing a game.
Head down... eyes focused on my prize... the prize I should be running toward... and going for it with everything that I have inside of me.
Hurling myself and my faith through the air toward the set goal of God's intentions for my life.
Not holding back anything... but going for it with everything in me.
Have you felt the same?
Can you relate?
I know that somewhere out there that I am not the only one.
Are we being intentional? Are we even willing to be intentional......?
In our churches....
In our relationships....
In our families....
In our most intimate and private moments...?
In our habits....?
In our crutches....?
In the things that we have been trying to give up and surrender.....?
In our abilities and non abilities....?
In our jobs...?
In our play time and taking off time...?
Are we willing to be intentional in any of them?
Are we asking God for what HE wants for us in all of those things?
Are we even willing to let Him into them?
What we watch...movies... television...
What we entertain ourselves with....music...vacation time...
What we do...those work meetings... leadership moments...
When making critical life decisions.... what church we should worship and serve at...
Who we choose to spend our time with... or not spend our time with, all of it depending on our own individual comfort levels.
Have we deemed some of those things too sacred in our lives for Him to touch and be involved with?
Or have we excluded Him for so long in them that we don't even notice when He isn't there?
Are we willing to change anything in our lives that He is making us uncomfortable in, knowing that He is wanting something different... something more?
Are we willing to be salt and light.... truth sprinkled with kindness and love... being willing at all to speak up if that is what God is calling us to?
Or are we good living frivolous, warm and fuzzy lives... just going along dotting our i's and crossing our t's that we deem fit and calling it a day?
Are we more concerned with how things make us feel or how God feels about them?
Are we giving ourselves excuses for behavior that is juvenile in nature banking on the grace that we know is freely available to us? Not realizing that God calls us to maturity eventually.... and His intention is for us to grow... to expand in who He has created us to be.
We are not called to be teenagers forever.
And the season for growing is now.
It. Is. Now.
Again, we will not see the moves of God that we are crying out for if we stubbornly refuse to let Him lead us to the batting box.
We can not even get on base if we aren't willing to pick up what might feel uncomfortable and a little unnatural at first.
We have to put the bat up to our shoulders before we can swing it.
God's intents for us all are very clear.....
Undeterred love for Him.
Unbridled passion for His word.
Unadulterated worship. Worshiping Him alone.
Unhinged faith in what He has spoken over our lives.
And a determination to see Him fulfill and do all that He has promised to do.
Our part.... our part in all of this.... determination to not allow the things around us get in the way of what He has laid out before us. What He has purposed us for.
Fear will destroy and corrupt every time.
We may not get the results that we are hoping for.... we may not see things happen right away....
But the point is, is are we willing to be willing and obedient?
Praying with a fervor that won't be quenched until we see the answers we are crying out for.
Praising with hearts that are more about loving our God with everything in us... than what we are going to get out of it.
I am not intentional about new years resolutions... they hardly stick anyway.
But I want to be intentional about what I know God is calling me to do.
I may be slow in the uptake, but I hope that I am always willing to walk in the direction that He is beckoning me to.
I don't want to be afraid anymore... not so much about what people will be thinking... I wouldn't be here, writing anything at all, if I was really concerned with that one....
But more afraid that I will fail in my attempt to "do" and launch out into what I am feeling nudged to do for Him.
How many will be affected if I don't?
That thought alone makes me uncomfortable and itchy....
I think it's a good thing.
I am praying that you are wiggling a little in your seat right now.
As we embark on a season of not having good intent but being intentional, I pray that it will carry over into every season to come.
I don't think we should ever lose the spirit of going after the good things that God is calling us toward.
Even the tough times....
I want to go after those too. Not hope for them... but in my tenacity to get through them learning what I need to learn and having victory in them.
Praying hard... and even harder when I don't see things right away.
Waking with purpose and determination.... not just stepping lightly.
I've never liked nor admired timidity.
Being humble is different... that I admire...
But walking trepidaciously and unsure... has always annoyed me.
I don't want to be that person.
So here we are... on the threshold of newness....
And what are we going to do with it?
Will it be business as usual?
Or will you take up the challenge right along with me?
Loving... laughing.... serving.... speaking... stepping.... wanting.... and going for it... all intentionally?
Look it up... the meaning of the word....
I am going to be posting it up on my bathroom mirror.
Just in case you pass that one over.... I will post it for you anyway....
-done with intention or on purpose;
-done with intention or on purpose;
-of or pertaining to intention or purpose.
Happy New Year...
Here is to right intentions..... ones that are set to please the only One worth pleasing.
God bless you in this new year....
May we all choose to seek Him more than we ever have, loving Him with abandon, and running harder and more determinately than we ever have before.
.... until another tomorrow...
7 "The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is pure,
The decrees of the LORD are firm,
and all of them are righteous.
10 They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb. 11 By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward. 12 But who can discern their own errors?
Forgive my hidden faults. 13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.
14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer." Psalm 19:7-14
7"For we have been consumed by Your anger
And by Your wrath we have been dismayed.
8You have placed our iniquities before You,
Our secret sins in the light of Your presence.
9For all our days have declined in Your fury;
We have finished our years like a sigh.
10As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years,
Or if due to strength, eighty years,
Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow;
For soon it is gone and we fly away.
11Who understands the power of Your anger
And Your fury, according to the fear that is due You?
12So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.
13Do return, O LORD; how long will it be?
And be sorry for Your servants.
14O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness,
That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15Make us glad according to the days You have afflicted us,
And the years we have seen evil.
16Let Your work appear to Your servants
And Your majesty to their children.
17Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us;
And confirm for us the work of our hands;
Yes, confirm the work of our hands." Psalm 90:7-17