Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem (Nehemiah 1:2).
Intentional living is meaningful living. It is an invitation to significance. Intentional living inquires where God may be working and then serves there. It's a wise balance between peering into the future at what can be accomplished, while focusing on what presently needs to get done next. Intentionality separates good leaders from great leaders, average parents from exceptional parents, and mediocrity from excellence. Greatness insists on intentionality.
Nehemiah was set for life. He had significant influence with the most powerful person on the planet. However, his heart was set on helping his people. He traded affluence and comfort for modesty and discomfort. Yes, intentional living is willing to let go of current success and replace it with lesser notoriety. For example, intentional parenting may require a pause in our career advancement to come home for a season until the children leave home. Faithfulness is deliberate.
By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin (Hebrews 11:24-25).
How can we be intentional in our time with God, our relationships and our leadership? If we desire to be a man or woman who understands and applies Scripture, then we plant it daily deep in our heart. If our goal is to be a loyal friend who is available in times of need, then we ask how we can pray and follow up with appropriate care. If we desire our leadership to be distinguished by wisdom then we intentionally grow in grace and humility. Wisdom grows in listening prayer.
Therefore, be intentional with your time and money. See opportunities as good, bad or the best investment. By the Spirit’s discernment and godly advice avoid settling for the good, refuse the bad and embrace the best. Be intentional in your marriage to schedule marriage enrichment training along with an annual budget and calendar planning weekend. Be intentional in your diet and exercise. Most of all ask Jesus to lead you in His process. Intentional living anticipates God.
He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible (Hebrews 11:26-27).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me by Your Spirit to live a life of intentionality for Your glory.
Related Readings: 1 Samuel 3:9; Psalm 37:4; John 15:4-5; Ephesian 6:13-15; Colossians 3:23