Being Intentional

I have been wrestling with some questions lately. After discussing the topic with my 3 oldest children, this clouded issue became even murkier.

To what extent should I plan for the future or set goals?

Is there a difference between goal setting and being intentional?

When does being intentional become prideful?

Proverbs 16:9 NLT states, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”

I don’t want to live the life God has given me haphazardly, yet after many attempts of planning things, I encountered God’s divine detours and interruptions of these intentions I thought were wise and good.

So I face a dilemma. How much time and energy to do I put into goal once I encounter obstacles and unforeseen circumstances? How much do I rest in the sovereignty of God that if He is behind the plan, it will unfold in His time and His way?

Proverbs 19:21 ESV reinforces the sovereignty and omnipotence of God, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”

The outcomes belong to God. Maybe I think the goal is to do something, but God’s purpose is for me to become something. If I am focused on the goal or the intention, am I missing what is unfolding in my life now?

James 4:14-15 give us an important reminder -You do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”

But this leads to the other extreme. Do I just wait on the Lord and plan nothing? I wonder if some personalities who are initiators find this instruction nearly impossible while others who are responders, use it as an excuse not to take any action.

Clearly God is intentional in accomplishing His purposes. To what degree do I seek to be intentional since my desire is to become more like God?

How is obedience an outflow of being intentional? Can we build spiritual discipline without intentionality?

Hebrews 10:23-25 reminds us that our God who promised is faithful. Then the writer instructs us to consider how to stir up one another to love and good works. What are your thoughts on this subject? If you comment, you don’t have to give your name or e-mail but you won’t be able to see you comments right away.  

2 thoughts on “Being Intentional

  1. I know as a mom with young children that the only way I will spend time with God, or get anything else done for that matter, is if I make a point of doing it. If I am not held accountable by those around me, I am less likely to follow through with spiritual or physical disciplines. Whether being intentional is prideful depends upon where your intentions lie. If my goal is to help build Christ’s kingdom, then my intentions are probably okay. But if the goal is to build earthly wealth, that is likely where self-reliance can lead to pride. Similarly, if I am so convinced that the Lord has specific plan for me and refused to be flexible then I will miss out on His true plans because I am so set in my ways. Perhaps being intentional towards one goal can lead to a different goal through a series of closed doors.

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