As Christian people I think often we have good intentions in how we are going to live out our faith. We hear a sermon that challenges us to share the gospel; we read a passage that challenges a sin area in our life; or we hear about a need in the church, and often we have good intentions to follow through in obedience. However, even though we have good intentions, far too often we do not follow through, and we find ourselves discouraged that we are not living as fruitful of a life as we want. While there can be many factors that lead to us not following through I think often what happens is we are simply not intentional enough with our good intentions. Listed below are a few areas where we must be intentional with our good intentions:
1. Be intentional to pray. In the end if we are going to follow through on any of our good intentions we need the Spirit of God to be carrying us along the way. Be intentional each day to set aside time to pray and ask the Lord for his wisdom and help. Be intentional to ask God for grace to help you stay committed to your good intentions. What if rather than committing time tonight to binge watch Netflix or spend countless hours on social media, you used that time to be intentional to pray?
2. Be intentional to plan. A popular quote that is often credited to Ben Franklin simply says, “Failing to plan is planning to fail,” and I think that failing to plan is where many of our good intentions go to die. If you want to grow in a sin area of your life, if you want to be more consistent in your reading of the Bible, if you want to follow through in sharing your faith with your neighbors, may I suggest you take a step back and plan your actions? How is it that you are going to turn from sin? What will help or hinder you from reading your Bible more often? When are you going to get into conversations about Jesus with your co-worker? The less intentional you are about pulling back and making a plan the more likely it is that you will not follow through on your good intentions.
3. Be intentional to let others help. Not only should we be communicating with God through prayer with our good intentions, but we also should be communicating with each other. The body of Christ is a gift from God that is meant to help spur each other on in our faith. This week share with your small group how they can help you with your intentions to have a Backyard Bible Club for your neighborhood; talk with someone in the church about the steps in which you need help in order to overcome sin; be willing to let others join your intentions in prayer. The more you let others into “your” good intentions in order to allow it to become “our” good intentions, the more likely you will be to follow through.
Friends, when we are intentional with our good intentions not only will we be more likely to follow through, but when we are intentional we also model our God. It is our God who is intentional to complete all that He set out to do which is ultimately found in the message of the wooden cross and empty tomb!