Wednesday, March 10

Living Intentionally. . .

Barb asked in Monday’s post as well as at our homemakers meeting. . . what does Living Intentionally mean when it comes to our life as a Jesus Follower? What does that look like in your life...or should look like, what would you say?

The typical Christian answer might be:

Someone who reads her bible daily

Someone who prays throughout the day

Someone who goes to church both Wednesday and Sunday

Someone who volunteers at church. . .

Does that sound familiar? While all these things are good things to be doing. . .I think we often get caught up in the doing and miss what living intentionally as a follower of Jesus really is. It may seem a little like semantics, but hang with me for a minute. One of my husband’s and my favorite passages is Eph 5:18-20 which states something very subtle, but very important. . .

Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you. Then you will sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, making music to the Lord in your hearts. And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.(NLT)

Did you catch that? Be filled with the Holy Spirit, THEN YOU WILL. . .These verses tell us we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit and out of our relationship with Jesus, our lives will be different than that of the world’s. Only when we have a living, breathing relationship with the Lord can the world see Jesus through us. The list of things above are ways of nurturing our relationship, but like I stated before, they often become our religion. Shouldn’t our lives be a witness to those around us? Shouldn’t the choices we make reflect God’s will? But should this be us “trying” to reach those goals or just the outpouring of our relationship with Jesus and His love flowing through us? Our lives as followers of Christ should be different than this world, but they are not different because of anything we do. They are different because we choose to pursue a relationship with God and His love, His patience, His compassion flow through us.

Even as I write this I find myself feeling like I have such a long way to go, but it is also encouraging that I do not have to do anything on my own. If I want a life that shows others the love of God, then I need to be connected to the Giver of love. My life should not be about all the do's and don’ts but about a relationship with the One true God who makes my life better because He is living through me.

My husband and I lead a small group in our home for young married couples. They have all had their first babies this year so we are reading the book When Husband and Wife Become Mom and Dad by Elisa Morgan and Carol Kuykendall. I would like to share a short passage from this book that may help explain it a little more.

Lasting hope is not found in a new baby, in the oohs and aaahhs of affirmation from each other, or in the perfect family vacation, new furniture, or a new car. Lasting hope is ultimately found in something beyond ourselves and our circumstances. . .when you look down at your child, do you feel the heavy weight of responsibility now attached to you. . . look over at your spouse, this mate of your choice, attached to you by marriage. Years ago, you stood at an altar and pledged your love and commitment-till death. But he is tired and falls asleep before you have time to process your needs with him. She is distracted by children and doesn’t seem interested in you anymore. . .Where is hope?

You’ve been looking down and over. The truth is, you’re looking in the wrong place.

Look up. Rather than resting in two individuals, attached horizontally through a civil ceremony with out eternal meaning, hope for marriage comes when the attachment is to a Source beyond either individual. Hope for marriage-and for every individual-comes when we attach ourselves to a permanent, eternal source of stability and love. It comes in a relationship with God through his Son, Jesus.

We need to be looking to God to meet our needs so we can meet the needs of others through His strength, not our own.

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