Necessity of Intentionality
It is necessary to be intentional if we are to fulfil God’s mission for us.
“Intentional” means “done on purpose; deliberate” [Oxford Dictionary]. Whether it is in blessing others, being the salt and light of the world, witnessing, disciple-making, admonishing one another with love and gentleness, etc., we need to be intentional. For example, in my daily walk [as part of my exercise], with the help of the Holy Spirit, I intentionally look out for people to bless, help, serve, testify, witness to, etc. I do not do it as and when it comes but I seek to do it. When I do something intentionally, I am more passionate about it, and I give it priority and special attention.
Another example is: my wife and I intentionally spend some time each Sunday, after Church Service, to befriend residents who live opposite the Church and practise L.E.A.P. + T. We listen to their stories, their beliefs and their problems; have tea with them at the void deck, eat with them at the food centre; show acts of kindness; pray and testify how real Jesus is to us as the Holy Spirit opens the door. We also share with them the various community services Bless Community Services provides F.O.C. to people who need them.
Process of Intentionality
Being intentional does not come naturally to me. I have to pray and seek God’s help to do it every day. There are so many things that demand my attention. I have to will and purposely spend time with God and do His will [worshipping Him, enjoying His presence, reading and living His Word, communicating with Him, confessing my sins, forgiving people the Lord brought to mind, etc.] and bless people [sharing God’s love, sowing and watering the seed of the Gospel, harvesting the crop, helping, serving, etc.] I have to remind myself throughout the day, the reason for my existence – I exist for God’s good pleasure; not mine [Philippians 2:12-13 (ESV)]. I also have to constantly remind myself to plug into God’s Master Plan and accept His portion for me — which includes denying myself, carrying my cross daily and following Christ. It is not easy to be intentional, especially when I am busy, but with God’s help and with practice, it becomes easier. After some time, it becomes a habit or second-nature.
Joy from Intentionality
When I intentionally will and do the will of God and bless people, I experience the joy of the Lord, which in turn, gives me strength to be patient and persevere [Nehemiah 8:10]. Sometimes, when I bless people, they do not appreciate what I was doing or respond the way I expected them to. I got discouraged. But the joy of the Lord kept me going. After all, it is not men that I am pleasing but God. I exist for His good pleasure.
Fruits of Intentionality
The fruits that come from being intentional in fulfilling God’s will and purpose and blessing people are many. Joy is one.
Other fruits include: God’s good pleasure, people praising and trusting God as a result of our blessing them, lives transformed by God, people are encouraged, people knowing that we are Christ’s disciples, we are more self-disciplined, people blessing us in return. With such fruits, we will not be bored or lose interest in being intentional in our discipleship journey.
So, let us pray (for without God, we can do nothing good) and be intentional each day to be Christ’s ambassadors or representatives [prayer-warriors, salt and light of the world, builders, helpers, care-givers, service-providers, encouragers, etc.], witnesses, disciples-makers — for God’s good pleasure.
By Mr Lim Han Soon (YCKC Bulletin 14&15 April 2018)