I am one of those gals that needs to be very careful and intentional with my faith.
I didn’t grow up in a Christian home so I lack a lot of the discipline and understanding that happens when you grow up in a faith filled family. Being honest here, I struggle immensely with my worldliness because I have lived and tasted that life, while shallow and lacking in substance, was still thrilling and fun. I sometimes, maybe much like an addict, will see or hear something that gives me a hunger for a lifestyle long (mostly) forgotten. It just sneaks in there without much cause or warning and I am left battling my heart against my flesh. The enemy is tricky and knows where I am weakest. Lucky for me, my God is stronger than my worst temptation and I know the more I seek Him the easier it will become to rely on the promises of our living God.
Romans 12:2 says-“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”. Sanctification can begin as soon as I surrender and seek the will of God in my life but I can’t do this unless I am intentional with that relationship because it doesn’t come naturally-but as time goes on it does get easier. Staying faithful requires endurance, much like a seasoned athlete, it takes careful preparation, training, and focus on the ultimate goal-which for me is having everlasting life.
What do I do to be intentional and remain in the Word? First, I have to keep my Bible in plain sight along with a devotional or Bible study. Why is reading the Bible important? Ephesians 6:11 says-“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” and Ephesians 6:17 goes on to say-“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”. We have to be ready to face the enemy (Ephesians 6:17) and unbelievers (1 Peter 3:15) we do this by knowing the word of God. In Matthew 4:4 Jesus says, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
It is important that I get involved in church and ministries. God wants believers to come together in fellowship. Proverbs 27:17 says ” Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” When the body of Christ comes together we can restore each other (Galatians 6:1 and James 5:19-20), to love and encourage each other (I Thessalonians 5:11 and Hebrews 10:25-27), and to bear each others burdens and to forgive one another (Galatians 6:2 and Cololassians 3:13). By coming together as the body of Christ we become more refined, effective in our calling, and have brothers and sisters in Christ directing us away from temptation.
Finally, I need opportunities to serve and love my neighbors. Romans 12:13 says, “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” By doing this, I can be a reflection of Christ’s love. A concrete reminder that being the hands and feet of Christ demonstrates His love for all in a way that is selflessly sacrificial.
My brothers and sisters, how do you stay intentional? I would love to know!
~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~
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