If you are like me, your life is full of great intentions. I want to be a better son, husband, father, worker, or any of the other titles I hold at one point or another. Maybe you intend to get into better shape, communicate more often, or respond to others with more sensitivity. Intentions are great for as far as they go, but we can all testify that most don’t go further than thoughts in our brains.
Some of our intentions make it to the next level. We invest in a gym membership, put a new social media app on our phone, or sign up for a class on communication. Too often, though, after some initial use and effort, the challenge of maintaining the change becomes too difficult.
The fact is, the only intentions that change our lives are the ones that we are all in for and make a priority over other drivers like comfort, entertainment, and image. If you are willing to forego comfort, you can make that fitness plan work for you. If you are ready to sacrifice some entertainment, you can invest more in your retirement. Letting go of your fear of how people see you will open the door to serving others.
When we apply this thinking to living our lives out as Christ-followers and kingdom workers, we understand that there is no difference. We all want to have impact on our community. We want to reflect Jesus in everything we do. Some of us feel that God is leading us to another country or culture to live the gospel there. Why, then, are our communities still hurting? Why are there people groups without the gospel?
Our good intentions have not become actions.
How can we make the change? We must reorder our priorities.
Start with spirituality. Prioritize your personal and corporate walk with God. Prayer and spending time in God’s word are foundational. Accountability with other believers creates a community. Community leads to growth. Growth leads to fruit.
Commit to obeying at any cost. This is something that needs to happen daily. We will make mistakes but keep moving forward. God’s grace abounds. If he is leading you toward something and you turn away, trust that as you recommit, he will bring that opportunity around again. He is faithful.
Move forward together. We can all take one step, but continued change and success depend on support. “A strand of three cords is not easily broken.” (Ecc 4:12) Create a team of champions who will walk with you. David had his mighty men who would lay down their lives for him. You need those kinds of people around you too.