I need to confess. I like to think of myself as a leader. I like to think that I am a spiritual leader. I like to think that I follow Jesus and invite others to come along. The truth is I am often afraid. I am full of self-doubt. I not only question my decisions, I question my thinking. How can God bless a double minded man (see James 1:3-8).
I am called to be bold and courageous (see Joshua 1:7). However, I struggle to obey God’s word. How can God bless a sinful servant?
The Bible tells us to live by faith not by sight (see 2 Corinthians 5:7). But honestly, I find myself living by fear on too many occasions. I know that we were given a Spirit of love, self-discipline and power (see 2 Timothy 1:7) but I find myself timid, confused and weak. How can God bless this mess?
Amazingly, He does!
God redeems my brokenness for His glory!
Here is a short list of His redemptive work in my life:
- God uses the bad things in my life for my good and His glory (see Romans 8:28).
- Where my sin increases, His grace increases (see Romans 5:20).
- My weakness reveals His strength (see 2 Corinthians 12:9).
- He fixes my prayers before they reach heaven (see Romans 8:25-27).
What have I to fear? If someone hurts me, God uses it for my good. If I mess up and sin, God uses it to show His grace. If I cannot do something, God’s power does it. When I pray for the wrong things, His Spirit asks for the right things on my behalf!
This truth has given way to a new way of living for me as God has been teaching me a new paradigm:
Live Spontaneously Intentional!
At first this doesn’t make much sense. Spontaneous and Intentional seem to be antonyms. Yet, harmonizing these ideas has brought some concreteness to the mysterious concept of keeping in step with the Holy Spirit (see Galatians 5:25).
Let me begin with Intentional. Jesus lived His life radically devoted to His mission to seek and save the lost (see Luke 19:10). At the age of twelve, He had to be about His Father’s business (see Luke 2:41-52). He only did what His Father told Him to do (see John 5:19). He was about relationships not religion. And when the threats were so severe on His life, He set His face towards Jerusalem, the cross (see Luke 9:51).
Intentionality is living on mission. It is knowing your purpose. Understanding your calling (calling: what God has prepared in advance for you to do and you for; see Ephesians 2:10). It is pursuing a goal.
Intentionality is also living in character. It is becoming a new creation. Leaning into the life transformation to become like Jesus. It is having a set of biblical values that determine how you will go about achieving the mission. It is about living a life in such a way I am not disqualified (see 1 Corinthians 9:27).
Living Intentionally means I filter everything I do, every decision I make, every interaction with others through my mission. I am singularly focused on fulfilling my calling.
Let me move on to Spontaneously. Jesus’ life was marked by radical obedience. From Satan’s temptations in the wilderness (see Luke 4:1-13) to His prayer in the garden (see Matthew 26:36-46), Jesus set aside His will for the Father’s will.
Spontaneity is being sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit (see Romans 8:14). It is being full of the Holy Spirit much like one would be under the influence of alcohol (see Ephesians 5:18). It is following the prompting of the Holy Spirit like Philip did when he got on the chariot with the Ethiopian (see Acts 8:26-40).
Living Spontaneously means I crucify my sinful nature to live by the Spirit. In everything I am committed to radical obedience to join God in what He is doing. I die so Christ can live through me.
Living Spontaneously Intentional is living by faith not by sight. It is being about the Father’s business. It is living on mission. It is leaning into the life transformation to become like Jesus. It is dying to myself so Christ can live through me. It is about His will not mine. It is being bold and courageous enough to be available to be used by God whenever He leads and wherever I am.
What have I to fear? What have I to lose? How about you? Are you Living Spontaneously Intentional?