I recently graduated from college, and for the past few months, I have been in a season of refinement and waiting on the Lord. Through this new season, God has been breaking down old habits that were formed throughout my college years. Although I am extremely thankful for that time in my life, it was during that season when I began to live my life by way of survival. I would live day by day, just hoping that I could get through it. I became stressed and overwhelmed by all that life was throwing at me; I felt trapped and believed that there was nothing that I could do to calm the chaos.
It wasn’t until everything that was familiar to me was stripped away that I began to see how destructive these patterns had become in my life. It was in this season that God began to reveal how He wanted me to live my life. He didn’t want me to aimlessly live day by day but rather to live a full and intentional life.
For me personally, this meant that I had to re-examine how I lived and approached every day. I had to dig down deep and ask God to change and remove anything that would get in the way of me living intentionally. I had to completely change my mindset so that I was no longer just surviving but rather thriving.
The deeper I dug in my own heart, the more God began to speak to me about certain areas of my life that I needed to allow Him to change. I’ve written a list below of some of these areas, but I would like to encourage you to personally dig deep and ask God to reveal any area in your life that may need to be cultivated.
In 2016 I want to be more intentional with:
My relationship with God - When I allowed busyness and chaos to rule my life, my relationship with Christ was what always suffered first and foremost.
My relationship with others - It saddens me to think how many times I was unable to give my full attention to those around me because I was too busy, or I allowed other things like my phone or social media to distract me.
My time - How we spend our time is how we spend our lives. Our time on earth is a precious gift, and it is not something we should take lightly but rather guard.
My social media usage - Out of the entire the list, this is the one that personally hurts the most. In addition to being the Media Manager for Worship Exposed, I also work full-time as a Social Media Manager. Still, I realize how much it can be a distraction for me and how it often pulls me away from the things that really matter.
My yesses and noes - Lara Casey, in her book Make It Happen, writes, “Saying no to one thing is saying yes to another.” If I want to be intentional with how I live, then I need to be intentional with what I chose to say “Yes” to. And as a person that tends to over commit myself, I need to be okay with saying “No”, in order to be able to say yes to better things.
My rest - In order to give my all to the things that matter, I need to have rest. Going a hundred miles per hour all the time does not lead to success but rather burnout.
Purpose over Perfection
I will be the first to admit that I am a 100% imperfect person. In this pursuit of living intentionally, I know that there will be days when I live with great purpose, but I also know that there will be days where I completely fall flat on my face. But, you know what? That is completely okay! God has not called us to live perfect lives but to live purposeful lives. It’s not about living everyday perfectly; it’s about taking small steps of purposeful progress. We can rest in the fact that we serve a God who is full of grace and whose mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).
Living with intention
So, how does living intentionally relate to worship? In our noisy and crowded world, it is becoming increasingly harder for us to focus on Christ. Everyday we are constantly bombarded from outside sources, and we are often so busy that we just let life pass us by. However, Christ did not die on the cross so that we would be in bondage to this world, but rather He died so that we could be free and have a purpose beyond this world. Intentionality helps us clear the clutter, focus back on Christ, and make room for Him in our everyday life, so that we can be ready and available vessels for Christ, which is our spiritual form of worship (Romans 12:1-2).
I would love to challenge and encourage you to seek the Lord regarding what your “One Word” is for 2016. Likewise, I would like to challenge you to examine your life and ask God to remove anything that is currently distracting you from being able to live out His purpose for your life.
Thanks for reading!
Recommended Track of the Week:
 Casey, Lara. "Question Everything." Casey, Lara. Make it Happen. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2014. 114.