In response to my last post, Esther, who also writes her own Blog (https://esthermurrayblog.wordpress.com/) wrote:
“Living a life of intention is definitely the hard part! It’s easier to read (or write) words but much harder to act upon them.”
I certainly appreciate the truth of that comment! Just this week, in the midst of retiring from my leadership role at the college where my wife and I have served for the last 8 ½ years, I have been reminded again of my own humanity. On the positive side there have been the words of appreciation and encouragement and praises to God for the part we have played, but I have also found myself making a few unwise decisions. Nothing too dramatic, but enough to remind me of some other wise words written by Wayne Cordeiro:
“We don’t forget that we are Christians. We forget that we are human, and that one oversight alone can debilitate the potential of our future.” (see references # 31 )
So, is it still possible to live well, to choose to win, to live a life of intentionality (based on God’s wisdom) despite just how very human we are? I think so, but placing the focus not so much on our abilities but on God’s power in us. Let me remind you of the wise words of Peter in his second letter when he said, “Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness…Through these…you may participate in the divine nature… ” (2 Peter 1:3)
The Message Bible says that these attributes and blessings of God enable “participation in the life of God.”
And then Paul says: “I can do everything through [Christ] who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)
It is possible to ‘run in such a way that you may win’ but only because of who Christ is, what he has done for us, what he is doing within us and who we are in Christ.
I’m told that Benjamin Franklin once said:
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
God not only tells, and teaches but gives us the incredible privilege of being intimately involved in who he is and what he is doing in the world. Even when we sometimes struggle with intentionality, the God who indwells us in the person of the Holy Spirit does not! For example, just check out a good book giving the ‘big picture’ of how God is building his church worldwide (e.g. Operation World by Jason Mandryk – see http://www.operationworld.org ) to see that “divine intentionality” at work in our world.
So, I guess it all comes down to living a life of dependence upon the One who desires to live this life of intentionality through us. Again, it is true that it something “easier said than done” but it’s a one-step-at-a-time process and God is patient with us. This last week showed me again that I’m still learning this great truth and will until the end of my life!