It’s always easier to react to life rather than to shape it. To go with the flow rather than to dig a new trench. Obviously, we want to respond well to what life throws at us. It’s assumed we should do that.
But I believe God gives us help to choose the direction of our lives. To live intentionally for Him. I don’t mean we choose what happens to us, but rather, that God has given us the freedom to make significant choices in spite of our circumstances.
Jesus’ example shows us what choices to make to live intentionally for God.
Two questions can help us do that.
Just Look at Jesus
The Lord lived as a great model of choosing to live intentionally. His choice of where to live offers a basic example.
Nobody went to Nazareth unless they had to. The city sat off the beaten path and high on a hill. Yet it was the perfect place for the boy Jesus to grow up in safe seclusion, away from the grasp of any who might seek to harm Him (Matthew 2:21–23).
Years later, however, at the beginning of His ministry, Jesus moved His base of operations from the sleepy town of Nazareth to the bustling Capernaum by the Sea of Galilee.
- Matthew notes how this move fulfilled “what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet” (Matthew 4:14).
- While several cities along the shore could have fulfilled this prophecy, it seems that Jesus’ choice of Capernaum had more deliberate purposes.
A Strategic Move
A thriving fishing village, Capernaum straddled the international highway that stretched from Syria to Egypt. By choosing Capernaum, Jesus selected a city that enjoyed a constant flow of people who could carry His message to many places.
And that’s just what happened.
As Jesus preached in Galilee, “news about Him spread throughout all Syria.” Not only did travelers take the news north into Syria, but they also took it by other roads into “Galilee and the Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan” (Matthew 4:24-5).
Jesus knew the Father’s will, and choosing where to live allowed God’s direction for His life to be accomplished.
I will place no value on anything I have or possess unless it is in relationship to the kingdom of God. —David Livingstone
We can do the same.
2 Questions to Help You Live Intentionally for God
Answering two questions can help bring this into focus:
- What represents the best use of my time for God’s glory? (You can ask this of your day as well of your life.)
- In what location or vocation can I best serve the Lord?
Sometimes, these answers require a major move—as was the case with Jesus.
But sometimes, we simply need to change our thinking and ask ourselves, Is the kingdom of God really the goal of my life?
Tell me what you think: What strategies help you to live intentionally for God rather than simply to react to life? To leave a comment, just click here.