Webster’s definition of “intentional” reads like this: “With meaning or significance. Purposeful.” Maybe the apostle Paul had this definition in mind when he wrote to the Ephesians, “Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants” (Ephesians 5:17, MSG).
God intends for each of us to live our lives as men and women with focus, determination, purpose, and significance—all based on God’s design. You and I can be intentional women, if we choose God’s ways.
Here are some steps to becoming an intentional woman:
- Know your purpose is in the Lord’s hands—your life is His design.
Our life is not our own, but it is bought with the highest price. Our life is like a river—no one, from birth to eternity—can stop moving. Some of us may float along aimlessly; some of us pilot our own boat, trying to determine our own journey. Jesus calls us to get into the boat that He is guiding.
- Know that each day may contain the possibility of the “eternal.”
When I was a child, I heard the story of the widow’s mite (Mark 12) in Sunday school, which led me to commit my life to Christ. That story changed the trajectory of my life on earth and for eternity. It began a hunger and thirst for God, and a lifelong quest that is my life’s underlying theme. Every life is valuable and filled with potential.
- Know that the little things matter!What’s true in the physical realm is also true in the spiritual realm. When we faithfully tend to the seemingly “little things,” God blesses and prepares us for more. When we neglect the little things, they tend to snowball and destroy us, or take us out for a season.
- Know we have an enemy and we are in a battle. First Peter 5:8-10 says this, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”
Know what you need for battle. The Word of God is our armor. Pastor Jack Hayford once said, “Prayer is intended to be a violent act against the enemy.” To win at this battle, we study the Word, we pray, and we are obedient to the voice of God.
- Know that our entire past, both good and painful, can be used to glorify God, when given completely to Him.
“To all who mourn in Israel he will give: beauty for ashes; joy instead of mourning; praise instead of heaviness. For God has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for his own glory” (Isaiah 61:3, TLB).
- Know that God’s divine intentions, plan and purpose for our life is more important than fleeting happiness.
Ultimately, God invites us to a deep and intimate relationship with Him. Will we have happiness? Yes—but the greater goal is fulfilling our reason for existence and surrendering to the heart of God! We don’t need to determine our own focus or destiny, but entrust every day of our existence, every relationship, all our energy, focus, and passion, to God’s plan for our life.
We will all pour our life, our energy, our time, our money, and our passion into something. Will we be self-directed, or will we live intentionally in His design and destiny for our life? We can be intentional women.
KAY BURNETT is national Women’s Ministries Director for the Assemblies of God.