There are two ways to live life; reactively or proactively. You can take it as it comes, or make it as you go. Unfortunately most people just accept their life, they do not intentionally lead it. They hope things will turn out better, but don’t put in the effort to actually make it better. To say, “If God wants it done, He will just do it” can easily become an excuse for spiritual laziness. Our effort is significant in the eyes of God. He is looking for a good and faithful servant to tell, “Well done.”
Without intentionality we can easily get knocked off course. Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl said, “Without a clear purpose any obstacle will send a person in a new direction.” Potential is God’s gift to us, but what we do with it is our gift back to Him. Remember the parable of the parable of the bags of gold?
Matthew 25:14-30 (NIV)
14 “Again, it (the Kingdom of Heaven) will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’
21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags.29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
We must be intentional about the destiny God has for us. The two servants who made the choice to be proactive about the master’s gift were rewarded; the one who buried it was rebuked. You see, the choices we make determine the future we experience. We always reap what we sow; good or bad. Coach John Wooden said, “There is a choice you have to make in everything you do. So keep in mind that in the end, the choice you make, makes you.” The choices we make set us on the path we take. Whatever path we are on will lead us to its destination.
Philippians 2:12b-13 (NIV)
12…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
We are to “work out” our salvation. This means we are called to steer our lives as God directs it. God will give us targets to shoot for in life if we are faithful to get intentional. We can’t be like little Johnny. One day Johnny decided to get his bow and arrows out to work on his target practice. He pulled arrows out of his quiver one by one and proceeded to shoot in every direction he felt like. He then would walk up to wherever the arrow had landed and draw a target right around it making it a bulls eye every time. Several arrows and targets later, his sister said, “You don’t do target practice that way. You draw the target, then shoot the arrow.” Johnny responded: “I know that, but if you do it my way, you never miss!”
We can’t just let our life go any direction it takes us as we draw a target around wherever we end up. We need to be maximizing our potential by creating the life we are called to live. We have to be intentional about our direction and purpose. As the old saying goes, “We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust our sails.” If you want your spirituality to increase, it requires intentionality.
What areas of your life do you need to be more intentional in? What can you start doing now that will make a significant impact for your future? Commit to at least 2-3 areas you are going to start being more proactive about and start doing it today!