Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Crazy-Paced World…Intention vs Intentions!

This is part 2 of a series of posts I will be sending out every Friday,  relevant to the theme of this year’s ENGAGE Family Discipleship & Home Education Conference. The posts will be short, to the point, and practical – designed to help you/your family in preparation for the conference (you will still benefit if you’re not coming to the conference!). Here goes with the second post…

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Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Crazy-Paced World…Intention vs Intentions!

Mark 1:35 NKJV – 35 Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.

Maybe since reading the last post, you had a moment to reflect on the level and nature of the busyness in your life – or maybe you were too busy? 🙂

One of the keys to making progress in the right things in our lives, which again is simply that which God has called us to be and do – is to understand the difference between intention, and intentions. They sound the same but are very different from each other.

Intention speaks of diligence, discipline, organization, and Spirit-empowered action. Intentions, on the other hand, speak of that which we want to do, know we should do, plan to do, but never actually get around to doing! We all know what it feels like to be surrounded and bogged down by the things that fit that category – and it’s never a pleasant experience, is it?

Having said this, that’s not always a bad thing – because some things we intend to do are birthed out of impulse, emotion, pressure, or obligation – so it’s no big loss when they get left by the wayside.

“Intention speaks of diligence, discipline, organization, and Spirit-empowered action”.

On the other hand, those things we neglect to do that God does want us to do – they are the things that haunt and hassle us with guilt, frustration, and regret.  So how can we avoid this?

Charles Hummel in his classic, tiny little booklet, “The Tyranny of the Urgent” puts it this way as He reflects upon the life of Jesus…“Jesus had no divinely drawn blueprint or schedule; He discerned the Father’s will day by day in a life of prayer. Because of this, He was able to resist the urgent demands of others and do what was really important for His mission” (p9-10).

What this helps us to understand, is that when prayer is a priority in our lives – it increases our “spiritual vision” and also our “spiritual strength”. We need spiritual vision to see more clearly that which God has and hasn’t called us to do, and we need spiritual strength to stay focused and faithful (living with intention) and avoid the distractions that lead to neglect (living with intentions).

In Summary – intention is when we prayerfully set the priorities for our lives, and in dependence upon the Lord, carefully carry them out. Intentions are just sincere, but unrealistic desires, that most likely will not eventuate – and even if they do, may not be God’s will for us anyway! Let us aim to live, by God’s grace, with more intention, and fewer intentions, remembering of course that we will fail at times. Thankfully, God knows this, so that’s why we have a Saviour to forgive us, and help us get on track again.

For thought, prayer and application: Take some time to mentally, or physically (better option) note down your top “intentions” for the next few weeks/months. Take this to God in prayer, and ask Him to show you which are in line with His will, and which are not. Prayerfully evaluate your motives for each intention. Ask the Lord to show you where you might be motivated by selfish gain, the approval of others, or pressure to conform. With those things you discern to be God’s will, ask God for the wisdom and strength to carry them out, and give them the priority they deserve. Confess any intentions that you have neglected, and believe and receive God’s forgiveness. 

Click Below To Read Previous Posts in This Series…

Part 1 – “It is Finished!”

Have you registered for this year’s ENGAGE 2017 Family Discipleship & Home Education Conference (Christchurch & Auckland)? Click here to find out more and register. 

 

 

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Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Crazy-Paced World…It is Finished!

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Over the next 8 weeks, I will be posting something every Friday, that is relevant to the theme of this year’s ENGAGE Family Discipleship & Home Education Conference. The posts will be short, to the point, and practical – designed to help you/your family in preparation for the conference (you will still benefit if you’re not coming to the conference!). So here goes with the first post…

Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Crazy-Paced World…It Is Finished!

John 19:30 NKJV – 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

Contrary to what many of us may think at times – if being busy is something that is hindering our spiritual progress, and crowding out the important with the urgent – the remedy to this, is not being “un-busy”. Being busy in and of itself, is not wrong, in fact it is essential we are busy in life. However, what matters most of all, is what we are busy with. 

God intended our lives to be full of activity, productivity, and creativity – but there’s a massive difference between a life given to those things for selfish gain, and a life given to those things, for God’s glory.

“God intended our lives to be full of activity, productivity, and creativity…”

When we get so busy that our spiritual priorites take a back seat in our lives, then we know that our priorities are in need of a re-shuffle. Some of us may even be too busy with “spiritual” activities, because they are over and above that which God has called us to give our time to. God gives us His grace to get His will done, not to help us get our will done.

In summary – God’s ecomony is not just about efficiency, but is more about effectiveness. Consider this – Jesus had a ministry on earth that lasted just over 3 years. If it was up to me (which it isn’t!) I would have maximised His potential, and given Jesus a long life, to get more done! However, God’s ways are above my ways (thankfully), and though Christ’s life was seemingly cut short, He cried those words from the cross, “It is finished!” (John 19:30, see also John 17:4). His life on earth wasn’t necessarily the most efficient use of a life, in worldly wisdom, but in God’s wisdom it was the most effective life ever lived!

For thought, prayer and application: Take a moment to pause, and evaluate the activity in your life, from week to week. Is it busy, but fruitful and manageable? Is it busy, but unproductive and unmanageable? Is it crazy-busy, and you are holding on by a finger nail? Take some time to think and pray – asking the Lord, “Am I being effective in the things You have called me to? Please show me where I am busy in the wrong things, and show me how to be busy in the right things. Please help me to have a mindset that doesn’t want to just do as much as I can for you, but to do what you have asked me to do – Amen”.

Have you registered for this year’s ENGAGE 2017 Family Discipleship & Home Education Conference (Christchurch & Auckland)? Click here to find out more and register. 

 

 

ENGAGE 2017 REGISTRATIONS NOW OPEN!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER / MORE INFO

REGISTRATIONS NOW OPEN FOR ENGAGE 2017!

In our modern world, with the current tide of technology available in every crevice of life, our lives have become so crowded. For many people, it’s nothing short of a momentous battle to keep up, and to keep from constantly being distracted, diverted, and delayed in making progress in what really matters.

At this year’s conference, we will be addressing these issues from a biblical perspective. Why? Because unless we can each step back from our lives enough to evaluate and prioritise what is important, the weeks, months, and years will pass and we will end up overwhelmed by deep regret. More importantly, we will miss out on experiencing the life God intends us to live.

We want to provide a time for families and individuals to step aside from the race of life, and then re-enter it in better shape, and with renewed strength and passion. We want to give you the biblical, and practical tools to help get you back on track and keep you on track. Imagine if you could finish off this year feeling content about what you have achieved and devoted your time to, instead of always feeling you missed the mark or dropped the ball. That’s what we want to help you with at ENGAGE 2017.

We will be looking at why you don’t have to be living a crazy-paced life, to fulfill God’s purpose. We will be showing from the Scriptures what things God considers to be the greatest priorities in our lives, how we can build our lives around those, and yet still experience contentment and rest. This conference is not just about adding more “stuff” to your life but instead will help you to live with sharper focus, an eternal perspective, and a little less “hectic” in your days.

Designed for maximum discipleship benefit, rather than information overload, ENGAGE 2017 will allow you time to hear from God’s Word, respond to God’s Word, think, pray, discuss, and ask questions. You will also hear from other homeschool parents & students some ways in which they avoid being a slave to the unnecessary demands and expectations of life, allowing them to make significant progress in the things God has called them to do and be.

Our main Bible passage for the conference will be Hebrews 12:1-4…

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,  looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.

Register yourself / your family now for ENGAGE 2017 and join us as we seek together to live a grace-paced life in this crazy-paced world!

Kris Baines
ENGAGE 2017 Family Discipleship & Home Education Conference
www.engageconference.org.nz

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER / MORE INFO
HOSTED BY ETERNAL PURPOSE MINISTRIES & REDEMPTION CHURCH.