Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is (Ephesians 5:15-17 AMP).
To be intentional is to be deliberate about something. It is to take utmost responsibility for one’s life and actions.
Set Goals: One definition of goal is the end to which effort is directed. Apostle Paul says he presses towards the goal for the prize of the upward call in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:12-14). He had a goal in mind he was aiming for. Having no goals is like playing a football match without a touchdown line or playing soccer without goalposts. Goal setting also involves identifying something one wants to accomplish, and then establishing measures to accomplish it within a set time frame. Nothing is dynamic until it first becomes specific.
Redeem The Time: Time is the only commodity that is irreplaceable in life. Note that time is a commodity to be traded. When it is diligently and wisely used, it yields handsome dividends. Time invested in good education produces a strong mind over time. Time is of such great importance that when someone spends time with us, we thank them for their time. While money is replaceable, time isn’t. To redeem the time is to be diligent and maximize the opportunities we get in life. It also means having a sense of urgency about one’s assignment because the days are evil. To make the most out of time, one has to be careful to avoid procrastination and idleness.
Die Daily To Self: Living in pleasure (of sin) is not living intentionally. Apostle Paul said I die daily (1 Corinthians 15:31). Jesus said we should carry our cross daily and follow Him (Luke 9:23). The cross implies the crucifixion of the sinful Adamic nature in us. To die daily is to (daily and regularly) deny our human nature of its lusts and cravings. It is to tow the line of self discipline by the help of the Holy Spirit resident within us. By dying daily we are able to manifest the holiness and glory of God to our world (2 Corinthians 4:10-12).
Lean On Grace: Grace, as defined by someone, is the power of God available to meet our needs without any cost to us. Grace is a maker of men and destinies (1 Corinthians 15:10). Grace makes us accomplish great things for God (Zechariah 4:6-7). A resolute mind isn’t enough to live intentionally in 2016. His grace is greatly needed. Even when we fail, we are able to recover ourselves, dust ourselves up and continue by His grace (Proverbs 24:16).
Do The Expedient: The expedient things are the helpful and beneficial activities we engage in. By doing the expedient regularly, we cultivate good habits. Psychologists tell us it takes 30 days to change a habit. The convenient is contrary to the expedient, and it usually doesn’t deliver good results. Doing the convenient all the time is akin to cultivating poor habits that will never yield great results. Success is not a product of one time event; rather, it is a product of a string of expedient activities.
Give Yourself Away: “Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation he fell asleep” (Acts 13:36, NIV). Jesus said he came not to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom (Mark 10:45). You are never remembered for what you get; rather, what you are remembered for is what you give. To intentionally live is to serve your generation according to the will of God. Look for ways to serve in your family, church etc in 2016.
Sow Seeds: The law of reproduction is predicated on planting a seed (Genesis 8:22). Every seed reproduces after its kind. Deliberate living is to plant seeds of what you intend to harvest. Farmers are deliberate seed planters. A farmer who doesn’t plant in the planting season will have nothing to harvest during harvest seasons. Prudent farmers don’t consume all their harvest. Every harvest includes the seeds for the next planting season, and the number of seeds sown determines the size of the next harvest. Believe in this principle to your benefit; ignore it to your disadvantage.
Conclusion: May your life take a leap forward in this leap year in Jesus’ name, as you make every effort to live intentionally. Happy New Year!