I have returned from my cocoon of college flashcards back to the world of blogging. There is nothing like the feeling of finishing off a college semester, knowing that you have worked hard and reaped satisfactory grades because of that effort. I may or may not have buried myself in studying with loads of coffee as my companion for the past couple weeks leading to finals. What can I say? I take great pleasure in kicking school butt. But now I’m here and thrilled to begin a season in which I can throw more passion into my blog. God has done more than I ever could have imagined through this blog. I am simply a student with a heart for Jesus. Yet He has taken His truth through my blog posts to countries I never would have dreamed. I am blessed beyond belief.
Today I want to talk to you about something which is near and dear to my heart, a desire which the Lord has sparked within my soul. That, my friends, is what I call, “Intentional and Influential Living”.
What does it look like to live with INTENTION?
Each day is a brand new chance to follow in the path which God has laid out for you. We are called as believers to seek God’s face and follow in the path He directs us. We are each given a particular calling upon our lives, and living it out will look different for me than it does for you. We simply have to trust and focus on the Lord’s truth. He will lead us. Isaiah 30:21 (ESV), “And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” Throughout middle school and high school, I have been involved in church ministry. I have always been passionate about it, but until recently I did not know that was the field God was calling me to study. When God revealed to me where He was leading me, I received an overwhelming sense of joy and excitement for the future. The Lord is our shepherd, and His ways are greater than we could ever imagine. Psalm 23:1-3 (ESV), “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” As sheep, our job is simple. We simply listen to Him and follow.
Living with intention is also recognizing the influence our choices on ordinary days can impact our lives. We should speak God’s grace to others in every conversation. As people who live intentionally, we think before we speak. We use discretion in our choices and make sure our words match our actions. I am currently reading a book called “The Best Yes” by Lysa TerKeurst, and loving it, by the way. One quote which stood out to me is this, “Our decisions aren’t just isolated choices. Our decisions point our lives in the directions we’re about to head. Show me a decision and I’ll show you a direction.” Our choices reflect who our eyes are upon. If our eyes are on ourselves, it will show. If our eyes are on Christ, it will show. Like Solomon, our prayer should be for wisdom from our Father, the wisest of them all, the One who knows all things and works all things for our benefit (Romans 8:28). Here is part of Solomon’s prayer for wisdom: 1 Kings 3:9 (ESV), “’Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?’” May this be our prayer today: for discernment as we live our lives for the glory of God. Proverbs 2:3-6 (ESV), “yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding”.
What does it look like to live INFLUENTIALLY?
To live influentially is to be a leader who impacts others and promotes change. As believers we are different from the world. We stand out. To the world, we are a wacky group of people, going against the norms of society. 1 Peter 2:9 (ESV), “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” Through Christ we can influence people. As nonbelievers around us notice the joy we have, and the different lifestyle we live, their curiosity may be piqued. They might wonder why we choose to live the way we do. We also can impact other believers around us. Through community with others we are to reignite the fires in each others’ souls for Christ. Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV), “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
To live intentionally and influentially is to keep your eyes firmly on the Lord, to live out your calling by following Him, to use discretion in the choices you make, and to remain set apart from the world, impacting others through your lifestyle.
Please join me in prayer for wisdom in our daily lives, as we keep our eyes on Christ, following Him. Let us live intentionally and influentially with boldness for the Lord. Let us be feisty and passionate for Jesus. Nothing in this world can dim the fire within our souls for God. We are wacky, and that is a blessing. Praise God, and embrace it!
Thank you all for reading, and I look forward to chatting with you again over coffee soon. It will be soon this time. I promise. College is over for summer. I’m back and just as passionate as ever. May your cup overflow with the Lord’s blessings.
In Christ’s Love,