Why We Need To Be Intentional
My mornings can be rushed as I am by nature not a morning person. Getting up early has always been a
struggle for me ever since I was a little girl. I lay in bed, snuggled under my covers (usually with a cat) as
long as possible and finally implore God with His words in Matthew 26:41 - The Spirit is willing, but the
flesh is weak. Lord help me! The rest of my early mornings are frittered away with taking care of the
dog, making coffee, emptying the dishwasher, helping the kids, etc. Fast forward to 5 pm after a long
mind-draining day at work, it’s time to make dinner, clean up dinner, take care of the kids, prepare some
things for the next day, take care of the dog again and before long, it’s 7:30 pm and all I want to do is
collapse. For me, that means watching a show and escaping the cares of this world.
That is the life that I led for many years, prioritizing my own earthly needs and making little to no time
for God. It’s a rat race of a place to be that is exhausting, empty, and feels far from God. It wasn’t until I
started being intentional about putting God first in my life, that my cup truly started feeling full. I was
reminded this morning as I was reading 2 Chronicles, chapters 29 and 30 of the importance of being
intentional about putting God first.
King Hezekiah (at age 25!) was taking over the kingship of Judah following the rule of King Ahaz who did
not do what was pleasing in the sight of Lord. For 25 years Hezekiah lived under the oppression and
darkness of a leader who full-on abandoned the Lord. I can’t wait to meet this Hezekiah guy in heaven!
Why, you ask? Because he got things right! He did do what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight. In fact,
during the first month of his reign, he took charge and set the wheels in motion to reopen the doors of
the Temple of the Lord. He summoned the priests and Levites and sent messages to the people of Israel
with some very specific Do’s and Don’ts. “Do: purify yourselves, purify the temple, remove all defiled
things, return to the Lord, come to His temple, worship the Lord your God and humble yourselves.
Don’t: be stubborn like our ancestors who did what was evil in the sight of the Lord which included
abandoning the Lord and his dwelling place, turning their backs on God, shutting the doors to the
temple, snuffing out the lamps, stopping burning incense and presenting offerings.” Hezekiah did not sit
back and hope things in his land would get better. He intentionally made clear the Do’s and Don’ts that
needed to happen for healing of their land and souls. In fact, Hezekiah’s strength of character reflects a
man who greatly feared God over man.
Now let me ask you (and I’m searching my own heart too), what do our lists look like of the things that
keep our backs turned on God? Sinking into the busyness of life and not prioritizing God’s Word,
forgetting to pray and missing out on our direct line to the creator of the universe, refusing to ask God
to search our hearts and honestly confess our sins? I know my list can get pretty long very quickly. But
we must be intentional to do the opposite of all these things. I was so encouraged later in this passage
when the chronicler says that God’s hand was on the people in the land of Judah, giving them all one
heart to obey the orders of the king and his officials, who were following the Word of the Lord. (2 Chron
And then what did they do? They joyously celebrated, sang to the Lord accompanied by instruments,
and gave thanks to the Lord, the God of their ancestors. When we put God first by being intentional
about studying His Word, he reveals all these things to us that give us cause for celebration! We see who God is and why he can be trusted. Through prayer, because of the price Jesus paid on the cross, we
can humbly come before His throne and ask Him to give us a thirst to know Him more. Oh, how he loves
to answer that prayer. Don’t wait any longer! Be intentional, make some changes and then rejoice as
your cup overflows. What will you intentionally do today?