Being intentional is defined as being committed to giving our attention to what is important to us. What we prioritize we are eager and ready to address.
King David was intentional when bringing the ark of God back to Jerusalem – the second time. The first attempt didn’t go so well. Things went terribly wrong. They loaded it up on a cart and headed out (2 Samuel 6). The oxen stumbled, Uzzah reached out to stabilize it, but “the LORD’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act” – Uzzah died. He was not authorized to touch it (see Numbers 4/see also Leviticus 10:1-2, regarding “unauthorized”). The narrative states that David was not only angry but was also afraid – and now not willing to proceed. So much went wrong in that first attempt. Yes, David was zealous (ready & eager) but zeal alone, zeal without knowledge and what doesn’t have God’s approval – makes for a terrible mess. (Anyone? Or is it just me?)
David soon finds out that where he left the ark (with Obed-Edom) he and his whole family is being greatly blessed. David realizes perhaps the ark is not the problem. The problem was his transporting method. There was God-given instruction to be followed (Exodus 25:12-15, leave the poles in the rings, so that there would be no mistake on HOW to carry it – see also Joshua 3:3, the Levites carry the ark). David prioritized the ark of God and again committed to bringing it to Jerusalem, but this time he did it the right way. He was intentional. “It was because you, the Levites, did not bring it up the first time that the LORD our God broke out in anger against us. We did not inquire of Him about how to do it in the prescribed way” (1 Chronicles 15:13). The prescribed way. There was consecration, sacrifices and worship. They brought the ark to Jerusalem. The story goes on to say after all this, “The LORD had given him (David) rest from all his enemies around him” (2 Samuel 7:1).
David was also intentional about God’s presence, “I have set the LORD always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken” (Psalm 16:8). He was intentional about God’s word, “I seek You with all my heart; do not let me stray from Your commands. I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You. Praise be to You, O LORD; teach me Your decrees” (Psalm 119:10-12).
Being intentional is prioritizing with a plan and putting that plan into practice.
One of the greatest enemies of the heart is regret. Disappointed over something that has happened or a missed opportunity. Regret what we did. Regret what we “didn’t.” May we all like King David, be intentional about the things of God. Our relationship with Him and with others. If needed, make some adjustments. Stay focused. Don’t get distracted. Do it His way. Be purposeful of His presence –His word. What a heartache if we heard the whispered “If only I had…” escape from our lips because we were not –intentional.
Intentional is the word for the year at our church. I love it. I have embraced it.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds” – Hebrews 10:24).