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Two words come to my mind when I think of living intentionally: surrender and perseverance. A life that’s lived intentionally for Jesus and His Kingdom requires a surrender of my will. Paul said it best in Galatians 2:20: “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Before surrendering my life to Jesus, I leaned on my own knowledge and my own understanding in my everyday life decisions. I did what I wanted when I wanted and treated others how I felt they should be treated. Since surrendering my life to Jesus, all of that has changed. It is no longer I calling the shots because my life isn’t mine; it’s Jesus who calls the shots because my entire life belongs to Him. He is the one who gets to rule and reign over my every thought, every word I speak, and every action that I take in my life. Is this done perfectly? Absolutely not, but it is a daily, moment-to-moment decision to die to my will so that my life represents Jesus and His Kingdom here on earth.
This life of intentionality requires perseverance because the things Jesus calls us to are hard! There is simply no way around it. Jesus tells us in Luke 16:24, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.” This cross looks different for every believer, but it requires the same response. It requires you and I to die to what we desire would happen and the way we want to respond to things. It requires our perseverance in the continual laying down of what we want and instead trusting Him and doing things His way.
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.