Intent, as defined by Webster is the state of a person's mind that directs his or her actions toward a specific object. To have intent also means to have purpose or meaning. When intention is present in our daily thoughts and actions, it moves us in the direction of a desired result or goal. I often talk and think about intentional parenting, that is, choosing the best words, actions and behaviors to have the greatest positive benefit for my children. On the opposite side is unintentional parenting where life with children is purely reactionary based on the immediate set of circumstances. Which one produces the best result is obvious, yet it is certainly the most difficult and challenging to live by.
The same can be true with our faith in God. Many times the level of faith we express and bring forth is dependant on the immediate situation or circumstances. Think about your level of faith and prayer and focus on God during the trials and tribulations of life. How much more time do we spend seeking His knowledge, guidance and comfort during those low times in life than when we feel as if we are on top of the world. Being able to maintain a constant, consistent level of focus on God through prayer, reading scripture and daily faith is what I refer to as intentional faith. Truly living life "in and through" faith, not merely "with" faith.
"Walk by faith, not by sight." 2Cor 5:7
This verse in and of itself is our personal directive from God on how to live with intentional faith. Being able to put aside what we see around us, what the world is telling us and what we are thinking and feeling in our human mind is the core principle of intentional faith. To be able to be in the world, but not of the world- my personal pursuit and the purpose behind my daily writings-is the result of intentional faith. Applying this principle to our family life, work routines, recreational adventures and spiritual pursuits gives our life new meaning and depth, allowing us to bear fruit that would be inaccessible without it.
"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Gal 2:20
When "I" can get out of the way, and let the Holy Spirit work "in and through" me, then, then I have reached the pinnacle of intentional faith. On paper it seems so simple. Too simple. And in application, it is hard- darn hard. This is why I write and read scripture- to build my relationship with Christ and my faith in Him so that He may live in me and be made manifest in my life. Living my life with intentional faith is where I see and feel His presence in my life, and I truly love that life.