The First Steps of Intentional Living

Decisions can be hard, especially big ones! Learn how to live intentionally by knowing your purpose, promises, and more.

by Abigail Wilson | 4 min read

In the last 100 days, my family learned we were moving to Germany. We packed up our lives, sold our house, got rid of our cars, and said goodbye to friends and family. We traveled from North America to Europe. We found a new house, got new phone numbers, got new cars, got just enough of our stuff delivered to get by (still waiting patiently for the rest), and started new schools and a new job. We’re literally starting fresh. But it doesn’t take an international move to start over, or even be more intentional with our daily purpose. You can start living with more intentionality, too (without needing to get a passport)!  

On our Into The Harvest Podcast,  we recently had an awesome episode with our good friend Wes Wood, laying out some practical first steps in how to live with intentionality. These are the ways that our family has been purposefully trying to live right now. It’s not rocket science, but we do believe it’s a Biblical, and ultimately rewarding way to live our lives.  



Purpose: Know What Your Life Is About

The most important news, besides the Good News that Jesus came to die for our sins, is that He made each of us for a purpose. We see this over and over again, woven through Scripture, that our job here on Earth is to proclaim the Lord the World over. From God’s first command to Adam2 we see a clear picture of God’s ultimate goal to multiply and spread His image. This is our Purpose: We are here to carry out this mission of being bearers and spreaders of the Light of the Lord. 


Maybe it’ll be easier to grasp if I share what our purpose is NOT, our purpose is not to live as comfortably as possible. Our purpose is not even to have happy, heathy kids. We aren’t here to start mega-churches. We aren’t here to be super successful in our careers, we aren’t here to check off our bucket lists. We aren’t even here to further the world of science or medicine, or change politics as we know it. Our ULTIMATE purpose, if we are willing to accept it, is to follow Jesus and make Him known. Period. 


Of course, one of the great complications of life (and the results of the Fall of man) is that we, as little humans, must also consider some of those other details of life.  But they are never to take precedence over that all-important goal of obedience to Him. 3 


As my family gets settled into this new life in Europe, it is so very easy to get distracted by all the details of our lives. So it is important to remind ourselves over and over again what our True Purpose is. In the end, by putting Him first, those other things sort of just fall into place. I’m not saying it is perfect. I still don’t have internet in my house, I’ve got a kid with a sore throat, there’s work stress etc. etc. but when we put Him first, we can walk with assurance 4. In fact, I loved what our friend Wes said, “Success is obedience. That’s it.” If we make our purpose about obedience to Him, then we are fulfilled. 


Promises: Remember What God Has Said

It can feel overwhelming as you get started in this grand purpose, but there are some key promises we can count on. Jesus told us that He would be the one to do this work. 5-we just get to join Him in what He is already doing! He also promised us that we wouldn’t be alone, He always has His people, 6 we just have to look for them! 

We can also claim the promises given to Abraham, David and even Jesus, for they are ours until Jesus comes back! I’m so glad Wes and Andrew brought up the specific promise God made to Abraham in Genesis, “even every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours.” 7 because it truly gives us a picture of what we have been given in Christ Jesus!  We let these promises ring in our hearts and minds as we set about His work.

Prayer: Even As You Go

This brings us to the next important step. We must be in prayer. In the same breath that we are remembering the promises of God, we are praying them back to Him. 8

We are praying for faithful men and women to labor alongside us 9, just as they are promised to us in Scripture. We are praying for those to have ears to hear the Good News and believe it. We are praying that we would find these people and have boldness to share His truth till we find them. 10

And just as we noted in that promise of Abraham it often helps to literally walk the ground the Lord has given us. One of the great benefits of not having a car for a few weeks when we first got to Germany is that we had to walk everywhere. The perfect time to pray! It’s been our practice in all our new homes and neighborhoods, (even when we did have a car!)over the years, to walk and pray over the very land God has given us. It has never failed to bear fruit. We can pray with great joy that we are asking God for what He has already promised: His good work will be completed in this place. 

Places: Know Where To Go

Another great reminder for our family as we start over without any friends or church family is we have great examples to follow in both Jesus and Paul. 

When both Jesus and Paul entered a new location they went to the places of worship first. In short, they went to where people were looking for spiritual things. Even when there wasn’t a synagogue to go to, Paul went down to the river where he knew people went to pray 11. While our family still does church in our home, for the specific purpose of helping those who wouldn’t normally attend a traditional church setting, we are looking for ways to connect with the local body of Christ by joining Bible studies and meeting with churches in our community. We know that He’ll be faithful to show us what He is already doing in our area as we continue to pray for fellow laborers in the harvest to partner along side. 

The great news is that no matter where you are in the great wide world, and whatever you are doing-your Purpose is waiting and God’s plans and promises are waiting. Let’s start praying and asking God where He wants us to go. I can’t wait to see what He’ll do over the next 100 days! 

Abigail is passionate about encouraging and equipping anyone who wants to see their friends, family, and the check-out girl at the local grocery store, have a personal relationship with Jesus. Her first book, The Day Between: A Memoir of Miracles is available on Amazon. You can read even more about her life as a mom and in ministry over at her blog. She lives with her family in San Antonio, TX.

  1. Genesis 1:27-28[/efn], to his last words to His disciples 1Matthew 28:18-20
  2. Matthew 16:24
  3. Matthew 6:25-34
  4. Ephesians 2:10
  5. Acts 18:10
  6. Deuteronomy 11:24
  7. 1 Chronicles 17:23
  8. 2 Timothy 2:2
  9. Romans 11
  10. Acts 16:13-16

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