These past few months God has been teaching me a very valuable lesson…Good intentions without actions are simply DISTRACTIONS!! Since I declared I would follow God’s leading and “Practice My Purpose”, my head has been filled with so many “good intentions”! I intended to write my blog on time, visit or call friends I haven’t seen or spoken to, begin writing my new daily devotional, be a better wife, mom and friend…well the list goes on. But as I sit here typing this today, I know why the saying, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” is so relatable.
I have found that my good intentions allow me to create excuses and justifications in my head that allow my inaction to be acceptable. The thought that I might actually accomplish my list of “good intentions” is enough to keep me distracted from actually accomplishing them. If I’m thinking about it, well that’s good enough. At least I haven’t forgotten that I am supposed to do it…eventually. But this lie distracts me from the truth, that if I don’t do it, it’s not going to get done.
And then there is the guilt and condemnation that comes from not doing what you said you were going to do, even if the only person that knew it was you! The Bible says in Hebrews 4:1, “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.” I realized that I have come short of entering God’s rest, because I have allowed my own ”good intentions” which pave the road to stress…and you know where else; replace my “God intentions” which leads to honoring God and His promise of rest!
I pondered questions like, “Where did these “good intentions” come from? And if these intentions were so good, how come I haven’t achieved them? I must say these are very critical questions to ask! I recognized that I place lots of unnecessary pressure and requirements on myself, just because I think that other people expect me to do it, or that maybe satan is trying to distract me by focusing on the “good intention” vs. the “God intention “.
My answers led me to recognize that many of my “good intentions” were based in what I thought other people expected me to focus on and so I wanted to do them, to please people or make myself look important in their eyes…PRIDE! So I asked God for forgiveness and He allowed me to reflect on the things I actually accomplished these past months and how He somehow still allowed me to do the “God intentions”. I completed my application for my doctoral program, I spent quality time with my niece, I had dinner with my good friend, I listened more than I talked. Now that’s God!
Can I do better?…Absolutely! Will I do better?…Positively! But what I can and will do better is at not focusing on things that are temporary and actions based on my feelings (Good intentions) and instead really focus on doing only what it is that I am led by the Holy Spirit to do in the moment (God intentions)! Now I am not saying that I am going to abandon my responsibilities, because that does not honor God, but one question that I will ask myself from now on is, “Is this a good intention or is this a God intention?” And if it’s God, my answer will be, “Yes, Lord Yes!”