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The 2017 Intent Challenge

by Jessica Starks

There are only eleven months left in 2017! Can you believe it?

Every December, I like to pray and really listen to what God wants from me and my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Last year was no different.

After about two weeks of prayer, God placed two simple words on my heart for 2017. At first, I assumed that maybe this was His personal word for me, but after hearing confirmation from a number of different places, I feel in my heart that these two words were intended for everyone.

What were the two words God told me?

Be Intentional.

That’s it. Just be intentional. In all of your efforts throughout rest of this year, I challenge you to be intentional. God was intentional when He created you, so why shouldn’t we be intentional in how we live the life He gave us?

In every word, action, thought or response, be intentional. In everything acknowledge God and do it to ensure that He gets all the glory and praise.

So the next question is, “What exactly can I do? How do I challenge myself to be intentional?”

Here are a few ways to be intentional throughout the year:

  • Be a Giver

Pay for someone’s food, donate to a charity, help an elderly person, or volunteer in your community. Do something to help others without expecting anything in return!

  • Be Positive

Make an effort to compliment at least one person every day, create an affirmation that will help you to remain positive and spread positivity throughout the day, leave random notes on your coworkers’ desks to make them smile.

  • Be Consistent  

It’s normal for everyone to have a bad day, but it is up to you to ensure that you don’t let one minor thing ruin your day. You never know how your mood could impact someone else. You simply not smiling one day can change a person’s life for the worse. Make an effort to not allow obstacles or situations that may come your way to dim your light.

  • Be Real

Genuine people are a rare treasure in our world today. Sometimes God wants us to address the elephant in the room or discuss a controversial topic. Sometimes, God just wants us to do stuff that nobody likes to do, but He called us to be the ones to take on the challenge! So when God tells you to write that post about homosexuality, write it! When He tells you to call your friend out, call her out! When He asks you to go talk to that prostitute, talk to her! Like they say, “Obedience is better than sacrifice.” God will bless you for following His instructions.

  • Be Spirit-Led

Tap into God in this season. You can’t be obedient to God if you don’t hear Him, right? Make an effort to read your Bible more often, whether it be through going to weekly Bible study or following plans on a Bible app. Listening to God’s word consistently will help you to better hear this voice. Lastly, pray! Prayer is a conversation with God. Talk to Him, ask Him questions – He will answer! Fasting is also another excellent route to take to hear the Lord speak.

Keep these five things in mind as we go through 2017 – you can even add to this list if you’d like! Whatever God places upon your heart to do, challenge yourself to be intentional for 2017.

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Jessica Starks

Jessica Starks is a Social Media & Content Strategist, as well as a blogger at The Pen & the Needle. When Jessica isn't working, she loves reading, writing, and watching old movies. Jessica's goal is to inspire other Christians to push forward and pursue Christ.

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