3 Rules for Intentional Living

137e0baToo many of us go through life living one day at a time.  It’s get up in the morning, hurry through breakfast, maybe get the kids off to school, rush to work, put in your time, go home, watch TV, and fall into bed – then repeat until the weekend.  Weekends bring a pattern of trying to do a few pressing chores, trying to have a little fun, maybe going to church, watching more TV and falling into bed to start another cycle.

Is that what God intended for us?  Is that what living is all about?  It seems we stumble through life letting each day bring what it may and reacting to circumstances as they pour over us.  If life seems to be slipping away, I’ve been thinking about the wisdom God’s Word can bring to the situation.  The Bible describes the Christian life as a process or way of walking pleasing to God.  Ephesians chapter 5 is a great place to examine the way Christ-followers are to live.  Let’s just look at a few verses as we go:

Ephesians 5:8 … now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light. 

So what does walking as children of Light look like?

Ephesians 5:10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 

Do you want to live a life of intentionally pleasing the Lord?  Ephesians continues with three rules.

Rule 1:  Be Careful. 

This doesn’t mean walking through life in fear of doing something wrong.  It means to move through the days, weeks, months, and years taking care to live wisely by what God’s Word says… and absolutely taking care not to waste time with worldly junk.

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.       Ephesians 5:15–16 

Maybe we need to ask ourselves if watching 5 hours of TV a night is making the most of the time God has given you.

Rule 2:  Don’t Be Stupid.

So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.         Ephesians 5:17 

The Greek word for “foolish” in the original text means exactly that, “do not be stupid.”  This is not about IQ ratings; it is about being ignorant of what the Lord wants for your life.  Do you know what the will of the Lord is?  For more on this, you might want to check out one of my earlier blogs entitled “What Does God Want?” http://www.lenmallen.com/?p=720  How much time during the week do you spend asking the Lord what He wants you to be doing?  How much time looking into His word to discover what it says is God’s will for your life?  More time than you spend playing games on your electronic toys?

Rule 3:  Fill It Up.

Too many of us stop at the first phrase of this next verse… but don’t stop.  The positive statement is way more important than the negative one.  Let me pick up the verse with the positive statement of rule 3.

…  but be filled with the Spirit,       Ephesians 5:18 

Ask yourself if God’s Spirit fills every aspect of your life:  your work, your play, your friends, your worship.  Maybe it’s time for a change.  The next obvious question would be how do I fill my life with the Holy Spirit?  Just keep reading for another great list of actions we can all take to heart.

speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.       Ephesians 5:19–21

Doesn’t that sound like the kind of fellowship you find in church – singing, giving thanks, sharing with one another?

Now, I’m not saying we should leave our jobs and stop spending recreational time with friends and family.  We need to do those things.  But I am saying, that if I’m careful, and not stupid about my time, I just might be able to fill more of my life worshiping and serving others.

And what would God think of that?

Think about it.


  • Maureen Ray (@RayGrevillea) says:

    You have become as a dear friend to me. Your posts in their reading are most instructive offering the love of Christ Jesus and the wisdom of a true saint. May you be greatly blessed.


    • Len Allen says:

      What a wonderful thing for you to say. Blessings right back at you. I’m so grateful to be able to share these thoughts of mine with people who are, in turn, encouraged, entertained, provoked to thought, and challenged. Please spread the word of this blog. Let your friends and family know how it’s been fun for you and encourage them to subscribe. It’s free and they can always “UN” subscribe if I should offend. I’ve Been Thinking… the more the merrier!
      Thanks again for the great comment. Keep reading – keep thinking.

  • janie joaquin says:

    Very inspired, my friend. Would love to hear more.

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