<<planned action>>          

Intentions are more than casual dreams or wishes that don’t amount to anything, yet they don’t get the job done either as they can become procrastinated action. There is a need for planning and timing but also for implementing and moving towards the goal. The motivation to bring something into reality must be stronger than anything trying to prevent it. Laziness and putting something off "till a more convenient time" have pronounced the death sentence on many envisaged things (Act 24:25). Seldom does a convenient time arrive and we are not guaranteed tomorrow or another opportunity (Lk 12:20; 2 Cor 6:2). Don't delay or harden your heart to the Holy Spirit, especially regarding repenting and turning to Jesus for salvation (Heb 3:15). Rather respond with “As for me and my house…” this will be our course of action (Josh 24:15). David was commended for the good intention that was in his heart to build the temple, for although not permitted to build the structure, he did assemble much of the materials (1 Chr 22:7,8).

Sometimes we act on our intentions but are too late, being out of timing with God's directions. The Israelites realised they had made a mistake, yet without repenting of their sin of not responding as and when God wanted,

When will you act on your good intentions?

now in presumption decided to follow His 'out-of-date' instructions which met with disastrous consequences (Num 14:40-45). God requires that we obey His instructions quickly, not as a last resort when there is no other option available.  The Word of God exposes our innermost thoughts and desires, and although wrong intentions haven’t damaged or affected another person they are still sin; the planning of evil is tarnishing the purity of thought that God expects of His followers and so needs to be repented of (Heb 4:12).  Jesus declared that if the act is sinful, then so is the intention or desire that precedes it (Mt 5:27,28). What Joseph’s brothers had intended for his harm God used for good, even to bless them (Gen 50:20).

The NT gives several examples of people who expressed their intention to follow Jesus but the cost was too high or other priorities came first (Mk 10:17-22; Lk 9:57-62). The magnetic pull of the flesh can easily overpower the important actions of obedient faith (Mk 14:38).

God’s intention and objective is that through the church His wisdom is shown to the lost world (Eph 3:10). That means I am a vital part and should be actively involved, not just giving lip service to this purpose.

See also: actions/activity, desires, motive/motivation, plans and purposes, procrastination, risk, thinking/thoughts.