One of my favorite scriptures is Romans 8:27-28
And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
I love that God searches my heart because if I were judged, solely, by my actions, you might witness a fact but not see the truth. Sometimes my actions are contrary to my heart’s intent: for example, being consumed in my thoughts and not hearing the soft whisper of a child’s “hello” or running out of the store, because I’m late for school pick-up, and letting the door hit the little ol’ lady behind me. Most observers might think, “she is so rude” and, based on my actions alone, they would be right. However, when I practice, “being present,” I would never do either of those things.
So, why do I harshly judge the actions of others when they do similar things to me? For example, when I’m driving and the person cuts me off, or when I waved and spoke to someone, who walked in the opposite direction to avoid me? Because I rely upon my five senses when interacting with others; unlike God, I cannot search their hearts–and neither can they search mine. In the examples mentioned, my car lights were not on when the person cut me off, and the other person was not avoiding me–she did not see me. I, incorrectly, judged both parties.
Although we should not be quick to judge with our senses, we do have a resource:
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
Friends, I never worry when someone judges me, because God knows the intention of my heart. And because He’s an Intentional God, I don’t worry about the intentions of others.
The Intentional God
Previously, I lived a life full of regret. I regretted, having the parents I had, I regretted my childhood, I regretted being raised in poverty, I regretted not making wise choices, I regretted–you get the picture–a life full of regret. But 10 years ago, in my devotion time, the Lord asked me 2 questions that changed my life:
- Do you love me? (Like Peter, I emphatically said, “Yes, you know I do.”)
- Do you believe you are called according to my purpose? Again, I said “yes.”
And his next words set me free:
“Then ALL things will work for you good.” Romans 8:28
The reasons Romans 8:28 is one of my favorite scriptures is because it loosed me from the bondage of a life full of regret, and allowed me to see The Intentional God.
- My negligent parents forced me to lean on God to teach me how to parent–that works for my good.
- Living in poverty gave me a deep appreciation for the gifts God lavishes upon me; I don’t take them for granted–that works for my good.
- A bad marriage, and costly divorce, taught me that I was too broken to be yoked to anyone. This made me pursue healing and wholeness–that works for my good.
- Making bad choices demonstrated to me that I was not wise, so I have to depend on God, who is all-knowing–that works for my good.
Friends, there is not ONE area that I viewed as regrettable, that God has not made work for my good–not one.
For balance, I must explain what I mean by The Intentional God. God did not cause my parents to be neglectful or raise me in poverty. He did not cause me to say “yes” to my ex-husband’s marriage proposal. He did not cause me to make bad decisions, but He knew those things would happen. And in His infinite wisdom, He intentionally allowed them because He knew, too, that He would make it work for my good. Are you praising Him with me yet? To God Be The Glory!
Since we are created in the image of God, we should be intentional too. We do not have to be slaves to our circumstances; we can, intentionally, choose to live free.
In a few days, I will share a free resource to help you. It’s a short, 7-day video series that will show you how to begin living a life of purpose, passion and prosperity–just like God intended.
Click here, and I’ll send the information as soon as it is available.
Until then, please enjoy one of my favorite songs: