Over 40% of the Australian population say they are Christian, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Of this, only 15% are “church goers,” if you classify going to church once a month as regular. And 7% are “extremely involved” meaning attend almost weekly. Yes, I know that attending church is not a great litmus test for someone’s faith. However, how do we challenge ourselves to examine if we are following Christ the way He desires?
The Bible is full of challenges to examine if our beliefs and behaviour align with what Jesus wanted from His disciples. And while we do not earn our salvation through correct theology or doing good works we should want to please Jesus. After all, it is Him who saved us. We owe Him everything. Our life finds its freedom in bringing Him glory through our actions.
So how can we be intentional in our actions? Jesus explained it in two commands: Love God and love others. The key is to be intentional. Love requires a heart choice as well as decisive action. This choice to be intentional should infiltrate every aspect of our life. From how we use our money, to what we watch on TV, to going to church; all are intentional decisions that point to Jesus’ impact on our life.
As this video explains, church can be challenging. The challenge to be intentional in living out our faith is a constant battle. The easy way is for the comfort of familiarity to numb our actions. We have endless choice of things to do with most distracting us from intentionally loving God and others.
The difficult question is to ask, “How does Jesus fit into this decision?” How can I be intentional in my choice? Part of the solution is to be ready to pray and ask God for guidance. Linked in with this is a humble heart to know that He speaks clearly and without error in the Bible. Rather than convincing yourself that your inner voice is actually “God speaking to me,” spend some time wrestling with the underlying principles the Bible gives on your issue.
As the YouTube clip explained my aim to raise support for Mission Aviation Fellowship by doing a triathlon springs from being challenged to do something rather than be comfortable with inaction. Sometimes the battle comes from being intentional in what to do among the numerous worthy things to pray for or support. But the secret is to be part of this journey of being intentional.
Jeremy Dover is a former sports scientist and Pastor
Jeremy Dover's previous articles may be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jeremy-dover1.html