An Act of Intentional Obedience

Changed PrioritiesThe older I get, the more I realize that my life is pulled along by the currents of priorities. Those priorities are either set by God, set by others, or set by whatever personal desires seize the moment. And sadly enough, most of us don’t even realize it. Our day’s events are rarely intentionally determined by a guiding list of principles. Rather, we respond to the immediate needs of others or the most recent, loudest demands. Then, to shut out all the voices and neediness around us, we crawl into our personal escapes, justifying that we need the rest or need to “get away.”

All too often, I’ve found that as busy as I get doing all the work that has been given me to do, I can still feel empty, like I haven’t accomplished anything of real worth or value. Why? It’s simple enough. I’ve allowed other people and other things and those fruitless desires within me to divert me from the work that matters most. I’ve heard people say that the things which matter the most don’t shout at us; they whisper. So, it’s all too easy to confuse the crass, bossy voices of the immediate for the calm, patient invitation of the most valuable.

So, why the philosophical foray?

For too long, Jesus has been after me to focus on two things: listening and writing. I love to listen, yes! But I wonder if I spend my time listening to the best things… For me, reading and praying are far better ways to listen than just keeping up with the latest Facebook updates or news stories. After listening comes the act of writing in a way that moves others to think, act, and move towards the God who made them.

As an act of intentional obedience to God, I’m keeping a blog. I’ve tried blogging in the past, but eventually lesser things would creep in and smother away the time it takes. So, I’ll be posting a blog at least three times a week. Hold me accountable for it! I invite you to be in conversation with me as well.

At the same time, let me ask you: what are a few essential, valuable things that have gone neglected? Will you join me in picking up and keeping only the very best??


Filed under Spiritual Growth and Practice

4 Responses to An Act of Intentional Obedience

  1. Phil Ayers

    Chris, I really enjoyed the blog. Excellent insights. I would offer that something far too neglected is the concept of inclusiveness. I serve a congregation with 18 different nations represented each Sunday. One of their greatest strengths i their diversity. However, this diversity has created an inclusiveness that is “natural” to their thinking. In both society and the Conference, inclusiveness seems to be a forced issue that is constantly fleeting. We say we “want” to be inclusive, but we only talk about the desire without really doing anything. It is frustrating.

  2. pastorchrisowens

    Thanks for your comments, Phil! Reading the accounts from the New Testament, either Acts or Paul’s letters, inclusiveness has always been a struggle. I think the remedy for a more inclusive church is not sensitivity training or sermons/teachings on inclusiveness, but rather a new filling of the Holy Spirit. In Acts, whenever the Holy Spirit came on the scene, all those ethnic barriers broke apart. I also think of the Asuza Street revival which launched the Pentecostal movement. That was a cross-racial revival at a time long before desegregation…
    Keep at it, Phil! You and I know it’s well worth it…

  3. I’m so glad that you’ve decided to blog again. I will definitely be an avid reader as you always have something insightful to say that tends to speak to me. What a blessing you are Chris!

    • pastorchrisowens

      Thank you, Alex! And I really look forward to your comments, thoughts, and suggestions, as well… I definitely value what you have to say.

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