Updated: Jan 29, 2019
God has been laying it on my heart heavily to be more intentional with the people He puts in my life. He reminds me just how I make the time to be intentional with Him, I too should display that not only onto myself but also with others and with the same Love that God shows me, I too should also show myself and allow Him to manifest His love through me unto others more often.
When we choose to incorporate God’s truth of His goodness to our lives, we ultimately are choosing to allow Him to place us in the right seasons to receive His blessings but to be a blessing to those He puts around us. As I make time to be intentional with Him, He in returns renews my mind and makes me aware of being intentional with myself and unto people.
3 John 1:2 (NASB) Apostle John writes,
"Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers."
When scriptures speak about the soul, it is referring to our mind, our will, our emotions, our intellect. Not only does He want us to be successful in every area of our lives, but He also wants our health to thrive in the same category of “all things” and to do so, the only way of catching hold to this concept is through a better quality of mental health. And why is that? The key here is “soul prosperity.”
He knows that our lives get stressful at times. Scriptures make it clear that He wants our soul to be healed, so we can thrive, and are able to adapt or adjust to the things that come up in our lives by trusting in Him and be triumphant through Him in whatever obstacle we may face. God understands that mental affliction does play a direct role to our autonomic nervous system that physically responds to stress that can eventually drains or wears down the body.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt 11: 28-29 NIV).
Notice the word “rest” is mentioned twice. The word rest means to not only refresh us in the midst of uncertainty but to quiet our mind when the voices of our situations and circumstances that try to work against us begin to get too loud (Baker & Zodhiates, 2008, p. 2062-2063). He gave us a Savior ready to give; “to quiet our mind in the midst of” if we are willing to be intentional to seek it from Him. It is Jesus Christ that quiets our mind through the reassurance of His word. His word is a form of self-care that brings peace to our souls, to our mind. Studies have shown that improved mental health, allows us to process our emotions better, we see more value and self-worth in ourselves, and even through high stressed moments in our lives we can still enjoy living a full and productive life that will cause us to strive to improve ourselves inwardly and outwardly (Grossman, Paul, et al., 2004).
God is so good that He just doesn’t stop from there. I love His compassion for you and me because He knows we are human, and humans also need human interaction as well to psychologically survive. Therefore, He also recognizes the importance of good friendships refreshes our spirit-man within. God uses people to invigorate our hearts/our minds and our affection towards Him. Many times, Apostle Paul wrote in his letters how his spirit-man was refreshed by people of God, by the love they showed unto him and other believers. When we actively pursue good friendships with the people God places in our lives, He provides the power to refresh our spirit-man by His Spirit that works in us. Through the leading of the Holy Spirit, we can move past the superficial familiarities and get intentional with our friendships, allowing Him to use us for God’s glory. When we allow our everyday behaviors to be Spirit-led, we find ourselves partaking in obedience that goes beyond ourselves. We need to be aware of the importance of God’s leading for our lives. When He changes our behaviors, it is to improve us in every area of our lives. When we get together outside of our connect groups and outside the building of a church, we show the world what it is to harmonize, how to encourage, and most importantly how to accept each other the same way Christ accepted us. When we actively choose to pursue good friendships, we tap into genuineness. And it’s that type of authenticity that God uses to cultivate genuine friendships to advance His Kingdom.
In all sincerity, please don’t underrate the little things because it is the little things that can make a big difference. Little things like making the time to call or text someone that God has placed on your mind or setting aside some time for coffee or lunch with the new girl that moved in your neighborhood or who just got hired at your job or who just joined Bible Study. What I’m saying is, never underestimate God’s timing when He asks us to be intentional. You never know what another person is going through at that specific moment in time and He just so happens to lead you to reach out. Have you ever told someone or said out loud, “I thank God, that He put you or so-in-so in my Life?” I know I have, plenty of times. God can put certain people in our lives for a season, for a reason, and for a purpose. And you can very well be that person I speak of from the prayer of someone else. And if you want that experience for yourself or for someone else, ask in prayer and He will send that unique person/s to do just that.
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Baker, W., & Zodhiates, S. (2008). New Testament Dictionary . In The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible(p. 2062-2063). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.
Grossman, P., Niemann, L., Schmidt, S., & Walach, H. (2004). Mindfulness-based stress reduction and health benefits A meta-analysis. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 57, 35-43.