Intentions! We all have them. Sometimes we keep them and sometimes we don’t. I have come to realize success in keeping intentions somewhat depends on how you define the word – “intention.”
Intentions From the Dictionary
A peek in a good dictionary reveals the flavor of the word “intentions.” It mentions things like:
- purpose or attitude toward what you are setting out to do.
- a mental determination on some direction.
- the end intended.
Generically, those meanings help define “intentions.” I decided to check out the word “intend” for added meaning and found interesting ideas (dictionary.com):
- have a purpose or design.
- to design or to mean for a particular purpose,
- have in mind something to be done or brought about,
- to plan.
As I pondered these definitions, and considered the modern, common use of the word, I drew a conclusion. Perhaps the word “intentions” has morphed over the years from a strong goal and plan into a different, more current use. Nowadays, “intentions” seems to have a much less critical commitment connected to it. A person intends something, but there is always the option to “not intend it.” I think this new definition affects people significantly.
I’m going to toss an idea to you that I think is fairly credible. It’s the idea of your right hand. That’s right. Scripture talks about the right hand a lot. When it does, it’s referring to your power center. “The right hand is a symbol of ability, strength, and power, providing services of protection and resources.” ¹
So, whether you are right-handed or left-handed, it’s time to look at the idea of life patterns and habits . . . and your right hand. Simply: your right hand is the exercise of your will. It is yours to manage.
God talks about His right hand, too. And it’s also the exercise of His will. It’s His to manage.
Scriptures About Right Hand
Let’s look at some Scriptures that talk about the right hand. There are many! Do a word search sometime. The idea is the same as our previous discussion – the symbol, the center, the wielding place of power.
- Ps. 16:8 – I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
- Ps. 18:35 – You make Your saving help my shield, and Your right hand sustains me; Your help has made me great.
- Ps. 63:8 – I cling to you; Your right hand upholds me.
- Is. 41:10 – So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
- Is. 41:13 – For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
Put the Right Hand and Intentions Together
We are going to put the idea of right hand together with intentions. Did you notice in the above Scriptures that God uses His power, and it’s referred to as His right hand? Did you notice God’s love expressed for you? You may have also noticed some verses referred to your right hand. Now draw the conclusion. God intends to take your right hand with His right hand and give you what you lack. He intends to help you do what you are incapable of doing. But – you must have “buy-in” to make this your reality. God promises. No issue there. He is faithful and always keeps His promises. Where might the issue be, then? Do you trust God’s love enough to put your power center directly into His power center? Your right hand into His right hand? Are you willing to give Him control of your life?
Intentions Affect Your Life Patterns and Habits
Your life patterns are formed by thoughts, attitudes, words, and actions you choose each day. Your power center (your will) carries these out. So, really, the “right hand” is the place where your life patterns take root. Here, in that place, habits are created – or broken. You have the controls. Entrenched life patterns and habits may explain why you might be having some failures in progress toward goals you selected. These patterns can be in the very fabric of your life. You will need to understand them better to change them.
Time To Explore
Before we explore how to change, I want to say something pivotal: Your right hand will never be what it was created to be until you surrender completely to God. That means die to self, become a living sacrifice, bring yourself and line-up directly under His principles. Everything in your life should sync with Scripture – like you sync your computer or device. As you place your right hand into God’s right hand, you are infused with God’s power. That’s the power you were meant to live with. If you sincerely do this with resolve (with sincere intention) you will begin to change your life patterns and habits.
Application – Intentions to Reality
You can turn your intentions into reality. Yes, you can change your life patterns and habits. But you need to take up the “older” definition of “intentions,” not the modern one – and you need to put your right hand into God’s right hand. It helps to select a Scripture promise to give you inspiration and strength. Search God’s Word for verses that apply to your situation. Claim these every day. God’s Word is the power of your right hand!
Steps to Turn Intentions Into Reality
- First, be truly honest and identify areas needing change. Write them down.
- Second, take responsibility for patterns that are not keepers. Ask yourself why they are there? Why did you build them, perhaps years ago? Fear? Pride? Insecurity? Boredom? Bad company? Deception? Irritation? Losses? Frustration? Laziness? Impatience?
- Third, develop a plan of intentions to break unhealthy patterns. They won’t just go away. You need specific goals and objectives. This takes thought and prayer. Reflect on the roots you identified in steps 1 and 2. Example: You may identify loneliness as a root issue that has propelled you into certain life patterns. You will not have success breaking a life pattern without addressing loneliness.
You’re Almost Done – But You Need 2 More Critical Steps
- Ask God for wisdom. James 1:5-8 helps. You may need healing before you can move forward. Schedule “alone time” with God to process. Perhaps you simply need a good kick in the pants. You must succeed at this level or you will never break free.
- Finally, pray over the plan you develop. Ask God to help you succeed. Search the Scriptures for a promise to apply to your work. Then watch God keep His promise (if you do your part). Your part is to carry out with resolve what you and God identify together and develop. He will help you because God loves you!
What If You Fail?
If you fail, do not waste time or energy on shame or feeling sorry for yourself. Immediately tell God (He already knows, but this is for you.) Confess any sin. Recommit to your process and your plan, and ask Him to continue to help you. Tell Him, “I believe You. You can do anything!” And then get going again.
I want to share a final Scripture mentioned previously. It’s a really great tie-in with the right hand and your intentions to take management over your life patterns and habits. May God give wisdom as you trust Him and work at taking responsibility, exercising resolve, intending – the way God defines “intention.” May you build your life habits and patterns in a way honors God, is congruent with Scripture, is healing to your own heart, and influential in a world that is looking for directions and help. God bless you!
“For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Is. 41:13) “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with MY righteous right hand.” (Is. 41:10)
¹ Celebrate Advent: A Life Response to Emmanuel, Day 9, B.Wolfe.