The Intention vs The Process

The Intention vs The Process

Have you ever attended a service and heard a testimony in which the person lays out unfulfilled requests or listed problems with no resolutions. Most testimonies end with “the Lord provided this or fulfilled that” in the person’s life. However, I know some individuals have stories with unresolved concerns that resulted in different outcomes than anticipated. For example, some years ago, I sat for a professional examination after months of preparation with much praying and fasting that resulted in failure. My overall intention like others taking the examination was to receive a passing score then embark upon a path based on the studies that I had vested four years of my life. So, when I received a different result from what I intended, it caused me to wonder with unresolved questions. This white paper attempts to resolve the unresolvable by explaining different intentions. Many times individuals fail to receive what they anticipated. So they question why they failed, and the easiest answer centers on God’s will. We tend to accept that it is not God’s will for you to have this or to obtain that. Yet, I see something very important that we often miss that is unrelated to your intentions. We often forget about the process to grasp what God really intended instead of our individual intentions. Have you ever pondered about God’s intentions? Since humans think differently and perform differently, the individuality on each person makes God’s intention more diversified yet specific as reflected to each individuality. The process to obtain God’s intentions produces similarities. When you grasp the process, you recognize the unique pattern causing what God intended for that particular person. In other words, the process reveals different intentions from a set of events instead of the anticipated outcome when faced with life challenges. The Scripture provides many examples of the process. Remember the three Hebrews – Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and their refusal to bow before the image of the king, so their punishment was death in the fiery furnace. This story clearly clarifies the process as they explained their rationale to the King prior to entering the fiery furnace.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18)

Now they did not specify how God would deliver but only He will deliver. They knew the process and their knowledge of the process enabled them to develop the mindset of serving God no matter if they failed to receive the anticipated outcome. In Job 13:15, Job makes a similar statement despite his unfulfilled request, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him…” In the New Testament, the Savior demonstrates this process by saying, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:42) Please note the irrelevance of each person’s intention with the process of grasping God’s intention. Once you understand the process of grasping God’s intention for ones’ life your focus shifts from your anticipated outcome to a servanthood mindset of serving God like three Hebrews men, Job, and the Savior Jesus Christ despite the results of their intentions.

Relating to my earlier unresolved request of passing that professional examination, I too must understand the process. Here the process leans toward God’s intention of remaining true to His faithfulness rather than the expectation of passing the exam. The actual results of the examination whether passing or failing only exhibited an unrelated intention. As for me, God’s intention redirected a self-evaluation of my reaction while clarifying my true commitment. The process unfolded this revelation that the commitment to God must overwhelm the results of my intentions. Likewise, I encourage you to evaluate your intentions while grasping the process of your unfulfilled requests, which will lead you to connect your intentions with God’s intention for your life. The artist Travis Greene puts the process in a song entitled “Intentional”.

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