“Foresee in what business or conversation you will probably be engaged; what opportunities you will have to serve God; to what temptations of offending Him you will be exposed…”¹
In my two previous posts on de Sales’ “Finding God in the Morning,” we examined Steps One and Two. In brief, they are:
- Adore God before all else.
- Be intentional, because eternity is at stake.
Step Three is:
Be alert and purposely plan to do what is right in every situation.
Step Three puts Step Two into action. What does “being intentional” look like in real life? De Sales gives us a list of practical considerations:
- Think about the day that lies ahead of you, then ask yourself “What opportunities will I have today to serve God?”
- Next, think about the temptations that you may face today that would offend God. Are you easily angered? Do you struggle with pride? Will your day be more busy or stressful than usual?
- After thinking through these things, de Sales recommends that we make “a firm resolution to make the best use of those means which shall be offered you to serve God and advance in devotion.”
- He also advised to “dispose yourself carefully to avoid, resist, and overcome whatever may present itself” that would distract you from your devotion to Christ or would dishonor God instead of glorifying Him.
Now he arrives at the meat of this step. It does no good, he says, to decide to make resolutions without “preparing the means” to put them into practice. He then gives a practical example:
If, de Sales says, you know that you are going to have to deal with a person who is easily angered, decide ahead of time that you will not say or do anything purposely to provoke this person to anger. And not only that, but be prepared with words to “prevent his anger.”
That, my friend, is how to live intentionally with eternity in mind.
I Peter 1: 13-16 says, “Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” ²
¹De Sales, Francis. A Devout Life. Public Domain.
²Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.