Intentional Faith — CJ Quartlbaum

CJ Quartlbaum
4 min readMar 17, 2023

Our memories are short and erratic. Neuroscience has shown that we don’t remember things the way we think we do , memories can be into our thoughts, and we all know that we’re supremely forgetful .

How much more is this true when it comes to our faith? It’s no wonder that each of the epistles gives a constant reminder of the Gospel to their original audiences. Trouble comes and we forget everything. Thus the need to remember our hope. We need to remember God’s faithfulness in our lives.


Exodus 13 describes the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The Israelites are instructed to remember, annually, what God had done in delivering them from Egypt. The setting aside of this day is intentional. Can we say that we’re intentional?

Do we really set aside time in our lives for God or is our faith a little more haphazard? We read if we can, pray if we can, and attend church when it’s convenient. We flounder and wonder why our faith feels like it’s on a rollercoaster, unrealizing that our lack of consecration is a very real factor.

We must be intentional about our faith. In dating circles, you will often hear the mantra “people make time for what they want.” Life gets busy. That’s understandable and expected. Things get strenuous and as they do we start to strip away things. Too often, our spiritual disciplines are the first to go. If we want to remain strong Christians, then we simply must make the time to.

It’s not a matter of legalism but of recognizing the life-sustaining power of the Gospel. I grew up in a church that believed if you didn’t read your Bible at 6 am every day then you weren’t going to be blessed in your day. Fortunately, that’s not how God treats us but it is good for us to have regular rhythms for reading God’s word, whether that be at 6 am or 6 pm.


The Israelites are instructed to look back. Strength is found in remembering who God is and what he has done. He delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and through his Son, has delivered us from sin and death. It is his work that transformed our hearts and lives. We would be foolish to forget that.

This is incredibly important as the various trials of life hit us. Remembrance is what carries us through. When I was a kid, church was three hours long. If for any reason it was less than that, my pastor made people share testimonies. He’d pass the mic around and we would hear stories of God’s faithfulness in people’s lives.

At ten, I just wanted to go home and dive into the latest box of Fruity Pebbles. At 35, I understand the power of those moments. Makes me think of Revelation 12:11 where it is said the church triumphs by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.

Remembrance is not just for us, it is for those around us. Sometimes we need to hear how God has done it for others to help us believe that he can do it for us too. We hear their testimonies and say, Lord I’ve seen what you’ve done for others, would you do it for me too?

Remembrance is also important for the next generation.


There are very clear instructions given about passing this knowledge down to their children. Imparting the ability to remember God’s faithfulness is intentional. We model life for our kids and teach them what to do but in reality, more is caught than taught. The intentionality is how we create an environment for handing down the faith.

As I wrote a few weeks ago , too many Christians view handing down the faith as something that happens by osmosis and is simply for the purpose of creating “good people.” But are we looking to impart good values or are we looking to impart life-saving faith?

My kids are young so I can’t give advice on the right or best way to do this because I don’t have good enough anecdotal data. I also know that salvation belongs to the Lord and we can do everything “right” and still raise children who are far from the Lord.

With that said, we should do everything we can to show our children the beauty of life in Jesus, to make real the power of the cross, and to show that he is our only hope in life and death. We want to create the kindling around the sticks that will help the Holy Spirit light the fire in their hearts (I have never actually made a fire but I think that’s how it works).

Look Back

Life is hard. God is faithful. Two very true things. Look back on his goodness in your life. Look back on his power in your life. Look back on his faithfulness to you through Jesus.

Read the stories of Christians in the past. Talk to sisters and brothers for whom God has walked through some of the very same things you’re facing. We are standing on the shoulders of giants. We get to look back on 2,000 years of Church faithfulness and thousands more years of God’s good character.

Look back on your life. Look back on the lives of others and know that God is good.

Originally published at on March 17, 2023.



CJ Quartlbaum

Writer and Speaker from Brooklyn. Race, justice, theology, fitness,and a few random things are what I like to write about.