There must be purposeful intent in the life of one who claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ, self-regulated, self-governed while simultaneously submissive to the Holy Spirit and His leading.
The trap that Israel fell into after time was that the commandments of God, the law given by Moses became routine, followed out of an obligation, and not a willing heart. “I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.” (Amos 5:21) That was the Lord’s response. The Roman Catholic cult is an appropriate example of this in these days, routines, traditions, laws that must be followed, the heart comes second. All religious organizations that base themselves in some form of works have no purpose in faith outside of those expressed works, even most Evangelical churches in these days follow a pattern that can be expected week after week.
There is little intent to worship the Lord God with a broken and contrite heart, in humble service to His will and Word with purposeful intent. Sunday morning is the best most can do, and for most it is the only place they will attempt to do so. Beyond the Holy Bible, the inerrant Word of God, undefiled and set, the Lord has been silent for two thousand years, and as the saying goes, “When the cat is away, the mice will play.”
The just have always lived by faith, “Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” (Gal. 3:6) But purposeful intent has left the hearts of many, and far too many base their relationship with the Lord on whether or not they attain or lose materialistic items in their lives, while others base that same life of faith on the current emotional context they may be experiencing. “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Phil. 4:11) If I have stuff or I have nothing, if I feel happy today or if pain and sorrow envelope me, the just live by faith, and they do so with purposeful intent.
Secure in the knowledge that “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) That if I feel alone, I am never alone, that if I am cast out into the street or placed in a warm comfortable room, I am loved.
It never ceases to amaze me how many people who claim to be saved by grace through faith in Christ love to hear the accounts of the Scriptures, of all those examples for us, but are the first to complain when what they consider adverse reactions enter into the realm of their lives, “Thy will be done” are not the first words that come out of their mouths.
Purposeful intent is an act that we must perform, the Holy Spirit is not going to take control over your body or mind, you will not be controlled, turned into a robot, you must make the willful decision, by your own free will, to serve, and as I have said so many times, the circumstances that you find yourself in at the moment, nor the possible consequences to yourself should be of no concern to you. Routines and traditions can quite easily replace purposeful intent, sheep can just as easily be led to the slaughter as to the Savior.
Adhering to the Sunday morning obligation does not a Christian make, obeying the commandments of the Lord does not make a profitable servant, without a heart that serves solely out of love, there is nothing more than the fulfillment of what has been commanded, and those that do so fulfill Matthew 15:8, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” Is your service to Christ an obligation, or done out of a love for Him who first loved us? Who are you serving, Christ or you? Is your life led by Him, or are you attempting to make Him lead you where you want to go?