There is wonderful book that I read last year that is based on a true story of a man named "Jones" that had a remarkable ability to see things from a different perspective. The book is titled The Noticer and Andy Andrews, the author, penned a sentence that has been engraved on the wall of my brain since I read it. The sentence read "There is absolutely no power in intention." He goes on to use the example of a seagull that is sitting on the dock with the rest of his flock and is thinking about taking to the air. It does not matter how much the seagull thinks about flying because simply having the intention does absolutely nothing. The power does not come until the thought is put into action.
Now, although this is a great book and I highly recommend that you read it, it is not the first time that this truth has been presented to me. As most of us are already aware, in James 2: 17 it's written that "faith, if it hath not works, is dead" which brings up the question that most Christians stumble over. How does faith become works? How does intention turn into action? To put it into the shortest answer possible, it doesn't. The point that James goes on to prove is that faith is not possible without works and works is not possible without faith. To use an example that everyone could get behind, faith is to works what peanut butter is to jelly. By having just a piece of bread with peanut butter on it, I do not miraculously have a PB & J sandwich and the same is true with jelly. James was explaining that it isn't until you have both your peanut butter (faith) and your jelly (works) that you have something beautiful come to life! Our belief in Christ and his saving grace does absolutely no good if we don't share it with someone else.
We can have the greatest intentions for our life and those that are in our life. Living a life full of intentions without combining it with action, however, leads to a life empty of accomplishments. With this in mind, the next time you have an intention for something that could better the kingdom of God, remember that it is not enough to have the thought. You must follow the thought through with action. The hard work will not be in vain because as Matthew 25:23 proves "faithfulness over a few things" leads to entering "into the joy of the Lord."
Make a point to have faith that works!
John 14:15 NKJV -  "If you love Me, keep My commandments.
God demands obedience, but not to snuff all enjoyment out of life or to hold us hostage and keep us from a pleasurable life. Any “restrictions” or boundaries that God asks us to keep are not to keep pleasure from us, but to protect our relationship with Him. He’s a loving father and any good parent will set boundaries for their children to protect them so they can live a long, happy, healthy life.
God is love and everything He says and does is motivated by love. Thus, obedience to God’s commands is our way of loving Him back and it frees us to live the fulfilled life that He intended for us. One of the greatest gifts God gave man at creation was free will. God gave us the power to choose, but expected obedience. Having the power to choose for ourselves whether or not to be obedient to Him makes the relationship all the more special. When Adam and Eve disobeyed in the Garden of Eden, it fractured their relationship with God and instead of waiting for Him in the cool of the day with excitement, they were hiding in fear and shame. What a tragedy!
God is faithful and has great things planned for us, but if we live disobediently, we remove ourselves from the confines of His faithfulness and leave ourselves open to great disaster.
Don't look at God’s commands as confining fences keeping you from living life to the fullest, but realize that they are guardrails keeping you from plummeting to certain doom. If you REALLY love God the way you say you do, then commit yourself to a life of bold, faithful obedience. You will never regret this and it will provide you with a life of peace, freedom and close friendship with the Savior.
Patrick A. Thomson