"Fixed Intent" to do God's Will


Obedience to God's word is foundational to a life of spiritual formation.  That is easy to say but it's where 'the rubber meets the road' the reality of our faith.The Message puts it this way in James 2:14-15 'Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it?'  John Wesley refers to a 'fixed intent to do God's will'.  I am often so half-hearted about my intent. I want to do his will as long as it is convenient and easy, doesn't require much pain or difficulty and of course it makes me look spiritual.  But 'fixed intent' is much more substantial, primary and basic to obedience.  It is not about feeling it in the moment but a deep longing and desire to follow God's will and direction for my life.

Robert Mulholland, Jr. suggests in "Shaped by the Word, The Power of Scripture in Spiritual Formation" puts it this way: "If we find ourselves equivocating, rationalizing, justifying our lack of obedience, then we need to back up ...and examine our hearts before God at that point.  How sincere am I here? Am I seeking the whole will of God for my life? Do I want the living Word to probe and penetrate any and all areas of my being and doing? Do I really have a fixed intent to obey?"  My desire is to turn my heart towards God all the time but that fixed intent has sometimes faded.

John Hilliard