The devil loves to get me off balance.
Yes, I need to be motivated by relationship, good intentions, and good attitude/ but on the other hand I need to have relationship, good attitude and good intentions backed up by habits tools and efforts that lead to that end.
There is an old but practical saying,” Good intentions, (without relevant habits, tools, supports and plans), pave the road to hell.” Or, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”
The devil may try to convince me of the importance of habits and then get me to focus on the rituals and the habits as an end in themselves . He then suggests I need to maintain the habits and do more and more in order to maintain God’s love for me. Then, like the foolish Galatians having been saved by grace, I might find myself struggling to be perfected through my efforts. I forget that the same thing that saves me, keeps me, namely, the grace of God.
Or, the devil may tempt me in the opposite direction and convince me that having good intentions, good attitude and feelings of love are enough and I do not need good habits to back them up. In fact he suggests that setting aside regular times for prayer or bible study or attending church, will get into the “romance” of it all. “If you truly love God, it should just bubble out of you spontaneously!”
I have found, that if a couple want to grow in their love and keep it strong. They need to schedule times to share, times to pray together, times to problem solve, times to date etc.
It is the same with my walk with God, I need to look at what are my hopes and intentions and then put habits in place to back them up. I just need to be careful to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and not just focus on the habits. He says, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” “In all you do, your goal is to get to know me more. To do this you need to follow where I am going, do what I am doing, feel what I am feeling. You need to let me direct our paths together.”
The problem is that every church or individual believes that they have to balance right. Only by crying out with the desperate father, “Lord I believe, help thou my unbelief,” “Lord I do love you and my spouse and family and your word and your church, help me to love them more and develop to habits to minister more effectively to seek their best more effectively.”