Yes, actions need to be intentional actions. Hypocrisy is a real danger. But I was raised believing that the intention to please God had to precede the action. My exposure to Judaism makes me think that it doesn’t matter which comes first. A typical non-Messianic Jew thinks he or she needs to make themselves feel thankful and only then give thanks. I want to give thanks and allow that to help me to feel thankful.
And this is a gift I believe Messianic Jewish Christians can give to Gentile believers; to encourage them in Habits of Holiness — helping them to live not just plotting “what would Jesus do” each step of the way, but to live in the rhythm of the Scriptures — to be so immersed and affected by it, that becomes the default