Have you ever found yourself begging and pleading with God for Him to show you what to do? You SO want to please Him and serve Him…but how? What does He want from you? What does He require? Sometimes it seems like all your questions go unanswered, and you wonder where to start to find His will.
Well, here is a perfect place to start: Micah 6:8.
Background photo: istockphoto, Ilena Simeonova
I won’t spend much time on the background history here, but God used Micah to prophesy to His people, who had fallen away from Him (750-687 BC). There was corruption, idolatry, poor civil government, violence and the belief that personal sacrifice satisfies divine justice.
Much like today, in fact.
But even in the midst of impending judgment for their wickedness, God was reaching for the hearts of His people.
It’s His redemptive thread. It’s what He’s always done.
For those of you who read my posts regularly, you know that my devotional posts both here and on my other blog, come straight from my own life’s journey and are usually fresh (sometimes raw) takes from what God is speaking to my heart along the way. And this scripture is no different. God is working this one on me and it kinda hurts. A lot.
See, I’ve been asking God to show me His Big Plan: the great unfolding of ministry or purposes that seem hidden from me. “Pleeheeheeeze, God!” And not surprisingly, God hasn’t given me a clear vision of the future, just a clear vision of what He wants me to do today. Right now.
And I’m convinced that getting this verse right will lead me to the next step in His plan for me.
I think of Micah 6:8 as a “bottom line” statement that is repeated throughout scripture in different ways. It holds straight answers for those who really want to know how to please God. God is saying here, “look, you don’t need a new word from me, I’ve already told you what I require.” Let’s take the three requirements and see how they might apply to our own situations.
1. Act justly: In other words, live according to justice and do what’s right. Now before we happily skip on to the next part because we’ve got this one covered, let’s ask a few questions.
Do I owe anything to anyone?
Have I cheated on my finances, taxes or legal obligations?
Do I tell the truth?
Have I “done right” by people? Treated others as they should be treated.
Are there sins that need to be confessed and turned from?
Am I living by God’s moral law?
I have to be honest and tell you that I was jolted out of bed at 5 am the other morning to make of list of things I needed to make right. I couldn’t sleep. I owe someone a forgotten sales commission from 2004 and I need to pay it. I’ve said I would do something for someone and have not fulfilled my promise. I got a pretty good little list going. I know God can’t bless me further until I obey His conviction to live justly today.
2. Love mercy: Some translations say, “love kindness.”
Am I merciful to others when I have it in my power to help someone?
Do I live in such a way that others are first, and I am last?
Do I see my material blessings as a means to bless others?
Do I give of myself only when it is convenient?
I’m so aware that I don’t LOVE mercy! I sorta like it when it’s convenient, but I can’t say that my actions reflect the heart of God in all circumstances. Being merciful and loving kindness should be my way of life, no matter where I am or what I’m doing. That’s His will for me.
3. Walk humbly with your God: Live in complete dependence upon a holy, righteous and awesome God. He alone deserves glory.
Do I make decisions based on how they will benefit me, or God’s kingdom?
Do I feel the need to take credit for the wonderful things I’ve done?
Do I feel I “deserve” a particular job/ministry/position/recognition?
Do I rely on my good deeds to count, when my heart is far from Him?
Walking humbly doesn’t fit too well in our culture. We now must tweet our every stellar action, and post photos of our accomplishments on our own websites. We’re so aware of personal marketing that even parenting has become fodder for the “look at me” society. I fight the urge to look really spiritual and all put together for the people who frequent my blog. Do you struggle with this, too? I think all of this lops over into our spiritual life. I want to be willing to be nothing, if it means glorifying Him.
Finding God’s will for your life is really pretty simple. It starts, and ends, with your heart. When you begin applying the paradigm found in Micah 6:8, you’ll be amazed at how clear things become. As for me, I feel like I’m waking up in the middle of heart surgery…and although I’d like to jump off the operating table, I know my heart needs fixing. I want to embrace all that God has for me, and that means obeying what He’s already shown me.
Act justly, love mercy, walk humbly.
Would you take some time to ask yourself some hard questions? Work through the things that God has “already showed you.” Let this be a foundation for Him to build on, and I have a hunch that all the rest of His will for you will fall right into place.
How does this scripture speak to where you are at?