What Does God Want From You?
“No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8 NLT
It’s really pretty simple. God’s will for you and me is not some complex, hard to figure out, mysterious thing. It is not a riddle to solve or quest to pursue. It does not involve sacrifices, rituals, or religious observances to ascertain. God’s will, what He wants from us is fairly basic. He states it right here in this message from the prophet Micah. And it consists of three things: To do what is right. To love mercy. And to walk humbly with Him.
Right in the middle of all the prophesies of coming judgment and future restoration, God delivers a message to His people stating His expectations or desires concerning their behavior. He has listed all their sins. He has warned of coming punishment. Then He tells them what He wants from them. And it is really fairly simple. First, He wants them to do what is right – to live together justly or righteously. What does that mean? Well, take a look at how they WERE living. God accuses them of dishonesty in their business dealings, of greed and avarice that caused them to cheat one another, of corruption and graft, extortion, violence, lying and a long list of other unjust behaviors. They were daily violating a good portion of the Ten Commandments. Do not lie, do not cheat, do not steal, do not covet, do not bear false witness, etc. God wanted them to do what is right in relationship with one another. He wanted them to live in harmony and peace, to treat one another with dignity and respect. But they were doing just the opposite.
Then God tells them He wants them to love mercy. That word “mercy” has to do with a certain kind of zeal or love shown to another person that shows up in kindness, goodness, and faithfulness. God wanted them to be zealous for mercy. They loved to receive it, but weren’t so good at extending it. God wanted to see His people zealous for and excited about showing mercy to one another. But again, they were doing just the opposite. They were taking advantage of one another. They were abusing one another. There was no mercy being extended or shown.
Finally, God tells them that He wants them to walk humbly before Him. He wants them to live their daily lives with a sense of humility and lowliness. He wants them to eliminate their pride and replace it with an understanding of who they are in comparison to Him. They are nothing without Him. They are weak and He is strong. They are only His people because He chose to make them so. They bring no value to the table. There is nothing inherently special about them. So as they live their lives, they are to constantly remember that all they have is the result of God, not themselves. Their wealth, treasures, talents, and resources are all the result of a kind, generous, loving God. To walk humbly before Him is to live with a sense of dependence and awareness of your need. It is a life of submission to His will. But instead, they had become arrogant, boastful, prideful, self-sufficient and self-willed. They did what was right in their own eyes. They walked before God with a sense of self-confidence. They did the things they did to one another with a degree of pride and arrogance, as if God would not do anything about it.
God’s desires for us are highly practical, not religious and ethereal. He wants us to treat one another fairly and justly. He wants us to love showing mercy to others – especially those in need, the helpless, hopeless, and oppressed. And He wants us to live our lives with a sense of humility – unimpressed with ourselves, our accomplishments, or our possessions. This is our calling. This is who God has called each of us as Christ-followers to be. This is how He desires for each of us to live our lives. Doing the right thing, extending mercy, and living with humility. What a difference our lives would make in this world if we did what God desired for us to do. And He has made it possible for us to pull it off because He has placed His Spirit within us. He has given us His Word to direct us. And He gave His Son as a living example of what that kind of life looks like. To live like Christ is to live out these three things as He did. Take a look at His life. Examine how He did what was right, showed mercy, and lived humbly. That is what He is calling us to do. It is practical, everyday stuff. But it is potentially life-changing and world-impacting.
Father, like the Israelites, many of us are too busy doing just the opposite of what You want. We have lost sight of the goal. We are ignoring Your will for our lives. Bring us back to the basics. Give us a desire to do what is right, to love mercy and to walk humbly before You. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men