What does God require of us?
May 12, 2019 - Sunday 4:05 AM by JD Vergara
Sometimes I ask myself, “what does God want from me?” I instinctively ask this question in those times when I feel disoriented in my spiritual life. Spiritual disorientation occurs from time to time and this is typical for the Christian life. The American Pastor Charles Stanley said that the Christian life consists not of a smooth and straight path but one which has ups and downs. The Christian life is a wave form. Sometimes you are on top of a spiritual mountain and other times you are on the valley of the shadow of death and you’re wondering why God has left you. In these times too, your sense of purpose is blurry, making you wonder whether you are on the right track or not. Hence, we eventually ask ourselves, “what do you want me to do, Lord?”
The prophet Micah in the Old Testament asked the same question:
- “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
- And what does the Lord require of you?
- To act justly and to love mercy
- And to walk humbly with your God.”
Here, the prophet asks the general rule about what God expects from human beings – be just, merciful, and humble before him. These things, justice, mercy, and humility have been shown by God to be “good.” And the good is the one that is required by God for us to pursue and live for. The good that is demanded is also ultimate beneficial for us. Imagine if all people act justly with one another and show love, mercy, and humility in all their actions. I think evil would be non-existent. What God requires from man does make sense.
Regarding humility, such principle you’ll find across the pages of the bible. It is said, “God rejects the proud but gives grace to the humble.” You’ll find this principle play out in the narratives from the old to the new testaments. One good example is that of Jesus saying to the Pharisees, “it is not the healthy that calls for a doctor but the sick," or, “I have come not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” These words are Jesus’ response to the Pharisees’ question why Jesus hanged out with the “sinners” of society. Jesus being the Messiah or God was not with the “righteous," that is, the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the Scribes, but those in humbly states in life.
God is with those who have understood that they are nothing without him. Those people will experience the power of God’s grace and mercy. Andrew Murray says, “here is the path to a higher life: down, lower down! Just as water always seeks and fills the lowest place, so the moment God finds men abased and empty, His glory and power flow in to exalt and to bless.” Not only that God affirms humility as an objective principle, he actually lived it out. Paul said:
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
- Who, being in very nature God,
- Dud not consider equality with God
- Something to be used to his own advantage;
- Rather, he made himself nothing
- By taking the very nature of a servant,
- Being made in human likeness,
- And being found in appearance as a man,
- He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death –
- Even death on the cross!”
Paul is emphatic here: “have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” Not only that God demanded from us to act justly, love mercy, and live humbly, he has shown it personally in Christ Jesus. In Christ, he has shown us how to live by the example he had shown us.
Personally, when I become spiritually disoriented, I go back to Micah and remind myself again what God requires of me and that is, to act justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly before him. This helps me find my life’s purpose and get me back on track. Life in the final analysis is as simple as this.
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