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God's Three Requirements for Us

By Luke Hobbs
 
"And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8, NIV) I love that verse. People ask all the time: "Well, what does God want me to do?" According to this verse, the answer’s pretty simple. Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God. Simple, yes, but easy? Definitely not.
  1. Act justly. This doesn’t just mean to be fair, but to be righteous in what we do. It reminds me of what Jesus said in Matthew 5: "Be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect." It’s something we’ll never be able to completely do. But that’s the work that God is doing in us, to make us more like His Son, and one day, when we stand before Him in heaven, that work will be complete. How awesome! In the meantime, though, act justly. If you’re a Christian, you have to live it. God doesn’t give us eternal salvation so we can spend our lives living like the devil and doing whatever we want. He wants us to live righteous, upright lives -- to reflect Christ to others around us. We’re only given so long on this earth, and we don’t know how long; it’s different for each one of us. So we have to live out this command daily, and it’s tough to do.
  2. Love mercy. I think sometimes we forget this one, especially when we watch the news and see homosexuals demanding marriage rights, or abortion doctors conducting interviews, or stories about convicted murderers or child abusers. It’s tough to love mercy when people like this are so obviously deserving of God’s judgment. Yet when we pass judgment on them for the evil things they do and approve, we forget -- or choose to ignore -- that we ourselves are no better in the eyes of God, or at least we wouldn’t be without Christ. Think about it. The Cross is the only thing that makes us a bit different from those sinners; we’re just as guilty as they are. If Jesus loved us enough to come and die for us and remove our sins, He also loved those people enough to do the same for them. And so we should reach out to them in love, not condoning what they do, but not passing immediate condemnation for breaking God’s law. Rather, we should gently and lovingly show them the truth of a real, personal, loving God who loved them enough to come down from heaven Himself and die for them. That is the Christian thing to do to those people -- love them, reach out to them, and share the Gospel with them. It’s easier said than done, I know; but we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us
  3. Walk humbly with your God. This is my favorite part of the three-part command. Walk humbly with your God. I am instantly reminded of Enoch, who, as it says in Genesis, "walked with God, and was no more, because God took him." Enoch walked with God. He had a close, personal, daily relationship with his living God. That’s what we’re called to do too. God is not a crabby parent, not an angry judge, not a genie in a magic lamp, and not an ATM machine. He is many things, but He is also our Friend. He meant for us to live our lives with Him, always leaning upon Him for guidance, strength and wisdom and trusting in Him to provide all of our needs. This is what Paul meant when he said in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, "Pray continually." As we live our lives each day, we are to keep up the conversation with God, letting Him know always our fears, hope, desires, and other feelings. At the same time, we listen to what He is trying to say to us, take it to heart, and apply it to our lives. It’s tough to do, but it’s amazing how your day improves when you’re continually talking with God. When we open up our hearts to Him, and when He shows us what He wants us to see, we’ll have a new lease on life.

None of these three things are easy. If they were easy, God wouldn’t require us to do them. But He wants us to be full of joy, and I guarantee that if you try to put these words into practice, applying them to your daily life, and trusting always in God for help with them, your life will be full of joy. That’s the great thing about the Christian life. People sometimes try to claim that Christians don’t ever have any fun. I completely disagree. I think Christians have more fun than anyone else on the planet. After all, when you’re living in God’s will, seeking His face, and interacting with other believers, your life will be a great adventure, and it will be a blast! It won’t be the kind of fun the world has, a sinful, carnal fun, but it will be a more pure, more wonderful fun. And the great thing is that you don’t seek to have fun. You just do as you live for God. The world seeks fun, and it’s a hollow fun. We seek God, and He chooses to let us have fun doing His work.

Granted, the Christian life is not always fun. You will go through the valleys -- we all do at one time or another. But we serve a powerful, living God, and He is always watching over us. As Christ says in John 16:33, "In this world you will have tribulation. But take heart! For I have overcome the world." Even in the times of deepest trials and tragedies, we can take refuge in the hand of God, who will never leave us nor forsake us.