I recently read a story about an interesting young fellow named Andy. He’d never really been away from home until he left for college. While in college he accepted Christ and became a devoted Christian.
His friend Maynard said that Andy rarely showed any emotion, but he did have a great sense of humor. Andy would often tell people, “Just remember, Jesus loves me and He loves you.”
When Andy became angry he would simply say in a deadpan manner, with a completely straight face, “Just remember, Jesus loves me, and He LIKES you.”
But when things really went badly – I mean REALLY bad, Andy would eventually throw up his hands and look at the sky and yell as he called God’s name and ask “What do you WANT from me?”
“What does God want?” is a universal question asked throughout the ages. In one of the great verses of the Bible the prophet Micah partially answers that question.
“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8).
Micah ministered to the Kingdom of Judah during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, who responded favorably to his preaching. He was a contemporary of the prophet Isaiah. Interestingly his name means “who is like Jehovah.”
Micah’s message was a condemnation of the social sins that characterized both Israel and Judah. He excoriated the greedy who defrauded the poor and oppressed widows. His plea was a passionate call for a return to moral and ethical conduct.
Religious rites and rituals were meaningless when their hearts were haughty, their hands were unclean with and their walk with God was compromised by worldliness.
Micah’s message proclaimed 2700 years ago is still relevant to our needs and problems in the 21st century. What does God want from me?
(1) To do justice.
Simply put, God desires that I do the right thing. He is a God of justice. The Psalmist penned, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne (Ps 89:14). The Bible affirms that the Lord loves justice, executes justice and demands justice of His people.
Jesus condemned the Pharisees for majoring on minors and neglecting the “weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy and faith.” (Matt 23:23).
In our daily interactions in others, God requires justice in our business dealings, social relationships and spiritual fellowship.
(2) To love mercy.
Mercy involves kindness, favor, good deeds and compassion. God is frequently called a “God of mercy. Mercy is connected with grace. As Jack Wellman expressed it, “Grace is what we receive that we do not deserve while mercy is what we do not get that we do deserve.”
Like the Hebrew Christians we are called to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb 4:16)
Because of God’s grace we are recipients of His mercy. Thus He expects us to show mercy and forgiveness to others. Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.” If we want to receive God’s mercy when we sin, we must be willing to extend that mercy to our fellow-man.
(3) To walk humbly with God
The Scripture often uses “walking” as a metaphor for our Christian life and our relationship with God. To walk with God, is to go the same direction as God. To share the same purpose. To savor fellowship. And to seek spiritual objectives.
This demands an attitude of humility. Of self-abasement. And foregoing our personal opinions and prideful ways.
These three qualities are not an exclusive list, but they are foundational to meeting the requirements of God’s will for our lives.
That’s what God wants from Andy. Ken. And all the rest of us.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman