“What does the Lord require of you?” Very little, almost nothing. “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
I am laughing here, that verse has almost taken on a comedic, gallows humor, Monty Python flavor in my life. Without fail the enemy likes to bring my attention to some problem and say, “Well, what are you going to do about it?” Nothing! Ima gonna just Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.
The strategy is always to call your attention to some insurmountable problem, to point out that you ain’t got what it takes to fix it, that all is lost, and that God is potentially disappointed or requires something of you that you are going to obviously fail at. The goal is always to separate you from the Lord, to separate you from the source of your strength.
I’ve gotten pretty powerful in this area. Chuckling here but this morning my poor hubby had this list of stuff and he wanted to know what I was going to do about it. It just slipped out almost as if by rote. What am I going to do about it? Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God, like duh.
No! Wrong answer apparently. Fortunately his list was small, easily handled, and everything was soon fixed.
But I am quite serious here, I have learned that the Lord will never pressure you to “do something.” That’s totally the people world, not God at all. He doesn’t require you to perform or respond in a certain way. You cannot fail Him. This is a sticky wicket in a lot of the world, including the Christian world, that is all very performance and behavioral based. Life is allegedly all about making the right choices, right? Wrong, actually. If we could be saved by our good choices, none of us would be saved. We do not have to earn God’s love or earn His favor and approval.
However, there are numerous things you can do to bask in it more deeply, to receive His love more fully, to enjoy Him more abundantly.
Or you can just jump ship and let a whale swallow you up. That is okay, too. God did not stop loving Jonah, God did not bail on him. If God requires something, He just makes it happen. Your cooperation isn’t even needed. Seriously, the whale did not swallow up Jonah to teach Him a lesson about the importance of making good choices. I have actually now ground a piece of my tooth off from clenching my jaw every time I hear the whale tale narrated as if it’s all about, “you better make good choices or God will send a whale to eat you.” Arrggg. No.
We could however, spend about ten years in that one bit of verse, “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
That is super concentrated, multi layered, and really hard. Act justly? Do we even know what “justice” is? We do not. Jesus gave His very life for us, in an act of justice. He paid our debt, He took our place, He died so we might live. That is not how we define “justice” in the modern world and certainly not in the ancient one. To love mercy? We all love mercy when it’s coming our way! But we do not love mercy when we are asked to extend it to the bad people who just suck the life out of us. And to walk humbly with your God, is virtually impossible when you think you have all the answers.