God’s Requirements

The LORD God has told us what is right and what he demands: “See that justice is done, let mercy be your first concern, and humbly obey your God.” Micah 6:8 (CEV)

I have been sick with a cold this week which means I have been home and watching TV between naps! I was watching Oprah yesterday and she had the two families from Indiana who have written a book, Mistaken Identity. Their daughters were on a college trip when their van was struck by a tractor trailer killing five students. The identity of the deceased girl was done in error by the county coroner and this was not corrected until five weeks later. One family buried a daughter…but it wasn’t their daughter. The other family cared and prayed over a daughter hoping that she would return from her coma and when she did…it was to find that she wasn’t their daughter. Both families are families of faith and made a wonderful witness to Jesus Christ. Though they were pursued by lawyers, they have made it clear that they are about forgiveness not vengeance. The former coroner was there and I could tell he was overcome by the mercy he had received from these families.

The prophet Micah brings us a message from God about what God demands from us. God requires very little from us. He asks. He desires. He demands little.

God wants us to live our lives with integrity. We are to treat others with fairness or justice. I am responsible for how I treat others; how I conduct business. This came to my mind as I prayed about the elections and how a candidate’s integrity is a primary criteria when I decide to whom I will place a vote. I may not agree with all of their decisions but I want to feel that I can trust what they say.

“let mercy be your first concern…” Let forgiveness be the first thing that I love. “Don’t hold back forgiveness, Jody.” I went to bed last night asking God to examine me and tell me if I had withheld forgiveness and bring it to my mind if there was something. You know what He said? “Forgive yourself, Jody. I have.” OHHHH! That struck my heart! I immediately saw something that had happened where I had just beat myself for not doing something. I had failed! It sounds …dumb…when I write it down but God is so right that I can extend forgiveness to others but hold myself in such a shackle of unforgiveness! How arrogant!

This leads right to humbly being obedient to God. God is …God. To look at the previous paragraph and see how I certainly wasn’t humble in my obedience but in fact arrogantly dis-obedient was enlightening. And humbling. It is one of those moments when all I can do is go to my knees and ask that God create in my a clean heart (Psalm 51) and how lovingly awesome God is to do just that!

God is so good to love us so much to tell us; teach us what He wants for us. I don’t think it is so much being able to hear God. I think it is more about having open ears and open heart to accept what He is saying. Have you ever asked a question that you thought you already knew the answer and so that is the answer you heard? It is not what the person actually said?!! I think that is what happens many times when I am filtering God’s voice and not truly listening. Yes, there are times that He is silent. I need to be open for that also. I need to be open to God. And that is walking with Him.

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