Serving the Lord
Previously, we talked about choosing the Lord over all the false gods that whisper their lies and empty promises to us in this fallen world. But once we have dedicated our hearts, minds, and souls to God, how do we serve Him? In short, what does He want us to do?
Ever since mankind began worshipping what they thought were divine beings, the people have asked, “What do the gods want us to do?” The answers they received were not always pleasant. Human sacrifices were not uncommon, and the failure – especially the refusal – to worship these gods was often met with cruel consequences.
Then came the One True God, as first revealed to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
But the question was still asked, “What does the Almighty want us to do?” In time, rules and rituals became the norm. Sacrifice – animal sacrifice – was still prevalent, but the people knew in their hearts there had to be something more. Something more personal. Something more profound.
With Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, everything changed. Through His ministry, we received new insights into the heart of God. Gone was the need for animal sacrifice; repentance was the first order of business, because the Kingdom of God was at hand (Mark 1:14-15).
Earlier in salvation history, the Prophet Micah gave the Israelites three simple steps for righteous living, and those instructions are still a great way to know and please the heart of God:
What can we bring to the Lord? Should we bring him burnt offerings? Should we bow before God Most High with offerings of yearling calves? Should we offer him thousands of rams and ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for our sins? No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:6-8, NLT
Do what is right
We live in a ruthlessly competitive world, but knowing the right thing to do, and then having the courage to do it, is still the first step in following God’s plan for your life. The Word of God will direct you, and the Holy Spirit will equip and empower you to put your words and intentions into action (1 John 3:18).
God is the God of justice, but it was His mercy that brought Jesus here to die for our sins (John 3:16-17). When you love mercy, and put that love into action, you forgive others, forgo revenge (Romans 12:17-21), and are forgiven in the process (Matthew 6:12, 14-15).
Walk humbly with your God
Walking humbly with God means trusting Him. When you focus on God, not yourself, and wait for His plan to unfold in His perfect way and at His perfect time, you are placing Him above all else and honoring Him as Lord. It is simply “letting go, and letting God.”
Now it’s your turn
Throughout human history, billions of hours and billions of words have been spent trying to answer the questions, “What is good, and what is required of us?” God knew that simple is often best, and short is often most memorable, so, through the Prophet Micah, He gave us the answers: “Do what is right, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.” May your spiritual journey bring you ever closer to our Lord as you follow this path.
-- Dr. John Morris