What in the World Does God Want?

What in the World Does God Want?

Something I just love about God’s word is the way He condenses everything. He has this way of taking all our questions and swirling thoughts and providing us distinct and specific answers. Often He does this all within the space one Bible verse.

His Word is absolutely full of answers, isnt’ it? It’s so exciting! But sometimes it’s a little hard to sort those answers out. However, if we keep it simple and focus on one verse at a time, things can become clearer for us.

We’ve been talking about requirements and expectations the past few weeks. We’ve discussed how unrealistic expectations can cause us trouble and we’ve talked about where to find strength to push through that. We’ve discussed living under grace and letting go of those things that hold us back. (You can look back HERE and HERE to see those discussions.)

But the big question is, what does God want from us?

God is big. And in all His Holiness and Majesty it would seem that He would have a whole list of requirements, rules and regulations for us to follow. But there is a verse that gives us a very short list of only three important actions to live by.

He has told 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, NIV

This verse tells us that God only requires 3 things.

  • to do justly
  • to love mercy
  • to walk humbly with your God

God, with His ever-present desire to help us understand, simplifies His list of requirements down to just these three actions. He’s good like that. He knows how to help us find focus. God understands our daily overwhelm and He is into providing ways for us to know and comprehend what He wants us to do and how He wants us to act. It’s why He came to us in the form of a man (Jesus). He loved us so much He became like us so we could understand Him!

Let’s break these three things down a bit and see what we can discover.

TO DO JUSTLY

Justice means to do what is right, to treat with fairness, and that’s no small order, is it? Within every situation that comes our way there is an opportunity to choose either right or wrong.

Sometimes knowing what is right comes easy. Other times, it’s very hard to discern. Most often doing right is difficult and definitely not the easy way out. But God, in His infinite kindness assures of three things:

1) He is with us.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9, NIV)

2) When we don’t know what to do, He will give us wisdom if we ask.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5, NIV)

3) The Holy Spirit is constantly praying for us, with words that can not be expressed.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. (Romans 8:26, ESV)

It is so encouraging to remember that when we are confused or unsure in a situation, there is Someone who knows exactly what needs to be said and what needs to be prayed, and He is constantly sending those prayers up to our Heavenly Father. We can have confidence in all our difficult situations because the Holy Spirit is praying for us to know and do what it right.

Now that is a HOPE we can hold on to!

TO LOVE MERCY

Mercy is kindness, particularly showing kindness when it is undeserved.

So secondly, in addition to our opportunity to choose right over wrong, we also have in each situation the opportunity to show kindness. And it is here that God calls us to something more when He tells us to love mercy. In other words, He wants us to have the right attitude.

Have you ever done what is right, but done it begrudgingly? I sure have. Often. And most often to those that live in my own household. It’s sad, but true. Sometimes it’s hardest to have the right attitudes with the people I love the most.

But God calls us deep into reflecting His own character when he tells us to love kindness. Love will lead us to show kindness when we don’t feel like it and sometimes even when the other person doesn’t deserve it. Loving kindness calls us deeper into reflecting the character of God. Easier said than done, right?

But again, God is faithful. Which brings us to the third requirement:

TO WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD

Where are we going to find the strength and wisdom to do what is right and to love mercy? Only when we are walking with God. And not just walking with Him, but humbly walking with Him.

When we walk humbly we look to Him and quit looking at ourselves. We depend on Him and focus on His character for strength and guidance in how to live our lives. We give up our own selfish desires and start living out His instead. It’s a heart issue to walk humbly with God and we know He is asking for our hearts when He tells us to walk with Him.

Did you notice how tightly woven these three requirements are? These three actions God asks us to take are bound up together in such a way that without one we end up with a shortfall in the other two areas.

What if we do right, but do it without kindness? That is equal to a wrong attitude within our heart. What if we are kindhearted, but refuse to do what is right, even when we understand what that “right” thing might be? Again, the wrong attitude. Acting justly and loving mercy can’t exist apart from each other in the heart of God. Without a sincere heart we don’t do well with choosing justice or with loving kindness.

Acting justly and loving mercy can’t exist apart from each other in the heart of God. Click To Tweet

So as I read these words, I ask myself, how is my heart? Is it my desire to do what is right and to do it with kindness and love within my relationships? Do I have the right attitude in my walk with God? Am I giving my heart to Him?

God, in His great wisdom, takes every issue and opportunity that comes our way, and gives us the covering of these three things. In this way, He gives us the key to living out our daily lives in a way that is pleasing to Him.

Will we be perfect? No. Will we make mistakes? Yes. But when we seek to follow Him by doing what is right in the best way we know how, and when we move deeper into the sacrifice of loving kindness, when we are doing our very best to walk beside Him with humble and sincere hearts, He receives it to Himself.

And He is pleased.

Remember that and be encouraged!

Blessings Always,

Leslie

Focus Verse
He has told 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, NIV

* I encourage you to click the links for each Bible verse in this article. You will be taken to a page at Bible Gateway where you can study the verses in more depth. There are many free resources there for your studies.

Let’s Talk
Do you have any strategies for slowing down and choosing kindness when you are frustrated or angry? I’d love to hear from you! Please feel free to comment below.

Next Week
Next week we will talk about what to do when prayer takes you to hard places. After that, we will begin themed post series on issues that we all struggle with. Each series will include encouragement, Biblical answers, and helpful resources for you! Stay tuned!

This post may be linked in other encouraging places. Click HERE to see where.

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17 thoughts on “What in the World Does God Want?

  1. Leslie, I am encouraged by this blog. You are right that acting justly and kindly is hardest with those in our own household. Not wanting to admit I am wrong causes me to be spiteful and even childish. Thankfully, God has given me the humility to ask for forgiveness from my husband and God. As my relationship with God and my husband grows deeper this happens less often. There is more peace in both relationships. Peace is God’s promise I am doing things his way, not mine. I am excited about doing your notebook. Looking forward to what revelations it will being.

    1. Heather, I can relate to every bit of what you said here. I am so thankful we have a God who helps us persevere, teaches us humility, and brings peace to our relationships. I don’t know what I would do without Him! I’m so excited your group is using the notebook. It helped me so much which is why I share it. God is so good to help us through prayer! Thanks for your kind words!

  2. I love that you said that God’s word has all the answers for us. Sometimes we have to dig a bit…or a lot, but the answers are there for us. Thanks for sharing on Grace and Truth this week.

  3. Wow! Powerful article Leslie! I’m reading it a bit too late at night (in Sydney) to take in well. I studied Micah last year helping young ones prepare for an area-wide Bible bowl. Micah 6:8 stands out as beacon to serving God.

    1. Colleen, I love it that you call that verse a beacon! It sure is! It’s so good to hear from you and I appreciate you stopping by and commenting. Blessings to you!

  4. Something I’ve been trying to appreciate lately is that the Lord is interceding for us! Such an amazing thing to ponder which I was reminded of by coming here today!

  5. Dear Leslie, I have treasured Micah 6:8 for years. We used to sing it in a praise song in youth group, so it’s easy to sing in my head whenever I need it. Thank you for “unpacking”, or digging deeper to further ingrained it in my life. Blessings from your neighbor at Kelly’s

    1. Hi Alice, I didn’t know there is a praise song with this verse! I love praise and worship songs because so many of them help us get the scriptures memorized and in our minds. I’ll have to look it up and see if I can find it. Thank you for stopping by and for your kind comment!

  6. Thanks for sharing these reflections. I love how God sums things up in one verse- as you say it’s easy to become overwhelmed. I also enjoyed your thoughts on how closely the three strands link together- I hadn’t really thought about that before but it is so true that they each impact each other. Visiting from Holley Gerth.

  7. I love this lesson! I hadn’t really thought about not being able to do one action without the other two. I’m so glad you talked about that! Thank you so much for all these good lessons!
    Sometimes it helps my reactions to think how I would feel if I were dealing with a dearly loved family member.

    1. Thank you, Gwen! And thank you for sharing what helps you with your reactions. Mine are so not what they need to be sometimes, but I have found that focusing on this verse and on those three things that God asks us to do has really helped me lately. His Word can give us the strength we need and change us from the inside out. Thank goodness! Hugs to you, Gwen!

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