“And what does the Lord require of you…?”

It seems that suddenly, Josh and I have found ourselves in a season of busyness. When we first moved to the Raleigh area last October, we were not fully involved in anything yet aside from going to church once a week and hanging out with friends here and there. These days, though, it seems like there are so many things on the table that we either: a) are already involved in, or b) could be involved in. The kicker for me is that they are all good things! There don’t seem to be many easy “no’s.”

Fresh eggs from one of Josh’s patients 🙂

One day as I was driving home from work, I was talking to God about this and basically asking Him, “What do You want from me, Lord?!” I felt like the Holy Spirit prompted me to think of Micah 6:8. When I got home, I went to read the verse in its context.

       “With what shall I come before the Lordand bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
       He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you
but to act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? -Micah 6:6-8

First of all, I love verse 7 because it points to the Gospel! God sacrificed His firstborn son for our transgressions, and Jesus gave His body for the sins of our souls. I’m pretty sure that atonement is the only reason we can live out verse 8.

On my own, I can’t live out those things very well because my sin causes me to be constantly bent towards myself, seeking my own glory and honor rather than God’s. But since we are new creations with new spirits inside of us, we can submit to the Spirit and walk humbly with God.

I feel like God used these verses set me free in a way, because they reminded me that He isn’t sitting there with a mile-long checklist for us to complete. All of those events and ministry opportunities that Josh and I are contemplating are good things, but God never tells us to pack our schedules so full that we don’t even have time to rest in His presence and cultivate the character that He desires for us. How can I walk humbly with God when my pride is in the way?

Flowers at the Durham farmers market

I so desperately do not want to be one of those people who is involved in 8 million things and doing zero of them well. Because I have a hard time “doing nothing” (aka resting, which is totally necessary and good) and because I truly do enjoy being involved in a variety of activities, it’s so difficult for me to say no to opportunities that come my way. I love that when I asked God for wisdom about this, the answer He gave me was so simple. It wasn’t a to-do list so long that I got anxiety just looking at it, but instead it was three simple items that reflect a heart surrendered to Him.

I’m convinced that God cares more about our hearts than He does about our schedules. Of course God delights in the details of our lives, and I guess in some ways, our schedules reflect what is in our hearts. At the same time, I don’t think He’s looking for a bunch of robots to do “busy work” for Him (flashback to sitting in 6th grade doing worksheets while the teacher was planning their spring break vacation or something). God will accomplish His will on earth whether His followers are involved in two things or 20. What He wants is genuine believers with hearts of love and mercy, who are walking humbly with Him not just in church but in the grocery store, at work, in the kitchen…

I can’t say that I am now crystal clear on the specific things that Josh and I should or shouldn’t commit to. What I do feel clear on, however, is what God wants of me no matter what I’m doing- to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with Him.

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