He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 (NIV)
God does not want us to be related to Him in a merely ritualistic, formal, outward way. His desire is for our inner transformation of the heart - which will change the outward manifestations of our actions. He wants us to desire to walk in His will knowing full well it is both for our best interest and His glory – never one surpassing the other. And all that He allows is beneficial in our lives – even the most difficult. Our trials are training grounds for going further still with Him. He wants us to desire obedience knowing He is loving and only wants what is best for us. We will act on what we know and believe to be true.
The relationship which is good (beneficial) and profitable for the child of the King involves three things according to our verse above in Micah. First, we are to act justly meaning we are to be fair in all our dealings with others, treating them as we would want to be treated, loving them as we would want to be loved. Believers are children of the King and we are to walk as He walked. Secondly, we are to love mercy - describing a “loyal” and “royal” love - carrying through on our commitments to meet others needs. Dying to self and placing others above self through the power of the Holy Spirit. And thirdly, we are to walk humbly with our God. Seriously, what do we have that we did not receive? And if we did receive it, how can we be anything but humble and grateful? We are not to be arrogant rather consider others better than ourselves. There is something refreshingly beautiful about genuine humility, right?
Our Lord lovingly initiated a relationship with His rebellious nation Israel. The same principle is true of God’s relationship with believers today. Before we came to a saving faith in Him, we were rebellious to His ways wallowing in our own pigpens. Moses warned the nation Israel that no bribe or anything less than an inward transformation could satisfy the Lord. The same is true for us as well. God’s treatment of the alien the fatherless and the widow demonstrates His absolutely just character showing no partiality and it also highlights His requirements for us to walk in.
And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good? Deuteronomy 10:12-13 (NIV)