Friday, March 5, 2010

The Christian’s Most Basic Obligation

“But [God’s] already made it plain how to live, what to do,

what God is looking for in men and women.

It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbour,

be compassionate and loyal in your love,

And don’t take yourself too seriously—

take God seriously.

~Micah 6:8 (Msg).

The first time I heard this verse I was astounded with its simplicity and power. God, after all, is a pretty simple God; to us at least he is designed to be. Sacrifice to this God? Not without the heart that precedes it (Hosea 6:6). That’s the Spiritual gist.

Why do we cook God up so complicated? Why do we make our spiritual pride so well known to know discourses and doctrine and dogma to an enth degree but yet not know God? Why have we not truly read into the very heart of our Scripture?—God’s heart.

And it backfires on us every time; and so we pretend it didn’t occur—where does that leave us.

There’s a better way, of course. The New International Version has ‘part b’ of Micah 6:8...

“To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

This is what it really means to be a Christian. It’s not having an opinion, by the ‘grace of God’ and extending that opinion all over people—that’s pride.

If we were to be one day be encamped in an enemy’s prison—like Paul was—we might do very well to recall this one verse. Can you imagine what power it would give you in those horrible circumstances?

No matter the injustices you’d no doubt see and personally know, you would respond justly; you would not give up on mercy just because it was not given to you; and you also would be walking humbly with your God—not whinging and complaining about how bad you’ve got it. You’d have spiritual stamina.

‘So what’ I hear you say. ‘Where’s the power in that?’ Simple answer really. When we choose our loving response, especially when others are being cruel, God indwells us spiritually and we become more alive at all sorts of levels.

We actually begin to ‘take on’ what Jesus felt like. To love and be rejected—but not to reject, ever. This is an amazing yet inexplicable reality and power.

Try it in faith. Build your power towards it. Let go and let God.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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