“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8)
To do justly, for the majority of people, is not a difficult task, not many will go so far as the good Samaritan and find refuge, medical treatment and pay the bills for a wounded man, but they will at least stop and offer some form of assistance. Most do not intentionally steal, give false witness, or behave in an unjust manner towards those they meet. Though not all suffer well when they are wronged.
“Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.” (Luke 7:47) If you have been born-again, all your sins, past, present and future have been forgiven, by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ as the only means toward salvation, and so you understand fully what mercy means. The wrath of God once rested upon you (John 3:36) but by His infinite mercy you are now resting in the full assurance of His love and care for you, you have no reason to fear anything whatsoever.
That same mercy as much as is in us, we are to show to others. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) Those who have wronged us we are to forgive, those who are our enemies we are to love, compassion is to be our mainstay.
To walk humbly with the Lord our God is perhaps one of the most difficult tasks that we will ever attempt, for within every man is the free will given to us by the Lord, and free will does not desire to serve anyone or anything, it seeks self-gratification, its one main path rests upon pride. No one can walk humbly with the Lord by their own strength, it is not in us to do so. “There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.” (Romans 3:11) And not one person will ever attempt to do so unless two main truths are realized, the unquestionable Sovereignty of the Most High God, and a love for Him that cannot be quenched.
It is a miracle in itself, it is unthinkable that He who created all reality asks us, in fact requires us to walk with Him, how can unrighteousness even dwell in the presence of all that is Holy, how can that which still lives in the world walk with Him who is Spiritual? “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” (1 Sam. 16:7)
The desire of our free will, that which we choose to do is esteemed, as much as the Lord esteems the actions of any man, above that which we are required to do. “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” (Luke 17:10)
People break the law, those who have been born-again break God’s commandments, but this is a requirement, it must be done, and it must be done with the desire of our free will, not the relinquishing of it. To be crucified with Christ is to die to self, to deny self and all of its passions, desires and wants, to offer ourselves as a continuous living sacrifice for the glory of God, because of our love for Him. There are no options for this requirement, it is expected, it is to be done, not questioned, not reasoned, it removes in a sense our ability to choose in this matter.
It is what you will do.
How many of you that are still employed in the work force arrive at your place of employment and your supervisor tells you to go and do whatever it is you want to do that day? You are required to perform the tasks that you were hired to do, or you will not be employed there for very long.
To love mercy and do justly are not burdens for most people, to deny self to the point where we seek to continuously walk humbly with the Lord our God goes against our nature, it goes against that pride of self. It is not in our desire to be a servant.
There is one very specific word in that verse I would ask you to contemplate, and it reveals much about the love that the Lord has for us, and it is well worth noting, “with” the Lord. Not at His feet, not behind Him or at a distance away from Him, but right beside Him. Humbly and with great reverence. Only the chosen walk there.