November 14, 2013

{Day 14} Saved and Called: Walk Humbly with Your God

If you're just popping in on this November series, you can catch up here.

Today we pause in Micah 6:8 at this phrase, walk humbly with your God, the final requirement in the list the passage gives in answer to the question, What does the Lord require of you?

He has shown you, O mortal, 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

Yesterday we considered what it means to act justly and love mercy, using the second table of the law (commandments 5-10) as a guide.  Now we'll do the same with walk humbly with your God and and the first table of the law, commandments 1-4.

The First Table of the Law
When I consider these commandments, I have never been able to say, Hey, I think I've kept those pretty well.  Perhaps Micah saves, walk humbly with your God, for last because he knows Israel can't pretend they've kept that up without fail.  We can't either.  Here are those first for commandments:

  • Don't have any other gods, only Me
  • Don't make idols to worship
  • Don't misuse My name
  • Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy

Any of you able to stand on your own righteousness after reading this list?  Man, I sure can't!  In addition, do you find it as difficult as I do to figure out how to translate these commandments in to modern times?  Let's see what we can come up with.

I grew up in a Christian home, surrounded by Christian folk, regularly attended worship and myriad other church events.  I gave my life to Christ when I was five.  I've never really known any other god to put before God.

But daily I worship myself as god of my life.

I have not ever physically bowed down to an idol.

But I have worshiped created things in my heart,
taking good things and making them ultimate things.

I never developed the habit of "taking God's name in vain."

But sometimes I jest when talking about God,
in a way that misuses His name.

I am a regular church attender, and even go to Sunday school!

But I set-apart the Sabbath day to God's glory in fits and spurts,
usually just glad for a day off for me.*

What is to be done, then?


Are you sick of me repeating that phrase yet?  :)

In all seriousness, what is noteworthy about this verse is that it does not say,  Act justly, love mercy, and obey the law perfectly.  No, sir.  It says, act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.  I love Spurgeon's points in his sermon on the topic, so rather than reinvent the wheel, I give you his wise words.

He offers six characteristics of this humility, that it:
1. is of the highest form of character, for the person is acting justly and loving mercy, all the while knowing His intense dependence on God 
2. involves constant communion with God, for it is walking humbly WITH Him 
3. involves constant activity, for walking implies movement, different from, say, bowing before God 
4. denotes progress, for we are to keep walking, "go on, advance, grow," says Spurgeon 
5. implies constancy, for we are to always walk humbly with our God 
6. includes delightful confidence, for "you have not chosen Christ, but Christ has chosen you.

To summarize, walking humbly with God means we're looking to God all the time to show us how to live, trusting Him for the strength and endurance to pursue that lifestyle, because He is trust-worthy.  Our relationship with God is a relationship in motion.  We're moving somewhere - toward God and sharing fully in His glory.

He has revealed to us what he requires and invites us to walk with Him from here to heaven.

That makes me want to repent a little quicker when I'm putting myself before my God, letting my heart dabble in worship of idols, speaking the name of God flippantly, or making the Sabbath only about "me time."

I feel that some practical tips on walking with God could be useful at this juncture.  Let's do that tomorrow, the half way point of the series!

Till then  :)

*If you'd like to read further about the commandments, with verses to study, check out the Heidelberg Catechism, questions 92-115.

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