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What Does the Lord Require of You?

What Does the Lord Require of Us?

By Joyce Webb        2009

"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

 

Moses speaking to Israel: "And now Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee,

But to fear the Lord thy God,

to walk in all his ways,

and to love him,

and to serve the Lord they God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,

to keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good." Deut. 10:12

A Pharisee asking Jesus: "Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law?

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

This is the first and great commandment.

And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

Upon these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

The main thing to pleasing God---of meeting his requirement for men is in our relationship to Him.

A relationship of wholehearted love and devotion is the main requirement.

Treating others as we would want to be treated comes next.

Micah reminds Israel in verses 6 and 7 Chp.6 that sacrifice alone will not meet God's requirement.

No matter how many animals are killed and offered---if our heart is not fully connected to God ---the sacrifices are meaningless.

Saul disobeyed about keeping some animals after a battle. He also got tired of waiting for the prophet to show up. Saul offered an animal sacrifice on the altar, even though he knew that was only for the priest to do. He convinced himself that sacrificing to God would appease God and God would overlook his disobedience.

Samuel arrived and spoke very strongly to Saul, "To obey is better than sacrifice." I Samuel 15:22 "Hath the Lord great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord?"

So many of us have learned in our relationships with parents and others, that if we do something we earn favor.

Some religions have taught their followers that sacrifice is highly desirable. There are certain times of the year given to prove one's devotion by sacrificing and giving up things.

Some religions have taught that great personal physical suffering shows great love and devotion. These followers inflict themselves with all sorts of pain or rigors of travel or starvation to show how much they are willing to do to gain favor with God.

The Jewish leaders of New Testament times had scrolls of tradition and expectation. Jesus told them one time, "Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! For ye lade men with burdens grievous to be born, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers." Luke 11:46

Sometimes the tradition became more important to obey than God's commandments.

Jesus said, "Why do ye also transgress the commandments of God by your tradition?" Matt. 15:3

Vs. 6 "Thus have ye made the commandments of God of none effect by your tradition." vs. 8 "This people draw night unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."

Paul wrote to the Colossians "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodly. And ye are complete in Him." Col. 2:8-10

People love to rule over others.

It began in the Garden of Eden when Satan tempted Eve. He said, "you will be like the gods".

Satan had that problem in heaven. He wanted to be like the most High. Isaiah 14:12-15

Through the history of man is the struggle of someone or some group to rule over others. To become "gods" in a sense.

Religious leaders through history---even in modern days--- have threaten doom to get people to come under their power of authority.

Even very young children know how to get what they want by the use of eyes, facial expressions, crying, etc.. Even dogs know how to use the mournful look.

It's is all about power over others.

We have learned as children fear when we disobey. We have learned that happier things happen when we obey. This is a good lesson to learn. God used punishment to teach Israel to obey.

The problem has come because men are selfish and their demands are not always for our good. Demands have often been for the good of the person making the demand. God's demands are always for God's glory and our good.

Early in life we learn to fear and learn to do to create favor.

Because many families do not provide a love relationship but merely the fear and do for favor----we have twisted ideas about our relationship with God.

Our relationship with God becomes one of  "fear and do".

If we have been treated badly as a child---then as adults we need to discover the truth about previous relationships and change the way we think.

If we have learned unhealthy fear of any kind as a child---then we need to learn the truth and change the way we think to match truth.

Obviously, this is not easily done, however, nothing will be gained by holding onto false understandings. The sooner one can change one's thinking into truth ----the sooner one can grow and proceed.

As adults we need to look carefully at what we have been taught as a child and evaluate it by the truth.

Often it takes awhile to discover truth.

John 8:31,32  Jesus said to those Jews which believed on him,

"If ye continue in my word, then ye are my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free."  John 8: 31, 32

"when the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth."  John 16:13

God's word will show us truth.    The Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth.

Jesus warned against the Jewish leaders,

"For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay then on men's shoulders;

but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers."

"¦..(they) love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ: and all ye are brethren.

And call no man your father upon the earth; for one is your Father , which is in heaven.

 Neither be ye called masters; for one is your Master, even Christ,"  Matthew 23: 1-12

This is a warning to be careful about letting others control you spiritually.

Jesus is our Teacher. God is our Father. The Word of God is for us to study for ourselves and learn. The Holy Spirit will lead us into truth.

It is helpful to study what learned men know about the scriptures and customs of the Jewish people and Bible times. But we are not to revere (honoe) them to the point of being in bondage to their leadership. We belong to God alone. Leaders are not to control us as Fathers or Masters.

Jesus' commission to the disciples when he ascended into heaven was to go "teach" and make disciples. Teach what the truth was about Jesus. They were not to govern and rule---they were to be examples, leaders and teach.

God's word shows us how much he loves us. His word shows us that it is a relationship that he wants from us---more than service, more than sacrifice---he wants a relationship.

The Bible tells us over and over that the way to God's heart is simply to love him.

God created us for His pleasure. Rev. 4:11 "for thou hast created all things, and for they pleasure they are and were created."

People have children for their pleasure. They expect to enjoy their children. People enjoy loving others and having others love them.

We are created in the image of God. God was the One who first had this idea. God had "children" for the purpose of loving them and having them love him.

The relationship that you have with your children is what brings you pleasure.

If your children love being with you, if they enjoy your company, if they enjoy doing things to please you---these are the things that bring you pleasure.

You may have several children. Even though you love them all, you find the most pleasure and feel the closest to the child who loves to be with you and be in your company.

That child may not even have the means to do things for you or give you things, but that child warms your heart because they love to be with you. When they are able ---they do things that please you, not just to win your favor, but because they want to see you happy.

That is what God wants from us. God's heart is warmed when we want to spend time in his presence. God would like us to do things to make Him happy and not just for the purpose of winning favor.

We may win favor--and that is a good thing, too, but deeper He wants us to be like a child who does things just to see his father or mother smile.

That is relationship!

Think of someone you love dearly. You know them well. You can tell what they are thinking by that tiny flicker in their eyes, or face, or body.

You sense things about them. You know when you have disappointed them or made them happy.

God wants that in a relationship with us.

He wants us to see his heart in such a way that we sense his thoughts about us---24 hours a day.

There is an old hymn that says, "Nothing between my soul and the Saviour, so that his blessed face may be seen. Nothing preventing the least of his favor, keep the way clear, let nothing between."

If you are serious about your relationship with your spouse, you want "nothing between" in your relationship with them.

With God we often seek "his hand" but not "his face". God wants us to seek his face.

Too much we want what his hand can give us in answered prayer whether for ourselves or for others. But God wants us to seek his face and heart.

Parents do not want their child to seek after them for only things that the child can get. Parents want the child to seek after them because they want to be near them and enjoy their company.

God wants the same.

Remember the story of Mary and Martha? Luke 10:38-42 "Mary was cumbered about much serving" and "Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet and heard his word." Jesus said, "Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things, but one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."

We hardly know how to relate to God unless we are doing something for Him. We hardly know how to pray unless we are asking him to do something for someone.

What if your relationship with your child was only their asking for something?

Would you be happy with that kind of relationship?

We would want more.  We would want them to be happy just to sit with us and enjoy being near us.

God is the same.  He wants us to come---sit in His presence---let His presence soak into our spirit.

How many of you take your child---of any age---and hug them and tell them you love them, or appreciate them, or are grateful for who they are or what they have become?

How many of you do the same for your spouse? Are there tender touches and complimentary words?

This is the essence (core, heart) of a relationship.

It is not what you do for them, or what they do for you.

The relationship is because you love their beauty, their character, their personality, their kindness--you love who they are.

For you to have a relationship with then---you must express this in physical touching and speaking.

God wants the same from us. He wants us to come into his presence and "hug" Him. Hold Him in our spirits for who He is.

He wants to hear our words of praise and compliments.

By his spirit He will infuse (put into) our beings His love and feeling toward us. It will complete us and fill us with joy.

Psalm 16:11 "In thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand are pleasures forevermore.

If you feel far from God and that your fellowship with Him has been broken then you need to fix it.

If sin or unbelief has blocked you from fellowship, then come to God through Jesus and ask for forgiveness. Just as you would a person you had offended.

Jesus said, "...and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." John 6: 37

I John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

"If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar,"   I John 1:10    

 because God has said, "All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags:

"...for thou hast hid thy face from us, ..because of our iniquities." Isaiah 64:6-7

There are a great number of verses that have to do with our sin and asking for forgiveness.

God has promised to listen to our prayer for forgiveness and remove our sin from us ¦"As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us." Psa. 103: 12

This then opens up the door to fellowship. This begins our relationship with God. It is like meeting a person for the first time--from then on it is up to us to put forth the effort, time and openness to be a friend and to develop the friendship.

God will not make more of the relationship than you want it to be. He will watch, wait, encourage, remind, woo, and in general try to get you to build the relationship further---but He will not push. He seldom shouts. He will whisper.

What does the Lord require of you? To do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God.

 

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