Reverend Dr. William H. Curtis

What God Requires

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 (NIV)

Micah has made it plain how to live, what to do and what God is looking for in men and women. Do what is fair, do what is just to your neighbor. Be compassionate and loyal in your love and don’t take yourself too seriously. Take God seriously. And he doesn’t say, “This is what God suggests” or “This is what God recommends.” He says, “This is what God requires.”

This text is teaching us that God’s call is a confirmation of how much our lives matter, and God invites us to give Him what He desires most. In fact, the word require is better translated in the original Hebrew, sought or seek. This is what God “seeks” the most in the call He extends to us. He is requiring that you be a specific moral person.

We can think of being a specific moral person in line with how it is described in the book of Acts, which is to live as a Christian. This means we are called by God to live specifically as a disciple of Christ. And for Micah, here’s what it means:

  • If you love Jesus, you love justice.
  • If you love Jesus, you’re married to mercy.
  • If you love Jesus, you walk humbly.
  • If you love Jesus, you take God seriously.
  • But you don’t always take yourself so seriously.

It means that we live Christ-like, surrendered to God’s sovereignty, disciplined by the love we nurture in Him, sacrificial in our exchanges with other people, powerful in our human-lived expression, but not excessively intoxicated with life only on this side of human experience. Instead, we concentrate on making sure we are prepared for what will be the longer side of our human experience, which is our eternal existence in the presence of God in eternity.

God is extending a call on your life because your call is the definition of why you matter in life. This is why you had to be born. It’s why you are stationed where you are stationed. It’s why you are given the abilities you have been entrusted with. Not only do you have other abilities, but you have certain abilities that are sown into the fabric of your calling.

You’re called to use your gifts to be a strong Christian in the world. So as Micah said: do justice, love mercy, which is simply to willingly show kindness to others. And then there is that poetic phrase “to walk humbly with your God,” which in the original means to live in conscious fellowship with God, living with a spirit of humility before Him.