Stoop and Conquer2
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).
“Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does” (John 5:19).
The old saying goes something like this: “if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
It sounds great, but in most cases it’s actually not true. Doing what you love still requires work. The difference is that if you love the work it is transformed into something you want to do, not something you are obliged to do. That makes all the difference.
God never intended for His people to serve Him out of obligation. He intended for us to live every day motivated by a deep and resounding love for Him that transforms our service from something obligatory to something celebratory.
By chapter 6 the prophet Micah has spent ample time lambasting the people of Israel and Judah for their rebellion against God (3:8). The wealthy have become rich through theft and greed, the prophets have used their position to exploit the people, the poor have been abandoned. God has been left out, and as a result, things are not good.
Micah 6 begins with God asking a series of rhetorical questions and reminding the people of all He’s done for them: He brought them out of slavery, protected them from evil, acted righteously on their behalf.
And what did God desire in return? Not just their sacrifices and offerings, no, those were meant to display something deeper. He wanted their love. A love that would result in their wanting to serve Him, to model His attributes and bear witness to His goodness.
Serving God out of a deep sense of love is the apex of all human activity. It’s what we were made for. How does one learn to live for God out of a sense of devotion and not obligation?
That, my friends, is a process; however, it’s one with an attainable end result. Thankfully we have been shown exactly where the starting gate is!
For Jesus serving God out of love came naturally. Because Jesus was an exact reflection of God’s nature, He humbled Himself, at all times and in every situation, to the Father whom He loved.
The starting gate is no different for us, nor was it for the children of Israel. We can trust that God will teach us to act justly (righteously) and to love mercy when we decide to humble ourselves before Him day by day, moment by moment, with His help.
No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. We can certainly all relate to the fact that learning to serve God with pure motives is a process. But it’s a process with a very clear starting point, and that starting point is humility.
“Think not that humility is weakness; it shall supply the marrow of strength to thy bones. Stoop and conquer; bow thyself and become invincible” - Charles Spurgeon
Did you know that Jesus’ humility was a natural outflow of His relationship with the Father? Are there areas of your life in which you have not expressed humility before God? Take time today and ask yourself, what is one area of life God is calling me to walk in humility with Him?