“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?”
Micah 6:8 NKJV
Doing what God wants us to do could seem intimidating, like we’re inviting God to hand us a giant “to-do” list that we could never complete. How many things are there for us to do? Where do we even begin in obeying all of Jesus’ commands?
One thing clear from the gospel narratives is that the people did not feel the same way about Jesus as they did the Pharisees. The Pharisees made righteousness complicated and unattainable, and probably undesirable. In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus simplified it all, capturing in one sentence the theme of what we are to do: “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12).
This may feel threatening, but consider your day today: you will probably be meeting people of all kinds as you do your job, or take classes, or care for your family, or run errands and deal with general life maintenance and logistics. You may connect with others on social media. And then there are the casual interactions as you go about the business of daily life.
In each interaction in your day, how would you desire to be treated? Doing what Jesus wants us to do means that is the way to treat them. Micah 6:8b gives three categories that help us think practically about what we do: treating others fairly and without partiality, showing mercy to those in need, and living in humility before God by not putting ourselves as greater or more important than others.
It’s easy to think doing what God wants us to do is mostly about unique or monumental tasks, perhaps in a moment of crisis. But more normally, and thus often missed, is doing what he wants in the mundane and unnoticed moments. These small, daily acts of surrender grow our faith and courage, and prepare us to act as he wants us to when the stakes are higher. It can be as simple as just following through on a commitment, especially when doing so involves sacrifice or personal inconvenience.
“In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.”