What does God Expect from Me?

Published on 11/28/12

A few months ago I had a bout with struggling for purpose. I was increasingly becoming discontent as I longed to have a life of active ministry as I did before I was physically disabled. In the emptiness I found myself searching, reading and pondering. All-the-while I felt empty inside. My heart longed for that elusive “secret” that would give me renewed resolve to make the most of my predicament. I tried several resolves. Each time though my physical limitations got in the way. Indeed despite my concerted effort God brought it to halt. You can imagine my growing frustration. The more I searched the more I hungered for the way life was (have you ever felt this way?). I lusted for a different “now” than what the now was giving me.

Then one morning, the Lord brought to mind the following passage:

“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

There it was! God’s purpose for my life was written there all along. I can’t tell you the encouragement the passage was to me. I have been thinking about this passage for a couple of months. You know, there are some truths here that can serve as a Northern star to guide all of us in our walks

Perhaps you are finding yourself at a crossroad. Maybe there are circumstances beyond your control in your life and you find yourself bewildered and without direction. Well, can I encourage you? In this passage (Micah 6:8) God gives direction. He tells us to…

1. Keep it Simple

In the passage, the prophet Micah is sent to proclaim judgement on Israel because there were lying prophets and wicked rulers. Israel was consequently facing conflicts with their enemies. Yet along with the message of punishment God tells them of the hope that can be theirs. He reminds them of the the future reign in Zion and the triumph and restoration which will come. By the time we get to chapter six, God is now pleading with Israel through His prophet. God is saying “Listen to me!” “This is what you need to do!”

Do you realize that the entire Christian life is narrowed down to this simple plea from God to His people? We often read endless books in order to discover the “brand new” insight into Christian living. It seems like every few years a well meaning expositor will introduce Christendom to a formula or a secret which catches on like wild fire in the church. The new concept, principle, or formula soon becomes old; however, and we then search for the next great church growth secret or formula for answered prayers. All the while God takes us back to what he has already said. Listen, no preacher author nor otherwise will ever have anything to say that is better than what God has already said. So God pleads with us just as He did to Israel through the prophet. “Have I not shown you?” It is as though he grabs us be the shoulders and turns us to look at what is already before us. “Just do this,” He pleads. “This is All I require of you!” Oh may we hear God’s plea.

May God forgive us for pursuing a thousand lesser things as though they were the main thing. We are often too busy doing what we think is good (or wishing to be able to be busy doing what we think is good in my case) and have lost sight of that which is required. We often attempt to make the Christian walk more complex or intellectually elusive than it is. May we just simply take God at his Word … and obey.

May God help us to keep it simple and..

2. Keep it Real

Indeed, God’s plea is simple that we sinfully try to complicate, but at the same time we can fall into the opposite trap. We can be so familiar with the commands that we fail to whole-heatedly pursue obedience to them.

These are simple requirements from God but at the same time they require a life-time of Bible study and spiritual struggle. Even with our full effort, we can only begin to explore the depth of what is required of us. All too often we are trivial at striving to grow in our walk with God. In our complacency we say “I’m doing all that is required of me.” when in reality we are lazily and sinfully taking advantage of grace.

I remember being really convicted in Bible College once when an evangelist was sent to chapel for a full week of revival meetings. It was spiritual emphases week – the first week of classes at Faith Baptist a bible College. Tom Farrell was the visiting speaker. You know, he can get pretty fiery and I remember sitting there as a Junior in Bible college thinking, “I don’t need revival!” After all, I was walking with The Lord. I had spent my summer sacrificially ministering for The Lord. I was “walking that line” and actually excited to dig into the studies and learn more about God and the Bible.

Then, during one sermon, Tom Farrell made a statement which was very convicting. He said something like, “If there has ever been a time in your life when you had a greater hunger for the Word, a higher standard of holiness or a greater love for souls than you have now; then you have back-sliden and need revival.”

God immediately convicted me. I had grown complacent. I was thinking that I was obeying well enough. Yet looking back my heart had gone astray and become arrogant.

Oh how sinful we are! Oh how easily our deceitful hearts can get off balance! May God help us to be 100 percent dedicated to these commands. May we passionately be searching his Word. Oh it is so easy to think that we are doing “well enough” in our Christian walks so that these principles are no longer vivid and real in our lives.

3. Keep it Going

As a response to God’s plea, Israel eventually cried out to God, (7:8-13) and God did hear and forgive them (7:13-20). I see a progression in this passage. After we have seen our miserable failure of keeping God’s simple command of doing what is just then we are at God’s mercy! Once they sought and found forgiveness there was only one thing they could do – walk with God again. The same is true with us. After we undeservingly taste God’s mercy then we have to brush-off and pick up where we left off. We start walking with God again but this time much more humbly. Thus Micah 6:8 says, “And to walk humbly with our God.”

God wants us to humbly and steadily walk with Him. No matter our circumstance and no matter the environment we find ourselves in – we can walk with God. God wants us to keep it going.

God says, “So you’ve messed up? – keep going.”

“Your shameful sin has found you out? Cling to mercy and be humbled. Then keep going.”

“You are completely overwhelmed and have no idea in which direction to go? I’m beside you,” God says, “just walk with me. I’ll show you.”


It has been about two years now since the doctors confirmed that the damage to my brain because of CO poisoning has resulted permeant defects. Before we exactly new the end-results Melissa and I were struggling but were still hopeful. I ran across an entry from my devotional journal written during that time…

Today’s Meditation – December 19, 2010

Well, unfortunately I am still not doing well. Cognition is not the best. Strength, balance, and coordination are still lacking. It is hard to be in that place between health and disability. There is no lasting strength to accomplish anything. On the other hand, there is no lasting weakness that merits complete rest. Yet, rest usually wins out as dizziness and weakness appears at any moment without warning. I short I have had a half of day of feeling just OK this week.

Uncertainty is commonplace as no-one can know for sure if these Carbon Monoxide caused effects are permanent or not. In other words there is no prognosis. The only prognosis that I have is that God is in control and that He ordains everything for His own wonderful purposes. This truth is enough to get me through each week, day and hour not matter how hard that may be.

My more recent struggles for purpose came because I had forgotten that truth that God reminded me two years ago on that day in December.

I do not know what you are going through. I have friends who are going through incredible trials much worse than my own. No matter the circumstance may I encourage you? God is in control and He ordains everything for His own wonderful purposes. This truth is enough to get us through each week, day and hour no matter how hard they may be.

So, when we’re struggling for direction, let’s start here: just do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with Him. Everything else will become clear in time.


Comments 1–8 of 8
On 11/28/12 sydney millage said:

Thank you for the timely reminder. So much of life is simply putting one foot ahead of the other in faith. What a comfort to know God is directing and we can trust Him with the outcome. May He glorify Himself through these clay vessels.…Thank you.

On 11/28/12 Wanda Taylor said:

Thank you, David, for these reminders. How I need to follow them as well. It's easy to get "off focus" and "without purpose". I am rejoicing in HIM, HIS purpose and the privilege to just simply love HIM.

On 11/28/12 B Anderson said:

Thank you David. Your thoughts are applicable for many of us who are facing uncertainties or even future changes in ministries. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Would you mind if I shared your link or made copies of your blog entry? Give my love to Melissa and kids.

On 11/29/12 David said:

May God bless you ladies. No problem Barb! Share away!

On 11/30/12 Muriel Calhoun said:

David, the blog was a blessing. I have blessed memories of you in Mexico DF and the times had there in the little church. God bless you and family.

On 12/01/12 Jane Slotemaker said:

So simple, yet so hard to do. Why do we humans always try to make things complicated? Then we justify our failures with excuses. Thanks, Dave, for your honesty and insight. God bless you all.

On 04/27/13 Glenna Yehnert said:

David, Your "Sermon" blessed my heart. I could not help but think that even if you cannot preach from the pulpit as you used to do, you can still present a very needed message to those who will read. As God teaches you through His Word, you can teach others. Have you thought of writing for Christian publications?

On 10/09/14 Sara Skinner said:

Thank you!

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