Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Purty Good Idea

Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
​​Ten thousand rivers of oil?
​​Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
​​The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
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 6:7-8

Walking in the knowledge of the flesh, we think we have a purty good idea what will please the Lord. This pleasing is remarkably similar to what would please us, if we were to say win the lottery or somethin'.

The story goes something like: if I could just win that big prize, or garner that big bonus, or whatever that big windfall is floating out there in the imagination, then I would give God a big portion of it and He would be so pleased with me. I could hold my head up in church and walk the streets with the knowledge of how good I had been to the Lord. Yup, seems like a purty good idea there.

Then the prophet Micah received a bit of knowledge from the Lord that just shot down my plans for pleasing God with the strength and mightiness of my imaginary generosity. Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly? These things are rather alien to my flesh. I cannot imagine how I might fill a bank account with justice and then give back a chunk to the Lord. And doesn't love have something to do with taking clothing off and wrestling around in bed? (The movies seem to make that point.) No, when it comes to pleasing God the flesh is pretty dumb. No wonder someone invented idols to make offerings to and expect favor; it's easy for the flesh to understand investing in the Great ATM. Humbly? The flesh doesn't get that either; isn't humility for folks who have nothing to offer?

Praise God for the Spirit in me who understands doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with our Lord. It is interesting that I cannot please the Lord without the Lord. The flesh I was born with is just too dumb to please God. I needed a rebirth in His Son to begin to understand what pleasing the Lord is all about.

Great is His name in all the Earth!

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