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Beyond Myself

One of my favorite passages of scripture has been, for many years, the clear, simple instructions that are found in Micah 6:8. These concise words state how it is that we should live if we want to please God.

“He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.”

If followed, these words birth and strengthen character, integrity, and honesty in our lives, it is one thing to say them, but we all know that it isn’t easy for us to act justly (as we are so selfish), it is hard to love mercy (because it’s such an unfair concept), and it is hard to remain humble (because we are so full of pride). Probably buried somewhere within my soul, I felt that if I spent the rest of my life working on these three areas, then God would be glorified. This alone will surely be a difficult enough task, certainly requiring and deserving of my best efforts.
I must confess, though, that my thinking regarding this verse falls so short of God's dreams and visions for me and us. I have realized that following God is not simply about learning how to follow God; it’s about where we follow God too! The call is not just to follow God personally but to follow God on the mission.

While most people can probably reference a part of Micah’s words (because they adorn much of our Christian paraphernalia), I would guess that there are few who could quote the next verse. Micah 6:9 says, “Listen, the Lord is calling you to the City”.

It is not enough that we invite God to work in our hearts; we must be people who let God work through us in the cities where people are far from him. Micah 6:8 isn’t just about us; it’s about what God wants to do through us. God wants us to take justice, mercy, and humility into the streets of our cities so that his kingdom can be established.

I have recently been challenged by the words of Bob Roberts, from his excellent book ‘Glocalization’ -

Until our faith engages the whole of society, we will not see transformation. Until our understanding of the kingdom of God moves beyond the gospel of individual conversation, we will keep it all inside churches. Until our vision is expanded beyond what makes me feel good and successful to what brings the most glory to God, we’ll just be piddling around playing church and being religious while missing what God has called us to do”.

Think beyond yourself. Think mission.

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