He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God? (Mic 6.8)
Unlike the previous two, this one has two parts: there’s humility, and there’s walking with God.
First, the humility.
Frankly, God shouldn’t have to say this.
Have you ever interacted personally with somebody famous? For most of us, buzzing in the back of our head the whole time is the realization that we shouldn’t even be there, talking with this famous person. He’s famous, and rich, and powerful, and here he is talking to little old us. Plus, he’s famous.
We can hardly believe it’s happening.
Even being in the presence of certain people humbles us.
How much more—how much more—should we be humbled to walk with our heavenly Father?
And in that state, how can we possibly be arrogant or unfeeling toward our fellow believers—or toward an unbeliever, in whose shoes we so recently and unhappily walked, only to be rescued by this Father through no merit of our own?
Humbly is the way we should walk.
And that is the second part—walking with our God.
It’s often been observed that salvation—conversion—is not a fire escape; it’s just the beginning of a lifetime of growing in Christ and an eternity of walking with God. That’s the structural theme of Ephesians, and Colossians, and Galatians, and Romans, and Hebrews, all of which move from a doctrinal section, filled with indicative verbs, to an application section, filled with imperatives.
And so we are designed to spend our earthly lives walking with an invisible God.
There are two kinds of walking, of going on a journey.
The first kind is typified by an elevator ride.
You get on, and if there’s another person there, you both become completely enraptured by the little row of numbered lights above the door.
1 … 2 … 3 …
You stare at them like you’ve never seen anything so interesting.
4 … 5 … oh, look! There’s a 6!
How can we explain this odd behavior?
You don’t talk to people on elevators. It’s just not done.
Because the experience is all about getting where you’re going. It’s not about the journey.
But there’s another kind of journey. It’s best typified by lovers going for a walk.
Man: Do you want to go for a walk?
Woman: Why? Where are we going?
That’s not how the conversation goes. “Going for a walk” isn’t about the destination; it’s about the fellowship along the way. Nobody cares where we’re going; we’re just going for a walk.
We just want to be together.
“Walk humbly with thy God.”
Isn’t it remarkable that the God of the universe, the One who is perfectly satisfied in himself, to whom we cannot possibly be intellectually stimulating, comes to us every morning and asks,
“Do you want to go for a walk?”
And isn’t it even more remarkable how often we respond with
“I don’t know. Where are we going? Is this going to hurt?”
“Is this going to hurt?” indeed. How much do you suppose our response hurts the God who comes to us just seeking to spend some time together, to fellowship, to relish the relationship?
We are an infinitely privileged people, we people of the living God. The Creator of heaven and earth, the King of kings and Lord of lords, seeks to spend time with us, to walk together by appointment. This is for our benefit, not his. We are the privileged ones.
This is what the Lord seeks from us.
To walk humbly with our God.
Let’s not treat it like an elevator ride.