Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What Does God Really Want From Me?

Micah 6:6-8. Many of us try each day seeking to please God. At times when we run into deep trouble, we wonder if God is the cause. When we are very happy, we want to do things that will make him feel proud of us. It is not only now that the desire to please God has preoccupied man, it has been since the foundation of the earth.  Even the chosen people of Israel had to seek his opinion on his wishes. In this dramatic dialogue, the Bible presents Micah and Israel:

Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? (Micah 6:6-9).

These verses are the core of our lesson today. After reading this text, you will know exactly what God wants from you.
Many people think that God enjoys their sacrifices, so they perform them day after day and week after week like the priests did. They do that in the form tithes, offerings and community and volunteer service. They feed the hungry and visit the sick in the hospital, yet they live very wicked and sinful lives. They are racist, they backbite, the cheat, they give to showboat, they hate their neighbors, they beat their wives, they abuse their kids and the insult other people who do not look like them. There is something nowadays that I don’t seem to understand amongst Christians. You are talking with them, but immediately after you turn your back, they are speaking evil of you.
God once asked Samuel and then he answered it himself that, “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” I Sam 15:22. God does not desire sacrifices and offerings, and he does not require our sin and burnt offerings. Jesus has already sacrificed himself for us. All God wants now from us is a broken spirit and a broken and contrite heart (Ps 51:17). What can we give to God that is above our souls? Jesus asked, “What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?” Come to God with thanksgiving and music. Praise Him for his good works. Sacrifices with sin are like filthy rags. They will be rejected because they do not please God. That is why many cannot find God today because he has withdrawn himself away from them.
The time has passed for human sacrifices. Many people are merely trying to offer sacrifices today to God as if to placate him or flatter him. Many are following the footsteps of the world. They are imitating what everyone else is doing. One thing they don’t know is that God does not need money from their bank accounts or their sumptuous homes. He does not need a bull from their stall or goats from their pens because “The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.” (Prov 15:8). To God, to do what is right and acceptable is better than any sacrifice one could offer. How many of us still keep perpetuating the cycle of racism, yet we are offering huge sums of money to charity? How many people volunteer all their time but they hate their own very relatives? Think about those who are divorce and want to kill their partners to take everything just to make them suffer? They seek the Lord from one place to another, but they do not find him because he hides himself from wicked people like them.
.Walking with God is a special thing. Enoch walked with God faithfully for at least 365 years. All that the Lord wants from mankind is to walk in obedience, to love him, to serve Him because that is why humanity was made (Eccl 12:13). God has set before mankind life and prosperity, death and destruction. We must each chose if we want the former or the latter.
To maintain justice is to do what is right. Now, is it right for you to treat other people as inferior being simply because you are the dominant group? See what is happening in Gaza. Christians are killed in Gaza too. It is not because they are terrorists; their sin is that they are Palestinians. To be humble is to have a contrite and lowly spirit and to revive the same in others (Is 57:15). God has pleasure in those who are humble contrite in heart and who tremble when at his word. How important is the word of God to you? If it is, then you will obey it at all times.  
To show mercy we should also identify with the oppressed. Silence in the face of oppression is endorsement of the same. Do no wrong to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not spill innocent blood. "This is what the LORD Almighty said: 'Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another” (Zech 7:9).

Until then, God wants justice, mercy and humility from you.

St Arrey of Ntenako.

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). "It is not how well you know a person; it is how well you treat them that they will live longer and happier with you." Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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