Micah 6:8 - 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.
When these words came in my mailbox yesterday I could just hear the voice of Pastor Bob Ona as he spoke them the very day (April 18, 1999) I came to Christ! Nothing magical about those words, but powerful...especially to walk humbly with our God.
Our Pastor, Rory Grooters, spoke last Sunday on success coming from seeking God. He spoke about King Uzziah who walked closely with the LORD during his 52 years as being king of Jerusalem. His seeking God was an act of humility. He had been raised with the reverent understanding of who God was and what He would do for those who respected Him. He became king at 16. Times have changed a bit. Imagine today's 16 year old, on average, given that type of responsibility. Imagine 16 year olds walking humbly with God....not that it isn't happening.
Sometimes we don't think of success coming from humility but rather boldness and an "it's my way or the highway" position. It seems humility can be viewed as weakness. In God's eyes humility is just the opposite. Proverbs 22:4 is a good word from God: By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches and honor and life. Sounds like walking humbly with our God.
Uzziah was successful throughout his 52 year reign because he sought God. But let's take a look a what happens when there is a change. How it didn't happen before 52 years we'll never know but somewhere along the way Uzziah stopped walking humbly with God. His pride got the better of him and this displeased the LORD...to the point of placing leprosy upon this king, removing him from his duties and living the rest of his life in shame. This well known proverb is another example: When pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom (Proverbs 11:2). And of course there is the often quoted Pride comes before the fall (Proverbs 16:18).
An aside: I was listening to news one morning and Senator Rick Perry was being discussed as a possible presidential candidate. He's a staunch Christian. I know in today's world we want answers NOW, so one of the panel members made the remark that when Perry was asked a question about an issue he said, "Let's pray about it." This just does not fly in today's world. However, this may be what Uzziah did during his successful years. This is really what we should be doing, but I know it just ain't gonna happen! Success through humility and seeking God? Unheard of!?
We are a people so desirous of doing things our way. Sometimes when all is said and done people wonder what they could have done different to have been more successful. Walking humbly with our God, which doesn't always come to mind, might have been the answer. Some might say they are successful without seeking God. One will never know the plans God had if they sought Him first.
Walking humbly with Him. Did you notice that...with Him. (Not apart from Him.) We can do this if we have a mind to receive Him and allow Him to transform our lives...not that we are puppets only being manipulated by God, but first knowing Him intimately, then knowing what His promises are for those who choose to follow Him and be obedient to what He knows is best for each of us. We are to fear God. We are to reverence Him and honor Him. We are to praise Him.
He has shown us...by example. Jesus has shown us. What awful things can you think of that Jesus ever did? He spoke softly in love and firmly with words that were (and still are) hard. It was how others chose to receive that made those words appear harsh. He only spoke the truth because that's what He is. He had great mercy. He taught and healed. He remained silent as people chastised Him. He bore our burdens. He also gathered people as a Good Shepherd would and protected them. He walked the long road to Golgotha for each of us. He did not complain, but rather did it out of love for us. And at the end He asked God to forgive us.
Truly an amazing example. Who wouldn't want to walk humbly with this Man? It is what He requires of us who have chosen the path of righteousness with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Imagine the successfulness of our lives if we adhered to a humble path of mercy and justice toward others. Success comes if we set our minds to doing as Micah suggested. Ah, we have a long way to go before perfection...
1Peter 5:6 - Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.