July 2, 2018
I Want to Hold Your Hand
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8 NIV)
Friend to Friend
When our kids were itty-bitty my husband Brad and I used to hold little hands a lot. Sometimes it was to protect them from danger, like if we were crossing a street. Sometimes it was to calm fears or to help them to feel secure. Sometimes it was because we were on a mission to get through or to a place quickly. Other times it was for the simple pleasure of strolling, skipping, and smiling together.
Now that they’re older, my kids aren’t so keen on holding hands with mom and dad anymore. Sigh. There is still the occasional watching-a-movie-on-the-couch-at-home handhold, but it’s a rarity. And I miss it.
I love locking fingers with my people. There’s a beauty and intimacy to it. A tangible connection that binds our skin and braids our souls. I love walking with them, hearing their hearts, talking through tight spots, giving advice, laughing and enjoying their company.
Similarly, our heavenly Father finds pleasure when you and I walk with Him. When we take His hand and share our time, trials, treasures, and thoughts.
The prophet Micah spoke to this. “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
This is a simple, yet profound summary of God’s desire for us. A revealing of His longing for you and me to live in constant communion with Him. To lace our fingers with His in good, bad, scary, and sad times. Whether the sun is high in the sky or thunder rumbles low in our hearts.
Let’s break that verse down a bit.
In order to act justly I have to behave in a way that God considers just - not the ways that the world considers just. My righteousness (my salvation) was made complete through the sacrifice of Jesus, but my willingness to walk in His righteousness is a choice I have to make each day. I get to choose whether I will do things my way or yield to the Holy Spirit within me and move as He leads. When I pray and invite the Lord into my day, it’s like reaching for His hand and asking God to lead me in His ways.
Mercy is God’s kindness to NOT punish our sins as we deserve. It is His restraint from condemning His children (all who believe in their hearts and confess with their mouths that Jesus is Lord.) If it weren’t for the mercy of God all hope would be crushed! Instead, hope is vibrant in grace. We can live responsively to His mercy (love mercy) by being grateful women … women who thank God each morning for a clean slate. We love mercy when we forgive others as we have been forgiven. When we do not condemn others as we might think they deserve.
WALK HUMBLY WITH GOD
I love how the Bible describes the relationship between God and Enoch.
“Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.” (Genesis 5:24) What in the world? I don’t know what set Enoch’s relationship with God apart so much that God just had to snatch him from earth, but my glory - I want me some of that! Don’t you?
And look what was written about Enoch’s arc-building great grandson, Noah. “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.” (Genesis 6:9)
They walked faithfully with God.
My prayer today is that God would consider me a woman who walks faithfully with Him.
I don’t want to be the girl who only reaches for His hand when the road is bumpy, when my checkbook is empty, or when my feet are stumbly. And I don't want to be like the teenager who is embarrassed by her dad and only gives him attention in private or on occasion. I want to live with the faith of a child who acts justly, loves mercy, and daily takes the hand of her Father to face each moment, mountain, and memory right by His side.
Dear Lord, Please teach me what it looks like to walk faithfully with You. Show me what it looks like to act justly. Convict me when I don't. Help me to love mercy and to give it as freely as I take it. I want to hold Your hand.
In Jesus’ Name I pray,
Now It’s Your Turn
Read Colossians 3:1-17 to see some practical ways you can live out Micah 6:8. Then and prayerfully consider which of the verses challenge you the most today. How should this inform your believing and behaving?
More from the Girlfriends
We’re pleased to announce the new GRACEOLOGY with Gwen Smith podcast! Hang out with Gwen and friends when you go on walks, exercise, run errands or travel. Podcasts are also perfect to listen to as you do household chores! (Laundry anyone?) Each GRACEOLOGY with Gwen Smith podcast episode is filled with fun, faith-focused, grace-filled conversations that will help you know and trust God more. These discussions are going to encourage you in meaningful ways to live out and lean on the GRACE of Jesus in the midst of cluttered, messy days. CLICK HERE to subscribe on iTunes, or visit GwenSmith.net/Graceology for more information.
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Originally published Monday, 02 July 2018.