Crossroads: What Does God Want from Us?

This week’s Crossroads is taken from Jessica Asbell’s newest book, Where Faith & Family Meet: A Book of Weekly Devotions.

Micah 6:1-8

Your Story

Talk about a time when someone told you what to do but you didn’t understand what they meant. Did you get clarity? If so, how?

My Story and the Bible Story

I like to know exactly what is expected of me. If someone asks me to do something, I ask questions to make sure I know what I’m supposed to do. I hate disappointing people just because I wasn’t sure what they wanted, so I make sure to ask. Sometimes we worry about disappointing God. We’re not always sure what God wants us to do. We’re not sure what the right thing is, and we’re afraid to act because we don’t want to disappoint God. The people in Micah had disappointed God in a big way, and they weren’t sure how to make God happy again.

Read Micah 6:1-8.

At this time, the people made sacrifices when they did something wrong. They brought animals to the temple and sacrificed them to God. This sounds strange to us today, but it was a way for these people to show that they knew they were wrong and wanted to do better in the future. But then they really messed up. In this passage, it seems that they got tired of following God and maybe even started following a different god (there were people who worshiped a lot of different gods back then). They made some huge mistakes, and they were trying to get back to God. God wasn’t happy with their animal sacrifices and didn’t want them. Instead, God wanted them to do what God had asked of them. God wanted them to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God.

Imagine making your parents upset and trying to give them a cookie to calm their feelings. But then you turn around and do the same thing all over again. The people kept turning away from God. They kept ignoring God and what God wanted them to do, and God was tired of their offerings. Instead, God wanted them to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with their God. God wanted them to obey.

Sometimes it’s hard for us to know what God wants us to do. While we may not turn away as much as the Israelites did, there are still times when we don’t really want to do what God wants us to do. Or maybe we sort of know what God wants us to do, but we’re not sure, so we do our own thing instead. The prophet reminds us that we can’t just say, “God didn’t tell me what to do,” and do what we want to do. We know what the Lord requires, what God asks of us. Verse 8 is a great reminder: “the LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” This means we can’t say to God, “I didn’t know what you wanted!” We know exactly what God wants. God wants us to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God. If we do those things, we’ll be following God and doing what God wants us to do. And then God can use us to do amazing things!

Discussion and Prayer

1. Ask your children to talk about times when they weren’t sure what to do. What happened?

2. Talk about what it means to love mercy (that is, to show compassion). Also talk about what it means to walk humbly with God (that is, to live in ways that show respect and honor to God above ourselves).

3. Discuss ways you can walk with God this week.

4. Pray, thanking God for showing us what to do and asking for courage in doing what God wants.

Rev. Jessica Asbell is the Minister to Children and Families at First Baptist Roswell, where she has been serving since 2012. She has written the children’s curriculum for Smyth & Helwys’s Annual Bible Study for the books of Daniel; Ezekiel; Luke; Jonah; 1 Corinthians; 1, 2, 3 John and Jude; Colossians; The Story of Israel’s Ancestors: Living toward a Promise; and Where Faith & Family Meet: A Book of Weekly Devotions. She has also written for CBF’s Spark and Form and for Affect in CBF’s fellowship! magazine. Married to Jonathan Oravec, Jessica reads every chance she gets.

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