We seem so often to be enamored with greatness. Big places. Large crowds. Rock star personalities. Unbelievable acts of generosity. An unintended consequence of our constant celebration of greatness is that we miss the power of small things.
Through the years, I have seen all too often in my life a tendency to swing the pendulum from one extreme to the other. Seasons of prayerlessness followed by a decision to spend hours in prayer. Missed opportunities to express generosity followed by thoughts of selling it all and living out of a box. Blown windows of evangelism followed by a vow to share the gospel every day with someone.
Micah asks a series of questions that reflects the historic tendency we have of going to extremes to try and express our dedication to God.
“What can we bring to the Lord? What kind of offerings should we give him? Should we bow before God with offerings of yearling calves? Should we offer him thousands of rams and ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for our sins? ” (Micah 6:6–7, NLT)
I can't tell you how much that sounds like my life. So often, I have tended to respond to times of spiritual reawakening by making vows and commitments that must have sounded to God like the offering of my firstborn (sorry Landon).
All the while, what God is looking for has likely not been the great things, but the series of small things throughout my life's journey that represent the heart's constant journey with God. Micah responds to his series of rhetorical questions with a classic statement of simplicity:
"No, O people, 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," (Micah 6:8 NLT).
When we look at the greatness of God, or experience a season of fresh encounter with the saving work of the Lord in our lives, our hearts naturally look for some way to express our awe and thanks to God. In those moments, I am challenged by this prophetic text to not always try to express my devotion in greatness, but in the simplicity of small things. Doing the right thing in the myriad of small moments that comprise my life. Giving people a break in the countless opportunities for offense that occur in a day. Simply inviting the Spirit of God into my life from my first waking moments until my last conscious thoughts each day.
At the end of a life lived in this manner is found the greatness that we often seek to express to a God whose character and saving acts keep us constantly asking, "What can we bring to the Lord?"