“What does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Recently, while out for Chinese food with friends, I noticed a man walking his dog past the restaurant. Normally I wouldn’t have looked twice. But the dog’s owner had taken the leash, put it in a figure-eight configuration, and placed it firmly in the dog’s mouth.
My friends explained that it’s against the law in their town to walk a dog without a leash. This clever dog owner had found a loophole—the law didn’t stipulate that you actually have to hold the leash! The amazing part is not the loophole, but that the dog was walking in obedient step with his owner, even though he could have bolted away to chase a nearby squirrel.
Our walk with God needs to be like that. While God in His mercy gives us a long leash and rarely gives us spiritual whiplash by yanking on it, He doesn’t delight in the struggle to keep us in line. He delights when we walk in a surrendered way with Him.
When Israel whined to the prophet Micah about how hard they thought it was to please God, He replied with a straightforward, simple way to please Him. Being just and loving mercy while we walk humbly with Him brings God great pleasure (Mic. 6:8). You’ll know He is pleased when He doesn’t have to hold your leash anymore.
This passage first appeared in “Strength for the Journey with Joe Stowell” (www.getmorestrength.org)