My friend David Hickman is a visionary. Years ago my husband and I stood in a church parking lot and talked about dreams, holy burdens, and the heart of God concerning the city of Charlotte.
David had a BIG dream…a GOD-sized dream…a dream of gathering young adults beneath the cross of Jesus…regardless of denominational differences, rhetoric or dogma. And more importantly, he had the unwavering faith and pit-bull tenacity it takes to transition that vision into a thriving reality.
Today, CharlotteOne stands as a broad-reaching ministry with an exemplary testimony of area churches coming together in unity to worship God, make disciples, and do life. That’s true New Testament stuff.
This past Spring I was honored to be asked to paint as a part of their corporate worship experience. The message was on Finding God’s WIll…a topic a lot of us struggle with regularly, regardless of our age. It was a toughie…one that couldn’t be minimized with any kind of scriptural band aids. No iconic cross in the corner or nebulous scriptural text would suffice…and so I leaned in.
I leaned in to listen. It’s so confusing. I leaned in to hear His voice. It’s like grasping for smoke. I leaned in to hear His heart beat. Who am I? Where do I go? What do I do? I leaned in…and what I heard was no chaotic or random or unattainable. It was filled with peace and comfort…and love.
We make it so complicated and heavy…WHAT DOES GOD WANT ME TO DO?!?!?! But it is quite simple, really:
Micah 6:8 (NKJ)
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.
I’ve never heard it quite that clear before in all my 29++ years. 🙂 To be honest, it’s my new Life Filter. These three simple questions have helped my weary heart to silence so much of the white noise…from the media, from friends and family, even from the Church. There are a million voices telling you what you should or could do. But God makes it simple.
- Does it promote justice for your fellow-man? (check.)
- Does it fully embrace and extend mercy? (check.)
- Does it compel you to walk humbly before God? (check.)
What a beautiful little list. Notice that it’s not perfection-based or performance-based…but completely, undeniably, unregrettably LOVE based. Nothing else really matters to God in the grand scheme of things. Nothing catches His attention as much as these. Nothing reflects His heart the way they do.
As I painted that night, I felt my own chains of bondage falling away. I felt a spiritual release from things I’d heaped upon my own soul in a lifelong attempt to earn God’s affection and acceptance. I experienced an internal freedom from worry and strife that I hadn’t even realized was clouding my thinking. The voices had blared in my head and now there was silence…such a peaceful clarity.
The perfect setting for hearing His soft and gentle whisper.
Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly.