Column by Manning Pastor Sam Livingston: What's required of you?


Every person in some form or another is associated with an organization, place of employment or a group of people that have demands placed upon us. We hold membership and positions in civic organizations, Greek letter organizations, lodges, for our jobs, etc. Every last one of these positions has placed expectations and requirements upon us. The most common phrase I continue to hear is, "What should we do?"

The nation is in an uproar like nothing that we have ever seen in our generation, and it appears that it will get worse before it gets any better. This is not the time to ask shrinks, psychologists, Dr. Phil, Oprah or any great thinker of this generation what we should do. We need to seek sound doctrine from the person at the highest position in the universe. No, I am not talking about Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un or Donald J. Trump. It is time for us to fervently seek God for answers on how to turn this and other countries around. We are witnessing a nation in self-destruct mode. The only person who can deactivate our current position and reset the nation to normal is GOD.

We are keenly aware of what our organization or employer expects of us. We have carefully read the constitution and bylaws of the organizations we belong to, and we have examined our place of employment's employee handbook. The billion-dollar question, however, is what does God require of us? Our reactions to this question determine whether God smiles upon our nation or frowns because of disappointments. Here is the most simplistic biblical answer to what God requires of us.

Micah 6:8: "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"

The author of Micah listed three requirements that would please the Lord. The first is, to do justly. How does a person deal justly? These bullet points should help us.

- Be fair and equitable;

- Be guided by sound morals;

- Be transformed by the Word of God;

- The just shall live by faith, Heb. 10:38; and

- "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Our nation's foundation is built on biblical principles. The preamble, the Constitution, the Pledge of Allegiance, etc. are all biblically sound.

The second requirement is, to love mercy. To demonstrate mercy:

- Is to be compassionate;

- Kind and giving toward others; and

- Show pity.

What happened to us, that we have become hateful to everybody from our families to strangers? In the words of E. C. McKenzie, "The loneliest place in the world is the human heart when love is absent." God keeps giving us chances to get it right.

The third requirement is, to walk humbly with God. We must be able to control our emotions and humble ourselves. What does it mean to be humble?

- Not proud or arrogant;

- Courteous and respectful; and

- To destroy your will for power.

We have fallen into a demonic trap of superiority. If we are not careful, we will consume our days writing off those people who we consider ourselves to be above. If we expend our lives fulfilling the requirements that the Lord placed on us, we would have little to no time at all to stir in the business of others.

The handwriting is on the wall. If we don't do something soon, this nation will give up its birthright as one nation under God. Take time today to honor the requests made toward us in Micah 6:8.

We should never obligate ourselves to retaliate on the home team!

Sam Livingston is pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Manning.