The world views worth by doing, producing, making, and creating. Once you can no longer do that in the world’s eyes, there’s not much more you can do so you go to the sidelines. But the Bible talks a whole lot more about being than doing. God is a lot more concerned with who we are than what we do because who we are is going to bleed over into what we do. God is far more concerned about us growing in Christ-likeness and being more and more like His Son.
That’s precisely what the prophet Micah was dealing with in his book when detailing Israel’s lack of a changed heart. Regardless of their religious rites or sacrifices, no matter how extravagant; they could never compensate for a lack of love (1 Corinthians 13:3). External compliance to rules is not as valuable in God’s eyes as a humble heart that simply does what is right. Or simply put, who you are matters more to God than what you do.
It’s not that what we do doesn’t ultimately matter but instead of working from the outside in, God works on us from the inside out. Be encouraged with what Ephesians 2:10 has to say:
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:10
Do you see how this verse is structured? All the way up from Ephesians 2:1-9, we have the Apostle Paul detailing the nature of our salvation and how as believers in Christ, we are brought from death to life. One of the most popular passages in this group of verses is Ephesians 2:8-9 which says:
“For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is God’s gift — not from works, so that no one can boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9
All the verses up to this point have instructed us to believe who God says we are and to believe what He has done in us and for us. Then, in verse 10, Paul moves from the nature of our salvation to what we do in response to that gift. We don’t do works to change ourselves. We trust God to change our hearts. When we choose to walk humbly (Micah 6:8), it represents a submissive heart attitude toward God. We depend on God rather than their own abilities (Micah 2:3). Instead of taking pride in what we bring to God, we need to humbly recognize that no amount of external action can replace a heart committed to Him.
Isaiah 64:6 even details what our righteous acts are like if they are disconnected from God:
“All of us have become like something unclean, and all our righteous acts are like a polluted garment; all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities carry us away like the wind.”
Instead of gazing at how much we want to do for God, let’s set our hearts on what God is doing in us and look forward to what He puts in our path as a result. We ultimately need to remember that it’s His glory we seek, not our own. When we’re able to be who God calls us to be, we can therefore do what God has called us to do.