Suffering is Your Opportunity to Show Your Quality (Part 9)

Integrity is the Heart of the True Believer

It is time for me to begin moving into the account of Job, the retelling of this actual event. I have been meandering about the fragrance of its death and the splendor of its beauty. Death to Job and his will and reasonings about God and beauty regarding the actual Life of God in Job and revelation of Him through Job.

These are no small or mundane thoughts of truth, these are the warp and weave of the fabric of heaven and Eternity set in the context of Time on the earth. Death to Self for another – both physical and soulical; Beauty beheld in the Person and personification of God through men.

Beloved, our little thoughts and meanderings in life are of such insignificance unless they are the thoughts of His Mind and the goings of His Way.

So beginning in Job 1 let us begin some thinking and going with eternal purpose and portent, let us lay aside avery weight (of our thinking and doing), and the sin (of arguing I am something, when I am nothing) which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.

“There was a man… whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.” v.1 How was Job perfect? Not in the way we think. We so often are lost in translation. The translators do a very good job at exchanging the thought of one culture to another through the currency of language, but not perfect, in the way we think of perfection. We think of perfection as flawless, without blame or fault.

Here is the Hebrew expansion of the word translated as perfect #8535 (tawm): complete; usually (moral) pious;… undefiled, upright. An advective meaning integrity… a rare, almost exclusively poetic term often translated perfect but not carrying the sense of totally free from fault, for it was used of flawed people.

I believe the sense of integrity carries the meaning very far. This is a person who is not hypocritical, not false, not deceiving in any way toward others and especially to himself “… one that feareth God, and escheweth evil”. There are massive numbers of those who make a pretense of loving God and hating evil, but that is all it is – a pretense and a show. It is sad how easily we deceive ourselves to believe what we want to believe.

What is it in man that he can be so easily duped into thinking that because he can make others believe things are true about him (through lies, deceptions and manipulations) that that makes those things actually true? God looks right through the outside presentation and sees the heart. And we had better get really good about searching the heart to see what is really in there, because God can see it. In fact it is what He is intensely focused on.

God’s great preoccupation is not what you do or what is happening to you. His great occupation is who you are becoming and what is happening in you, in Christ. While so many put a lot of effort into the outward showing, trying to attract God’s attention by the works of our hands, trying to concern God with our affairs and plight, His plight remains that there are none that seek Him to do His will.

So what kind of heart is God looking for? “… one that feareth God, and escheweth evil”. What does that look like? “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him.” 2 Chron. 16:9. I believe that those who are seeking Him with all their heart, with all their mind, with all their strength, with all their soul have His attention – like Job.

Who is Satan going to and fro throughout the earth looking to devour? I believe that those who are seeking Him with all their heart, with all their mind, with all their strength, with all their soul have His attention – like Job – “… one that feareth God, and escheweth evil”.

Those who are not known by God are not sought by Satan. They are his already, they are not lost in his opinion. How can someone be lost if they are still in the same place you left them?

God is looking for those in the Way, those who have begun and remain in Him. Remember that a seed (the Word) can be planted and then never bear fruit because of the conditions of the soil? How can God’s seed be fruitless? It is not the seed, but the soil which is bad. “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isa. 55:11.

Is everyone who hears the Word saved? “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” 2 Cor. 13:5. It is your will, which no one can control but you, that must not only meet God’s will in the matter of your salvation, but work with it, submit to it and even die to it.

Yes, God is continually looking for those whose hearts are turned toward Him with integrity, who actually believe Him, love Him and trust Him – not those who say they believe Him, say they love Him and say they trust Him and then go about establishing their own will in their life.

“He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” Mark 7:6.

Who do you suppose God is talking about here?, those who are lost or those who are making a pretense of a relationship with God for their own personal sense of security or financial and social welfare, yet have no integrity in that relationship? “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matt. 7:21-23.

Well, we have established one thing thus far – Job has both God’s and Satan’s attention. Satan is certain that he has Job in his clutches like so many others who are making a good show of it. God knows Job’s heart and the stuff he is made of – Him. Now comes the classic showdown at the OK corral. The entire arsenal of Satan (limited by God) is pointed right at the heart of the matter – a heart of integrity. Can it stand the onslaughts of hell? Stay tuned.

Suffering is your opportunity to show your quality.