FAITH AND INTEGRITY: DEFINE YOUR CHARACTER (II)
In the first part of this article, we defined the words, faith, integrity and character and used Daniel and his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azanah to illustrate what we meant by those words. If God could testify about the faith and integrity of some people who lived before us, we should also live a life that God can testify about; after all, these things were written down as warnings for us (I Cor. 10:13). We will now again look at things in the scriptures that can help our living too.
How To Be A Person of Integrity.
i. Have His Spirit: Daniel possessed excellent Spirit of God (Dan. 5:13b-14) Joseph had this Spirit that enables him to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams. We must be a person of the Spirit.
ii. Walk With God: We must walk uprightly, blamelessly, obediently, righteously and steadfastly with Him in order to be perfect. God said ‘Abraham, walk before me and be perfect (Gen. 17:1). We need to examine our lives with the word of God daily and run away from sin and desires of sin.
iii. Possess His Wisdom: “For the Lord gives wisdom” (Prov. 2:6). He gave wisdom to Joseph for interpretation of dreams. He gave Daniel wisdom. Daniel and his friends were high officials of government in Babylon and Persia. As God’s representative, they never stole from government unlike today’s official who enrich themselves from government resources.
iv. Be of Good Character: Your character will determine your destiny. Your wisdom will put you in high position. Pharaoh said ‘Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is Spirit of God’ (Gen. 41:37). Then Nebuchadnezzar said “Praise be ………..then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon (Dan. 3:28-30).
v. Have His Word Living in You: Joseph was well acquitted with the word of God, a thing he leant while he was with his father before providence took him to Egypt. He made use of this word in his life. Daniel and his friends knew the word of God that forbade them from eating food offered to idols and worshiping the only true God. They were therefore not prepared to compromise their faith-in His word. “I have hidden your word in my heart………” (Psalm 119:11). Walk according to the law of God.
vi. Be Prayerful:- Always take your burdens to Him in prayers (I Pet. 5:7). When the decree was enacted to kill the wise men of Babylon – David and his friends went to God in prayers and God answered them. He still does today for all who call on Him.
vii. Let Your Life Model Christ:- Daniel lived an excellent live so much that the king himself saw the exceptional qualities in him and was considering setting him over other officials in the kingdom. His enemies also saw this conduct that after all their schemes failed, they knew they could not have any misconduct charge against him except to charge him with something that has to do with his God. (Dan. 6:1-5). Paul instructed us. “Let Christ be seen in your lives”.
viii. Be Watchful: Those without your faith and integrity will attempt to bring you down, be watchful. Joseph brought bad report about his brothers’ activities to their father He also told them of his dreams. They hated him for all of these (Gen. 37:1-5). The enemies of Daniel connived together to have Daniel killed because they deserved that he had a Spirit different from theirs. It is still prevalent today. People all over the places are watching, and scheming for our downfall. Therefore, be self-controlled and alert (I Pet. 5:8-9a)/
ix. Make The Right Decision:- Always let your decision be based on the word of God and your faith in Him. Stand for the right, even if you have to stand alone in the period of Noah, the Lord looked down on earth and how great man’s wickedness on earth had become…… made them (Gen. 6:3-7) He was grieved that He had made man. Even in those period, Noah found favour in the eyes of God because he was righteous, blameless……… and walked with God. Samuel said ‘Here I stand; testify against me in the presence of the Lord and His anointed …………. (I Sam. 12:3-4) A person of integrity will be bold like a lion.
x. Prepare To Face Persecution:- Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers. The governors and satraps plotted against Daniel and his friends in Babylon. Our Lord Jesus was persecuted by the same people came to save. His apostles were similarly persecuted by the Jewish leaders. Jesus told His disciples if they persecuted me, they will persecute you also (John 15:20) Infact, everyone who wants to live godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (II Tim. 3:12)
(1) He will never love you:- After Daniel had been thrown into the lions den the entrance sealed with the king’s signet ring, the king returned to his palace But God did not live him. On the moved when the king came calling, Daniel in an anguished voice said……..” they have not hurt me. (Dan. 6:19-22, Dan. 3:24-26.
(2) God will be exalted in your life – (Dan. 3:29, 6:26-27, Gen. 41:38, II Cor. 1:3-4).
(3) You will live a fulfilled life (Gen. 45:8-13, I Sam. 12:2, Dan. 3:30, 6:28).
(4) God will judge your enemies (Gen. 50:15-18, Dan, 6:24).
Conclusion: The significance of your life is determined by the positive impact your life has on others combine faith and integrity to bring out the godly character in your life. Then, you will fulfill the word of our Lord…..’ You are the salt of the earth……… you are the light of the world (Matt. 5:13-14) Shalom.