Integrity & Worship

10/17/2004 7:36 AM
Title: INTEGRITY AND WORSHIP
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S: “At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell
to the ground in worship.” “His wife said to him, ‘Are you still holding on
to your integrity? Curse God and die!'” Job 1:20, 2:9

O: These two verses likely show Job’s character as much as anything. His
first response to the first calamity was to go to worship God. His wife’s
response to the 2 calamities was “Would you quit worshipping?!” His
character appears fairly flawless – or at least his motives seem pure.

A: I wish my character was pointed in that clear of a direction. In the
midst of calamity, I appears as if I can easily go the opposite direction of
worship. I can easily go to whining, complaining, and criticism. Job went
to worship. How did he learn to do that? How can I learn to do that?

I know Ellen White says that the spirit of criticism is from the spirit of
Satan. I would likely guess that she would say the same thing about whining
and complaining too. How did Job learn to do that? How can I learn to go
to worship first?

I remember the first time I had a low time and I was able to hang on to
doing my devotions THROUGH the low time. I remember that time very clearly
– although I don’t remember what the low time was about, I can still
remember thinking, “Wow! I’m in a spiritually low time, and an emotionally
low time and I’m still having my devotions.”

Two things helped me to accomplish that: 1) regularity of devotions, and 2)
spiritual growth. I don’t mean to make it sound like I had made some major
breakthrough in my spiritual life, but I had found some regularity in my
devotional life in the months and years before and yet had not made it
through the low times. So it can’t be just about regularity. Perhaps it’s
about discipline. Perhaps it’s about emotional maturity. Perhaps it’s
about something else.

But Job didn’t just go through a low time, he went through a time of GREAT
calamity. He went through some pretty horrible things. The first time, he
basically lost all his money and all his family – and he turns to worship.
The 2nd time he was still poor and familyless and then lost his health – and
he must have turned to worship again, because his wife’s response was that
she had had enough.

She asks him to lose his integrity. How does a person lose integrity? I’m
not sure integrity is a simply choice one makes and can lose with a simply
choice. Integrity is a direction in life. It’s a direction and not a line
in the sand. In other words, I don’t think Job could have done away with
his integrity at that moment even if he had tried. It was so firmly
entrenched in his mind. It was so firmly entrenched in his actions. It was
so firmly entrenched in who he was, he COULDN’T change.

I want to be a man of integrity. I want to be a man of integrity in times
of heartache and in times of good. I want to pass on to my kids a message
and a life of integrity.

P: Lord, I think the meetings showed me the true shallowness of my
integrity. I think they showed how I am ready to cave when times are hard.
Of all my talk about taking care of ourselves physically – the stewardship
of the body – and I caved. Of all the talk about discipline, I caved. Of
all the talk about routine, I caved. Of all the talk about devotions – I
didn’t cave, but I didn’t always do them first. Of all the talk about no
sugar, or I’ve had enough sugar, I caved again and again.

Please forgive me, Lord. I can learn something from Job. I can learn again
that the “pursuit of discipline will get me where I want to go in life.”
That’s one of my core values. I let it go a bit during these last few
weeks. I am sorry for that, Lord. I am sorry for the way I’ve struggled
with some of the basic things of life.

I read this in Outlook this morning, Lord – in the Frankly Covey thought for
the day.. I think it describes me pretty well – Your timing is always
incredible, Lord.
“I can tell that I’ve hit the wall at work, and that I need to recalibrate
my life, when I can no longer empathize with others, when I’m focused only
on results, when I ignore other people’s goals, and when I become frustrated
with life’s interruptions. Or when my daughter has to tell me, “It’ll be all
right, Kirby.”
-Kirby Dyess, Intel
Lord, I want to recalibrate my life today. I want to recalibrate my life
this week. I come to you because you alone are worthy and you alone can
accomplish that in me. Please come, Lord, and change my heart and change my
life. Please come and make me like you. Please come and fill me with the
Holy Spirit. Please come and forgive me for being a sinner – a man still in
need of a savior.

Lord, I ask you to take control of my life. We’re headed up to GVR today.
It’s absolutely the wrong time to do just that. But here we go. I pray for
the Holy Spirit. I pray for the Holy Spirit to just give us some refreshing
and some huge times of renewal. It’s not going to be an easy week, Lord.
It’s not going to be a restful week with the hours they expect us to keep up
there. But it is going to be a change of pace. I pray that during this
week, I will spend some time to recalibrate my life.

Thank you, Lord, for the all the people who’ve come into our surroundings
for this time. Thank you for the people who’ve made decisions to join the
church and for decisions to follow Christ. Thank you for the way you’ve led
and the way you’ve opened doors. Thank you for the success. Please guide
us, Lord. Please lead us. Please continue to bring people our direction.

Thank you, Lord, that it’s over and we can get back to normal – I guess that
phrase shows me that evangelism isn’t yet a process, but it’s still an
interruption.. Hmmmm.. I wonder..

I love you Jesus. I love you Father. I love you Holy Spirit. Please come
into my heart and be in charge. I submit myself to you – to grow in
integrity, discipline and honesty. Please allow me to fall on the side of
worship in the midst of the good times and the bad. Thank you, Lord. I
love you.

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