There will never come a day in your life that Satan will not try to get you to hesitate to obey, compromise the truth, doubt your faith, or simply give up. If we learn nothing else from his persistence with Job, we should learn and appreciate this. He is ever on the prowl, and he is most certainly not your friend (1 Pet. 5:8). We often fail to appreciate just how devious he can be. He chips away at what we do in every aspect of life, looking for weakness and wearing down our strength. His ultimate goal is to pry us loose from our attachment and devotion to the Lord. He does not need to provoke us to some major public sin to succeed; he just needs to drive a wedge between us and God so that our faith wavers just enough so that we lose the conviction we need to do God’s will no matter what the cost. We recognize Adam and Eve’s failure, but this does not offer us much comfort, which is why we should become more familiar with Job’s success.
Despite suffering personal devastation in his life greater than most of us could ever even imagine, God Himself described Job as a man who “holds fast to his integrity” (Job 2:3). That is such a powerful phrase! We often treat integrity as just a fancy word for honesty, but it is so much more. Indeed, we do not see any evidence in the text that Satan attacked Job’s honesty. Integrity is more than that, something much deeper. Satan’s personal war against Job sought to break his spirit and wear down his spiritual defenses so that he would turn against God, stop obeying Him, and start blaming Him for his problems. Job refused to go where Satan tried to push him. He rejected Satan’s premise even while he did not understand God’s purpose. That is integrity. Integrity does not consider turning away from God because integrity recognizes there is no valid excuse that justifies doing so. Even when God allowed Satan to inflict Job with serious illness, Job would not use that as an excuse to turn his back on God. All of this finally got to Job’s wife, and she, like many today, questioned Job’s devotion and integrity—likely out of how hard it was for her to see her husband hurting. However, Job refused to give in to temptation (Job 2:9-10). He clung steadfastly to his integrity and would not allow any of these things to sever his trust in God.
Living with integrity demands a conviction like no other. It requires trust in difficult circumstances and faith when an explanation seems elusive. Living with integrity means committing yourself to following God, listening to God, learning from God, and submitting to God regardless of the consequences because you refuse to accept moral contradiction in your life. Living with integrity thus depends on knowing God so well that you accept His will without exception and seek to understand life through the prism of God’s holiness. Job did this. He was confused—and understandably so—but He continued to seek understanding from God rather than turning to the world. In its most basic form, this is integrity, and both the world and the church need more of it.