“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely.” Proverbs 10:9
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. . . . Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” Ephesians 6:10-13
The word “integrity” is the key word in Proverbs 10:9. A secure walk is not a matter of clever politics but of personal integrity. But what is integrity? This Hebrew word suggests completeness, wholeness, fullness. So, no compromises, and no breaches or gaps or refusals in the face of duty, but rather, saying Yes to the Lord moment by moment. There is a completeness to our life in Christ, with no compartmentalization. The Lord gives all, and he claims all. When we yield all, we walk securely.
Proverbs 10:9 reminds me of Ephesians 6:10-13 and the whole armor of God, and “having done all.” So yesterday I tweeted: “No short-cuts, no half-way Christianity, will stand.” In our age of the ironic inversion of our true grandeur, I do not accept the mocking erosion of who I am as a knight in the service of the King.
What then does that resilient Christianity look like, at least for me? As I thought it through, I came up with a checklist for whole-armor Christianity, as I work out my own salvation:
1. Union with Christ, his centrality in my story, with his complete all-sufficiency for all my need today.
2. Utter loyalty to the whole Bible, with apologetics but without apology.
3. Prayerful dependence on God’s wisdom and power, treating God as real moment by moment.
4. Honesty, openness, confession of sin, enjoying forgiveness in Christ as my constant reality.
5. Full authorization as a husband, father and pastor, accepting no diminishing of my offices but fulfilling my roles with a whole and joyful heart.
6. Readiness to suffer and die at any time in the course of my service.
7. Sincere and costly commitment to the true good of everyone within my influence.
Walking in this integrity, I walk securely, fully armed against the schemes of the devil, entirely equipped to serve my family and my church in a full-orbed way.