We often hear the phrase, “wait expectantly on the Lord.” For someone like myself, whose schedule rivals that of a Congressional member, I find waiting to be one of my most difficult challenges. But to wait expectantly is a little different than the waiting we experience surviving the line at the DMV. It isn’t actually waiting in the sense of presence without action but, in fact, the opposite — waiting with action. So, what are the actions we are waiting with? What is it that we are supposed to be doing?
Well, before we can begin waiting with it, we have to understand what the “it” actually means… integrity. By simple definition it means, “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. The state of being whole and undivided.” Wow, that is a pretty awesome thing to have or strive for! I don’t think there is anyone who doesn’t want to be considered an honest and moral person. Growing up, my dad would constantly remind my sister and I the importance of honesty and the value of one’s word. “That is all you have,” he would say, “your word is your bond. So make sure you do what you say you will do, mean what you say, and hold true to your word.” I am sure many of us have heard this same type of message growing up.
Now, as I am raising two amazing little people, I think the same holds true with morals. As a mother, I hope and pray that my children will grow up to have strong morals as adults. It is a hope that they will conduct themselves as honest, loving, and genuinely good people. People who will do what is right even if it is not popular; who know they answer to Christ the King and that not any other desire on earth should be stronger than appeasing Him.
With that being said, how do we as women wait with integrity? Waiting with integrity is about how you conduct yourself, how you train your thoughts, and how you pray. It’s how you are disciplined in your actions against temptation, and how to keep hope when we are working on ourselves to become better in every sense of the word. In Scripture, we are taught about integrity and what that means in regards to our daily activities.
Proverbs 4:25–27 says, Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.
How are we being guided in this Scripture? We are taught to look towards our goal, directly in front of us, not allowing ourselves to be distracted with what is going on around us or outside of the path to get there. Ponder the path of your feet… think about how you are getting towards your goal. For us, waiting with integrity is just that. We are considering our journey and how to stay disciplined, focused, honest and genuine. All while growing as Christian women to eventually receive the man that God has in store for us.
If we stay focused on the path and the direction we are going, if we keep our effort on obtaining that goal… then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil. It’s easy to read but harder to put into practice. I think we are often unaware of all of the temptations that the enemy throws at us on a daily basis to simply take our focus off of God and off bettering ourselves. The enemy wants to create reactions of anger, hopelessness, anxiety, frustration and fear. He finds joy in our moments of weakness because it is his hope that it will pull us further away from God. Even our very basic insecurities that we think we just have in ourselves are actually fueled by none other than… the enemy! I am serious.
In fact, the next time you start to feel anxious or afraid of something or insecure about what you look like or where you are in your life… the next moment you feel like you have lost hope, immediately stop that thought and pray! Pray for Jesus Christ to wrap his arms around you and remove whatever negative emotion you are feeling. Tell the devil that you are a child of God and your body, mind and soul have no place for thoughts or feelings of negativity. Tell the devil that you rebuke him and all his efforts of ungodliness and all of the actions he has pressed upon you in the name of Jesus Christ. Remind him that the blood of Jesus Christ is far stronger than anything he can try to do and you will not waiver in your faith or in your mind. In that moment if you say that prayer knowing that God will answer, knowing that the power of Christ is far stronger than any emotion or reaction from the devil, I promise you those feelings will disappear by the time you have finished that prayer. I have put this into action many times and the Lord has never failed me.
I want you to simply focus on that Proverbs Scripture and what it means to put that into action. Think about your goal and practice pondering the path to get there. Over the next few weeks, practice rebuking the enemy’s attempts at filling you with fear, anxiety, insecurity and any other negative emotions that you feel. You can write down that prayer and keep it with you wherever you go. The more practice you have, the easier it will get, and the stronger you will become. Waiting with Integrity takes effort and discipline. One of the easiest things that can knock us off our path is allowing our emotions to make us weak and change our course. I challenge each of you to strengthen your mind and your power in prayer. This will be an awesome tool that you will call on many times during your journey and will be instrumental in building genuine integrity.