But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot has held fast to His steps; I have kept His way and not turned aside.
Job 23:10-11 NKJV
You can only make a declaration of this magnitude if you walk in the Light. I don’t think that anyone else would dare to say what Job is saying – even someone deeply delusional! Job isn’t being audacious here; he’s just speaking the truth of his life as he knows it. And that truth didn’t just appear out of thin air. Job lived life in the Light, holding “fast to His steps.”
I don’t know what Job’s early life looked like, but his loyalty to God in the face of complete catastrophe appears to have been years in the making. Job seems to really know God, and when his life crashed down around him, he clung to the God he knew as good, even when everything and everyone in his world begged to differ. Job refused to call the Light…darkness.
Faith like that is a gift from God Himself, but isn’t it also wrought in choice? Choice after choice after choice. “Not my will, God, but Yours.”
Maybe instead of telling a “harmless” lie to spare someone’s feelings, I’ll tell the truth and face the consequences. I’ll choose to hold “fast to His steps” and stay in the Light. Maybe I’ll receive a hard truth with love instead of rage and refuse to attack the clear vessel that shines such a burning Light into my heart. These aren’t the surrenders that people talk about in hushed tones or bright admiration, but they are the choices of integrity. These are the unsung steps that are the difference between keeping to the path of God and strolling along the broad, dark way.
Walk in the Light: Truth and Discretion
I struggle mightily with these choices most of the time, and not just because they’re hard choices and often unpleasant. I struggle because I am un-learning the belief that truth and discretion are incompatible. It is not lying to be discreet. If the Spirit doesn’t give me leave to tell something, then I am not to tell it. Likewise, indiscretion is not the same thing as telling the truth. It is almost as much a violation of my soul to lay bare what is meant to be private as it is to lie about it. These have been incredibly painful lessons for me, but I have met and experienced the Holy Spirit in these moments in ways that are priceless to me. That would be reward enough, but there is much more at stake here.
If the world trains us to live by lies, then the Spirit trains us to live by the Light. The world rewards lying with the approval or admiration of humanity, or perhaps power over other people, while the Spirit rewards our love of the Truth with the bliss of ever-deeper relationship with the Lord, spiritual discernment, protection against the counterfeits of the enemy, the power and authority of Jesus Christ Himself over Satan, and so much more. You’d think that would be enough to diffuse any struggle, but love of the world doesn’t always die easy.
The Holy Spirit is training me – leading me – in the ways of a lover of Truth. I am learning, like Job must have, just what it means to hold fast to God’s steps and keep to His Way without turning aside. This is the daily life of a disciple and I am committed. Because I also want to be able to say, “When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.”
But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
1 John 1:7 HCSB