Build Your Character

An excerpt from the book “Navigating Towards Success: In Pursuit of Fulfilment”; To be successful in life, you must develop the virtues of godly character, integrity, honesty and holy living that flows from a pure heart. It is an essential nature of the divine life of God in the believer’s life. The absence of these virtues will open the doors for craftiness and familiar spirits to influence you and your works. It is up to you to develop the discipline to direct you to a higher path of fulfilment in your walk with Christ.

Character:

Character is defined as the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. It is one’s nature and personality. Character is a moral discipline of life. It is an essential element that reflects our true image. True godly character is the nature of God, [that is, His divine life in us], and this character is revealed in the issues of morality, righteousness, justice, values and management of behaviour and self-control.

The Kingdom of God is a kingdom of righteousness, truth and justice, and as citizens of the Kingdom of God, we must express these virtues. A man of character is a man whose life is governed by the principles of God’s Kingdom. We can’t speak of Christ and live contrary to His nature and the principles of His Kingdom.

As sons of God, our character is a reflection of the conviction of our belief in the true God – Yahweh. This character is the consistent manifestation of Christ’s life in us. It flows out of the purity of the heart that is reflected in the actions of our daily lifestyle. This means, if your heart is not pure, your character will not be godly. For example, God is Holy, and if we believe in Him with all our heart, then we must be Holy and walk in holiness, because without, we won’t see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). We will touch on this nature of God’s holiness, and our requirement to live a holy life [live blameless] in this chapter.

To build character, you really need to look within your heart and focus on investing and developing yourself – reflecting on who you are, what you are called to do, and working to fulfill your divine purpose.

Character is a prerequisite and priority for leadership excellence and success. We must treat it as more important than anything else.

One thing character does is that it reveals your level of spiritual maturity, especially when power is handed over to you. Power corrupts, but power also reveals character.

A godly character can be seen in your attitude of humility, peace and patience, but a bad character will be seen in the expression of an arrogant attitude, spiritual control, and actions which debase the dignity of others.

You must learn to always minister out of your CHARACTER [His divine life] and not just from your CHARISMA [gifts]. Put order in balance in your life and ministry – [Character + Charisma], and the result will be Success.

God can use anyone, including illiterate people, but one thing is for sure, God doesn’t anoint foolishness. We have too many men walking with great charisma (gifts) but a lack of godly character. It is your godly character that will sustain you in the place where your charisma opens.

Don’t run ahead and overstep the boundary and order of God by rejecting His process. One thing is certain, the process of God builds and instills in us the godly character that is required to fulfill our eternal purpose in Christ.

More than ever before, the current church culture desperately needs people with impeccable character.

Integrity:

Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. Integrity and honesty are a rare commodity today, and many are failing in their life’s purpose because of the lack of these virtues. If you are going to be successful in your divine purpose, you must possess these virtues and let them govern your belief, ideas and the principles by which you live. Your works and titles will be of no value if you lack spiritual and moral integrity, honesty, and living a blameless life.

God singled out Job as an example of a man who walked in integrity. The Lord treasures those like Job who give priority to Him and stick with Him no matter the circumstances.

The Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed My Servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil. And he has maintained his integrity, even though you urged me to harm him without cause” – Job 2:3 NLT.

Integrity should be an important virtue of those who proclaim the name of the Lord. You must always keep to your word and honour your commitment, and stay away from evil, because they are a reflection of your character and the virtue of integrity and honesty in you. Let your lips be of truth. Don’t be perverse in double ways, living in lies and in breaking your promise.

For I speak the truth and detest every kind of deception – Proverbs 8:7 NLT.

The one who lives with integrity [walks honestly] will be helped, but one who distorts right and wrong will suddenly fall – Proverbs 28:18 CSB.

You have control over your character. The best way to go about this is to be on the right track in living. An honest life of integrity is to know what the Lord requires of you and be obedient to His instructions.

Your test of integrity is in the life that you live in the closest, because that will reflect in your public life.

I will behave myself wisely and give heed to the blameless way—O when will You come to me? I will walk within my house in integrity and with a blameless heart – Psalm 101:2 AMPC.

The position you hold in life and ministry may cause people to become aware of you, but only your integrity will cause them to respect you and be willing to follow you. This is one of the needs for leadership today.

Integrity is only established when it becomes clear to everyone that financial reward, status and recognition are not your gods and primary goal; that you value something more, something you refuse to give up for profit and popularity – your Kingdom principles.

With integrity comes influence. You can manage people without integrity but you can’t influence them without it. Let us be leaders of integrity and influence.

Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States of America said, “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” I beseech you therefore as ambassadors of Christ to stand and live for truth. Be a man and woman of integrity!

One of the rewards of integrity is “pleasing the heart of God.” God is pleased when people are honest.

“I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there” – 1 Chronicles 29:17a NLT.

Salvation is of the Lord, but when you walk in integrity and honesty, they will protect and rescue you. God will uphold you when you walk in this uncommon virtue (Psalm 25:19-21, Psalm 41:11-12).

Be truthful and honest. Strive to always display a high level of integrity in your life, your relationships, your ministry and in everything you do. Learn to keep to time, appointments, and to your word of promise. Value loyalty. These are important things that help shape your lifestyle. Place high premium on them and you will succeed in what you do.

Honesty:

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable (Honest), and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise – Philippian 4:8 NLT.

Honesty is an honorable virtue that we must fix our minds on. It was vital that the early apostles placed this as one of the required characteristics for the Lord’s service. They said, “look for men with honesty whom we may appoint over this business to take responsibility” – Acts 6:3. Such a requirement is still the same today, because God demands the best from us, as we reflect Him in our duties for His Kingdom.

The sons of the kingdom are people with high standards, and not hypocrites with a practice of pretending to have higher standards when they really do not. Hypocrites are considered to be religious snakes.

In Matthew 23, the Lord Jesus warned against hypocrisy, and those who do not practice what they preach. Jesus called them snakes in verse 33.

A footnote from the Amplified Bible Says: “The serpent is the creature used by Satan to introduce evil into the Garden of Eden. Jesus continues the imagery of Satan as the serpent working through religious people who continue the propagation of evil through deception, false teaching, and man-made laws and traditions which are given priority over God’s law.”

Honesty is not only telling the truth, but leaving the right impression and living a life that is consistent to our faith in Christ.

Children do not learn honesty and integrity from society; they learn it from the examples set at home by their parents. This also applies to the spiritual family you are connected with. If there is lack of integrity and honesty among the leaders, it will rub off on you and affect you. Always teach the value of a clear conscience.

The godly walk with integrity; blessed are their children who follow them – Proverbs 20:7 NLT.

For we take thought beforehand and aim to be honest and absolutely above suspicion, not only in the sight of the Lord but also in the sight of men – 2 Corinthians 8:21 AMPC.

I pray you will strive to make honesty a core value and principle of your life, not only in the sight of God but also in the sight of men.

Holiness:

Holiness is the sum total of God’s nature and character. It reflects His eternal nature – God is Holy (Isaiah 6:3, Revelation 4:8).

Holiness is the setting apart [separation] of yourself to something of higher value. It is important to understand that this separation requires you to be cleansed, so you can be filled and used by God. When you set yourself apart, you must give yourself to something. This separation is like a two-sided coin. Setting yourself apart is one thing – [you are being emptied], but you must give yourself to something – [the filling of yourself with the precious contents you entrust to your separation].

Separation is not holiness, but separation is essential to holiness. Holiness is the divine filling without which the separation leaves us empty.

But now you must be Holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is Holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be Holy because I Am Holy.” And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray have no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of Him during your time here as “temporary residents” – 1 Peter 1:15-17 NLT.

Anyone who professes Christ without holiness is false. Such a person is not walking in the truth.

To be holy is simply to live a life free from sin and to devote yourself to God. It is a personal lifestyle of moral character and living in right standing with God, and pleasing to Him. God is pleased in your walk of holiness – your separation to Him.

I will accept you as fragrant incense when I bring you out from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will be proved holy through you in the sight of the nations – Ezekiel 20:41 NIV.

As sons of God, your holiness in everything you do will cause God’s power to be displayed in you that will cause people to seek Him. This is why every true believer will strive to live holy, and will detest and ignore every false teaching and association that will allow and encourage a lifestyle of freedom with sin, rather than empowering them by grace to live the ‘Christ life’ – being separated to the Lord.

If you don’t have a proper view and understanding of holiness, you will easily fall and be entrapped by immoral behaviour and an unrighteous lifestyle that is not pleasing to God.

I believe there are certain realms in Glory which only the “holy ones” can walk in and partake of the unique blessings which are allocated to those dimensions.

These realms of Glory require absolute purity in heart [holiness to the Lord].

“Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. They will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God their Savior” – Psalm 24:3-5 NIV.

More so, the Bible speaks of the “holy” apostles and prophets who are now privileged to the mystery of Christ through the Holy Spirit. The insight into the mystery of Christ is not given to all, because there is a distinction that qualifies those to whom it is revealed to, it is the “calling” and the character of “holiness”, which is the sum-total of God’s nature and the trait which they carry in them.

“Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets” – Ephesians 3:2-5 NIV.

You can’t profess to be a part of the Kingdom of Christ, and claim to be an apostolic and a prophetic person or company of people, and not strive to walk in the character of holiness to the Lord. It’s non-negotiable.

As a professed believer, if you are not walking and living in holiness to the Lord, it means you are living after the flesh, under the rule of the carnal nature [in accordance to one’s desire]. Such lifestyle creates a deep emptiness and worthlessness in your heart, which affects the effectiveness of your prayer life and your ability to worship God in Spirit and in Truth. Living after the flesh hinders the anointing of the Holy Spirit and the manifestation of the glory of God upon your life. It also brings an inferiority complex and the spirit of condemnation that will affect your spiritual standing, your reputation and your dignity. More so, it will stunt your spiritual growth and success.

Trapped By Earthly Passion:

Your strong, and barely controllable, emotion [passion] is earthly in you, and it will pull you down and bring shame that will never be wiped away.

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry – Colossians 3:5 ESV.

Sexual immorality has destroyed many destinies and has sent many to their early grave. Many are snared in their lust and passion, and if they do not seek help to be free, the consequences are loss of honor and strength, a ruined reputation, and self-destruction (Proverbs 5:9-11, Proverbs 5:14, Proverbs 6:32-33).

You must discipline your flesh, bringing it under subjection. It is called self-control. If you don’t control or kill your passion, it will control you and ultimately destroy your life and your divine purpose.

A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls – Proverbs 25:28 ESV.

The scripture strongly encourages us to flee the passion and lust that tempts and captures people (2 Timothy 2:22).

The carnal pleasure of sin drains your energy. It slowly saps the life of your spiritual relationship with God and kills your confidence. It becomes a legal ground for the accuser of the brethren (satan) to make mockery of you, and seek to destroy your reputation in order to silent your prophetic voice and destiny. The only solution is in the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ, when you confess them [repent and renounce them and find mercy].

“When you turn away from the lifestyle of sin, you will prosper” (Proverbs 28:13).

True men and women of honour are those that love the Lord [they love their family] and do not give their strength to strange [loose] women and men swayed by all kinds of evil desires, nor their ways to that which ruin and destroy kings. They are responsible people of character and vision that walk in integrity and holiness, and they provide for their homes (Proverbs 31:2-3, 1 Timothy 5:8).

Restrained:

Kingdom minded people are not people who are unrestrained. The moment you discover God’s divine purpose and choose to walk in His direction, you will develop a disciplined lifestyle. You will have to make expedient decisions and choices, because some things may be convenient for you, but possibly improper or immoral.

Purpose and destiny can be actualized when you walk in true godly character of Holiness, just like Joseph, and not like Judas who sold His master for 30 pieces of silver.

Joseph could have conveniently slept with his master’s wife, but he refrained from it (Genesis 39:7-12).

You can do it, but you refrained from it. That’s a restraining attitude. As it is said, ‘non-reaction is not weakness, but strength!’

You say, “Under grace there are no rules and we’re free to do anything we please.” Not exactly. Because not everything promotes growth in others. Your slogan, “We’re allowed to do anything we choose,” may be true—but not everything causes the spiritual advancement of others – 1 Corinthians 10:23 TPT.

Not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life], hence we must develop a restraining attitude.

This is where the mind plays in, and it needs to be controlled. It’s challenging, but it is possible.

A controlled mind leads to a standard of living higher than what the flesh demands. We will look into this in the next chapter.

Some Guidelines To Help You:

1. Evaluate your relationship with God constantly [and with your spouse, if married]. As you do this, ask yourself if you have the fear of God in you? This will help you to seek for the fear of God in your life.

2. Guard your mind from every garbage – Be careful what you feed your mind on, what you watch and listen to and read (Proverbs 4:23). Satan will always make war against your mind, seeking to distract and to distort your divine purpose. This is why your mind must always be guarded.

3. You need internal strength to resist external pressure – [this is why you must constantly fill yourself with God’s Word, living according to the Word, and dwell constantly in His presence in prayers] (Psalm 119:9).

4. Resist every appearance of immorality and sexual temptation – the Bible admonishes us to run from it (2 Timothy 2:22).

5. Be accountable to a “matured leader” for discipline and correction – [someone who is responsible, who will love you genuinely, counsel and cover you spiritually, so you can walk in the provision of God’s grace and live victorious in this area of life]. Such a person is one who is “set in by God” to disciple [discipline] you according to God’s pattern, and purpose for your life.

Do you know that a disciple literally means a disciplined one? A disciple is one whom has been disciplined or trained by the Master.

You must submit to and endure [correction] for discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons. For what son is there whom his father does not [thus] train and correct and discipline? Now if you are exempt from correction and left without discipline in which all [of God’s children] share, then you are illegitimate offspring and not true sons [at all]. Moreover, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we yielded [to them] and respected [them for training us]. Shall we not much more cheerfully submit to the Father of spirits and so [truly] live? For [our earthly fathers] disciplined us for only a short period of time and chastised us as seemed proper and good to them; but He disciplines us for our certain good, that we may become sharers in His own holiness. For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it [a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness—in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God] – Hebrews 12:7-11 AMPC.

No one can personally disciple himself or herself. Someone must disciple you. Discipleship requires the submission of one’s self to another in order to be disciplined or taught.

To some people, the thought that quickly comes to their mind is, ‘they are not to submit to any man,’ because they consider it as a form of spiritual control; but only to God the Father will they seek to submit themselves to.

In an undisciplined religious age when false-grace (liberty and license) have replaced spiritual law and loyalty, anything that requires submission, accountability and sacrifice is easily dismissed by our flesh and replaced by excuses and justification for doing what’s convenient. But in truth, anyone that is without discipline is not a disciple of Christ.

If we are not required to submit to a person to be spiritually discipled (disciplined), then the scriptures wouldn’t have said so, and the Lord wouldn’t have given the five-fold ministry of apostles, prophets, teachers, pastors and evangelists to the Church for discipleship.

Discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God – Hebrews 12:11 MSG.

When you are connected to a true leader who is spiritually mature, who knows the ethics of trust as a virtue to protect your integrity and image, who does not expose and make mockery of your weakness publicly, but in love and sincerity seeks to save your soul through the wisdom and way of Christ, then you will be secured and saved.

It is the LORD who does the setting of the solitary into a family [for discipline, for spiritual covering and for spiritual fathering] – “God sets the solitary in families….” – Psalm 68:6a NKJV.

“Your God-given relationship will always reveal your purpose.” It contributes immense value in such a way as to improve your assignment.

So many have been wounded and destroyed by certain individuals that they have aligned and submitted themselves to for discipline [for spiritual covering and spiritual fathering], and their vision and work have been hijacked and thwarted by these crafty individuals.

It’s important to note that God does not assign anyone into your life for spiritual covering, or spiritual fathering in order to change your heavenly vision and divine purpose through their discipline, but rather to complement and accurately align you to Christ, to fulfill your divine purpose in Him. This is why you don’t choose and submit to people by convenience or through manipulation, but through a clear leading of the Holy Spirit that is birthed out of an intensive prayerful consideration and a prophetic revelation from the Lord.

Prayer:

I pray that the Lord will give us men and women of true morality and vision in our generation, who are humble and of noble mind. Lovers of families. People of character that will chase after God, and not men pleasers, who are seeking for temporal pleasure. May there arise mighty men and women of honor that will glorify God, and may you be one of them. Amen.


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 Copyright © 2020 by Israel Onoriobe

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