But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33-34
All around us every day are opportunities to walk away from the blessing of God. Yet as we start this new year of 2010 (which I can hardly believe that it is 2010 even as I write it) I wanted to challenge us to proclaim in our hearts that this will be the year of living righteously. Not that you haven’t been before but to make a fresh commitment to ask God by His grace to help you to walk with a renewed commitment to integrity and obedience to His word.
It is amazing to me how many times in a day we can be tempted to take steps that we think will lead to our gain but are not the way of the Lord. Temptation to live selfishly and not selflessly, to respond in pride and not humility, to take matters into our own hands to get what we want when it might not be God’s desire for us to have it, the overwhelming temptation to get involved in gossip or slander when we know those conversations are not pleasing to God. To allow our eyes and hearts to get captivated by things that distract and destroy.
Even this morning when I was tempted to sleep in and miss an opportunity to meet with God and just rush into a busy day, I felt the prompting of the Lord telling me ‘you will miss a nugget of gold I want to give you today’. And I would have! This is the nugget I would have missed…
Better is the poor who walks in his integrity
Than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.
So today Lord I am asking you to work once again integrity into my heart and to keep my lips from perversity.
That means that I will keep myself from speaking that which is distorted
or twisted to satisfy my own needs and chose to speak righteously and
with integrity. Those become fighting words when it comes to the battle of the flesh versus the Spirit, but our resolve needs to be ‘I will chose righteousness’.
We need to understand that we will be tested and tempted to walk in ways that are less then righteous every moment of every day but we can hold fast to our resolve.
3 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.” NKJV
Even when Satan tried to tempt Job into distrusting God and taking matters into His own hands, he held fast to His integrity. Job knew that the ultimate blessing no matter what it looked like at the moment, no matter how God forsaken he looked, was living in a way that was pleasing to God.
This is not an easy resolve to make. Last year we have a wonderful speaker, Cher, come to speak at a ladies ministry night and she spoke of her own commitment to living righteously and I got calls for days afterwards from ladies telling me how truly difficult this essential choice is. Thank God we are not left alone in this, but that we can ask God to help us. We have the power of the Holy Spirit who will guide us into ways of righteousness if we ask Him.
4 Show me Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day. NKJV
It is God’s heart to teach us how to walk in integrity with Him, the Holy Spirit’s job is to lead us and to give us counsel. So let’s renew our hearts as we begin this New Year and this Decade to live in such a way that is pleasing to God and to enjoy the fruit that comes from this very difficult, yet rewarding choice.
The righteous man walks in his integrity;
His children are blessed after him.
For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?