“The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired Him that He would show them a sign from heaven. He answered and said unto them, ‘When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather today: for the sky is red and lowring.’ ‘O you hypocrites, you can discern the face of the sky; but can you not discern the signs of the times? A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas.’ And he left them, and departed.” (Matthew 16:1-4)
Integrity is the integration of the heart with the knowledge you know. Men take knowledge as a grain of salt. They place very little value on their own words and on the words of others. They give no heart to what they hear and what they read. They act as if they bear no responsibility for the light that was given to them, but God holds men responsible for every word they hear, and they will stand in judgment one day for their obedience to the light that was given to them. Furthermore, the integrity of our heart depends upon our response to that light.
“And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” (Luke 12:47-48)
In the opening Scripture, Jesus was confronted by the religious hypocrites of His day. They were demanding Him to produce a supernatural manifestation to prove His doctrine was from God. Jesus labeled them straight to their face, “You hypocrites!” They were positioning themselves before men as God fearing believers, when in reality they were unbelieving rebels against the knowledge of the truth they knew. They knew what Jesus said was true, but they refused to accept it, and repent of their wicked and adulterous “beliefs,” because the cost to believe God’s Word was more than what they were willing to pay. Their relationship with God was not that important to them.
“Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.” (Proverbs 23:23)
God will not prove the truth to anybody. Once you know the truth you are responsible to believe it and live according to it. Living for God will always cost you something. God deliberately designed this life to weed out the genuine from the phonies. He does not value quantity over quality like men do. He would rather save the “few” that are genuine and allow the “many” to take the broad road to Hell with the multitude than compromise the integrity of His heart to the truth. Integrity of heart is what God values as priceless.
“The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.” (Proverbs 10:20)
If you value the vanities of this world more than a heart of integrity you are not worth much in God’s sight, and He will not save you from Hell. He would rather live without you. However, if you humble your heart from wicked and adulterous beliefs and be faithful to His Word, you will be a priceless gem of great value that is worthy of saving.
“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that takes not his cross, and follows after me, is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:34-38)
Many people think that being a Christian means being “polite” and “nice to everybody. Nothing could be further from the truth! God did not call you to be a “Politician.” He called you to be a “Christian” a follower of Christ. Jesus did not come to Earth to be nice butt kissing man pleaser. When people took offense at the truth He spoke, He just let them stay offended. He was not an “Apologetic” trying to make the truth palatable to every proud self-centered idolater. He came to separate the true believers from the unbelievers, the real from the false, the quality from the quantity, the truth from the lies.
“Then came His disciples, and said unto Him, ‘Don’t You know that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?’ But He answered and said, ‘Every plant, which my heavenly Father has not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.’” (Matthew 15:12-14)
Most people will not cultivate a heart of integrity because the price of believing and obeying the truth is too great. They value their family’s beliefs, their friend’s beliefs, their possessions, their “own reputation” in the eyes of men as more important than the integrity of their heart to God’s Word. They are deluded by the spirit of this world that seeks honor (worship) from men instead of honor from God directly. They are self-centered and jealous, because they love attention! They are unbelievers of the truth, because they love the glory of men. Satan will take worship anyway he can get it!
“How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?” (John 5:44)
Are you going to let the fear of man hold you captive in rebellious unbelief towards God’s Word to save your own face before a man? God will not give you a sign to prove His Word is true. Once you know the truth He expects you to believe and obey it.
“For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.” (Hebrews 10:26-27)
Many people think that just because they go to church every week their heart is right before God. As if God has a popularity campaign for the Eternal Presidential Election. God instituted the church to help people draw near to Him by hearing and obeying His Word. Hearing God’s Word without obeying His Word is a waste of time. A person must believe and obey the Word before it will profit them. The heart will not become any better just hearing another sermon. Instead of making it better it will harden the heart in apathy and rebellious unbelief.
“Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, ‘As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest:’ although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he spoke in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, ‘And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.’ And in this place again, ‘If they shall enter into my rest.’ Seeing therefore it remains that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: Again, he limits a certain day, saying in David, ‘Today, after so long a time;’ as it is said, ‘Today if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.’” (Hebrews 4:1-7)
Man’s relationship with God is within their heart. If their heart is not integrated with the truth they know there will be no relationship with God. God will not have a relationship with liars. People that do not exercise a heart of integrity may not be deceiving others, but they are deceiving themselves.
“Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholds himself, and goes his way, and straightway forgets what manner of man he was. But whoso looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” (James 1:21-25)
Integrity of heart is the first step to walking with God and fulfilling His kingdom purposes. After the heart is integrated with the truth, and value is placed on the knowledge of God’s word, then He will give specific revelation to make wise decisions now and for the future. However, if your heart does not value His Word He will wait until you choose to esteem truth as more valuable than the temporal things of this world. God will not give His precious wisdom to those that do not value it. The Book of Revelation was given to the Apostle John because he loved Jesus enough to believe and obey His Words.
“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” (Matthew 7:6)
“Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he has no heart to it?” (Proverbs 17:16)
“I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Revelation 1:9)