The Road of Integrity
Various so-called prophetic voices claiming ‘thus saith the Lord’ are making promises for2017. I heard one the other day say that it would be the year of “supernatural intervention” where God would intervene so quickly when you needed a miracle that the answer would come before the words were barely out of your mouth. I’m sure our Father is saying a lot to and through various people for this year, but I submit He is calling His bride to a life of a lot less “spots and wrinkles.” Biblical ethics and character have always been the whisper from the lips of the divine Spirit. We are called to the integrity of the incarnation, to moral aspiration, to a life of covenant, to Godward growth and Kingdom participation and to the Holy Scriptures. Even in the midst of crisis and temptation, growth is possible. Whatever you face in 2017, remember, Crisis is often the fertile ground of opportunity for transformation to a better life. Joseph, Daniel, Jeremiah, Ruth, Paul, Mary, Barnabas and of course Jesus prove the theory. Even in the bleakest of times, God speaks. He is not a gossip of the numinous, attempting to flatter us into taking short cuts to maturity and growth. Reverence for God and integrity is the water and food of the soul’s nourishment, given freely by our creator who rejoices when His kids make something of themselves by becoming people of character. Integrity is the ebb and flow of the river of maturity. The tide of purity washes us with tiny particles of transformation— with the sand of godliness – cleansing, polishing and thereby empowering us to realize the need for the suppression of self (flesh). Walking, living, thinking and seeking a life of purity helps one to realize just how deeply broken, shallow and powerless we are without Christ. I fear we are on the brink of trading the central message of the Gospel, the cross and the blood for some bread and lentil stew (creature comforts) just as Esau did. We seek the crown without the scars and then prefer to get to where we are going in style, rather than seeking the narrow road that leads to life and godliness.
God hasn’t checked with me on this, nor anything else, but I am convinced after forty years in the ministry that the road of integrity guides our conscience and promotes healthy ways of handling life with wisdom and d loving balance. We desperately need a reformation in our understanding on what it means to ‘please God.’ When we do, revival is sure to follow. Whether we are a monk, religious scholar, house wife, shoe salesman or preacher, the road to integrity leads to vaster and more glorious depths of the spirit. Growth and conquest is the mystery of all that providence implies: the certainty of vision, the path of His presence, the beauty of artistic exegesis with growth through biblical reverence. Our exegetical agenda and orientation to new horizons are found on the pathway of word-flames made of integrity. As we burn the midnight oil kneeling at the altar rail, holding fast by prayer through the wee hours, we are taught that we wrestle not “against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers in high places” (Eph. 6:12). Since the war is spiritual, it involves not tanks and rockets, but politics, the world of public opinion, and media; it is an Armageddon against holiness and sacredness. We must stand our ground for purity!
It is on the road to integrity, as seekers and searchers after God’s heart, that we find solace, rest and the power to “go on” during spiritual combat. As explorers of contaminated lands filled with fleshly landmines, we are trained to war in the spirit, to intercede for ourselves and those we love. We must be attracted to the simplicity of moral fortitude, to the geography of kataphatic prayer, hungry to enter the angelic parish in the heavenlies in which God is the eternal professor in the mini-university of our soul. In these last days God himself is breaking through the comatose defenses of the soul, forming an inner courtship, ripping away our flesh, eradicating passivity and pride. He is on a vigorous clean-up campaign to rid the church of its apologetic lukewarmness and sub spiritual ministry.
Whatever else the Lord may say to you personally, consider seeking a Covenant of Integrity during 2017 through prayer, fasting and spending quality time with him. Partnering with God through godly living is essential to God’s short and long-term theological and relational alignment for all who would seek him with their whole heart. During 2017, take the Road of Integrity and you will always arrive on time, lacking nothing for your journey.
Meet the Author
Alan Bullock has a BA in Biblical Studies, a Master’s Degree in Biblical Counseling, and an earned Doctor of Theology. In addition, Alan is a Certified Pastor Counselor, a member of The International Association of Christian Counseling Professionals (IACCP), and also a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC).