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All of us have had times in our lives when we didn't operate with integrity. But thank God, His Word has transformed our integrity over time.

Integrity comes from faith in God and reverence of God. Many people around us seem to have no integrity; even more in this generation do not know what integrity is. But this should not be so among the people of God. What is integrity?

Integrity is, according to Webster's 1828 Dictionary, "moral soundness, purity, and honesty; it comprehends the whole moral character, but has a special reference to uprightness in mutual dealings, transfers of property, and agencies for others." The American Heritage Dictionary defines integrity as, "completeness, prosperity, and innocence."

Since integrity comes from faith in God and reverence of God, lack of integrity comes from not having faith in God and not fearing or reverencing God. Operating in integrity is a decision; a person decides whether or not they are going to be a person of integrity.

Integrity Grows
Yes, there have been times in all of our lives when we didn't demonstrate any type of integrity. But over time, as we studied God's Word, our integrity grew. When you grow in integrity, you place yourself in a position to receive God's best. You are not born with integrity, but you can decide not only to have integrity, but also to grow in it, just like you grow in faith or in joy. You can develop in everything found in the Word of God.

Let's look at examples in the life of Abraham. Although Abraham didn't start out as a man of integrity, by the end of his life, he had developed much integrity.

In Genesis chapter 12:1-4, the Lord told Abraham to leave his country, to move away from his kinfolk and away from his father's house into a land that He would show Abraham. The Lord was going to make of Abraham a great nation, so great that those who blessed it would be blessed, and those who cursed it would be cursed. So Abraham (Abram) did as the Lord commanded, traveling to Egypt.

You know Sarah was not Abraham's sister, I know Sarah was not Abraham's sister, and Abraham knew Sarah was not his sister. Abraham lied. His statement in verse 13 is one that lacked integrity. Abraham allowed this man to pay him lots of money for Sarah, and he didn't give the money back. He accepted the money under false pretenses, another act that lacked integrity.

Abraham told the same lie about Sarah being his sister in Genesis 20:2 in his dealings with Abimelech. But Abimelech's integrity of heart kept him from sinning. Even though Abimelech was in a position to mess up, God protected him because of his heart of integrity (Gen. 20:6).

God has kept us out of some serious traps that we would have fallen into because we didn't check with Him about the decision we made. Even though we didn't go through all the things to find out the real truth or background of a matter, somehow we were protected. God did for us what He did for Abimelech. If God sees the integrity of your heart, He will shield you.

If you are not someone who tithes, you are an individual who does not walk in integrity. The first step of walking in integrity is doing something about your money.

Do you give tithes and offerings? Or, do you have to play catch? Abraham gave tithes of all, of everything he act. Now this was an act of integrity. Abraham came to understand that God was the One who gave him the power to get wealth.

There are different ways to scale a mountain, and if you're smart you can reach the top. You can find a way to line your pocket, but there is a price for everything you do. You can build your ministry by selling "blessed trinkets" and by other gimmicks. But let me tell you, you're going to pay for that.

Did you notice the 1828 Webster's dictionary talked about financial things in regards to integrity? This is one of the things that give Christians big trouble. They come to church, lift their hands and praise God, and then they go out and cheat on their taxes. This action without integrity may save you a few dollars, but it will stop any room being made for you to receive increase.

Integrity will tell you what to do. Should you do this or should you do that? It requires a decision, and integrity will guide you to do things God's ways (Prov. 11:3).

Abram decided to get rich God's way (Gen. 14:21-24). When he refused to touch dirty money and to tithe, God became Abram's "exceeding great reward" (Gen. 15:1). So, if you give tithes and offerings, and if you will listen to the Holy Ghost, God will cause you to increase. He may not pay up every Friday, but when God pays up, He washes out all the debt, glory to God!

King David: A Man of Integrity
In 1 Kings 9:3-5 God told Solomon about the blessings he would receive if he will walk before Him as his father, David, walked. And not just to Solomon, but to his children's children, etc. There would be a whole line of kings that would come from Solomon if he operates in the same integrity of heart as his father.

I know, you're thinking, "Wait a minute. What do you mean that David was a man of integrity? Wasn't David the first peeping Tom?" Yes, David was looking at Bathsheba bathing from the top of his roof. He wanted to know who she was, and it was reported to David that Bathsheba was the wife of one of his captains.

Well of course, a man of great integrity would have said, "I can't touch her." But that's not what David did; he sent her husband to the front line of the battle—a suicide mission—so that he could be killed. David started out as a man without integrity. David messed up. But by the time David ended his reign, he was a man after God's own heart, which was a man of integrity. David was the greatest king Israel ever had.

You may have messed up some things in your past; however, I'm here to tell you, you shouldn't get caught up in the past. Know that walking in integrity can take you to your future; it can lead you into God's best.

I Will Not Remove My Integrity!
"And the Lord said unto Satan, 'From whence comest thou?' And Satan answered the Lord, and said, 'From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.' And the LORD said unto Satan, 'Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him I the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? And still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause'" (Job 2:2-3).

Of course, we know that Old Testament was written in the causative verb, and they had no real revelation as to the way things really worked. Today, we know the reason why Job was attacked—he let down the hedge of God's protection, because, in part, of his words spoken.

Job said, "The thing which I greatly feared has come upon me." We know that fear activates Satan the same way faith activates God. In Job 1:5, Job is offering sacrifices in fear, not in faith. Some very bad things are about to happen to Job; he's about to lose his children and his money.

Yet notice, God makes a statement, "And still he holdeth fast his integrity." With many people, when things go wrong, they start to lose their integrity. They try to find other avenues or they try to find someone else to blame.

In Job 2:9, we find an interesting conversation: "Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die." In other words, Job's wife ask him why he was still standing for God after what has happened to you? Now, Job's wife is against him.

When you read the book of Job, you see that Job goes through some "serious stuff." Everything in the world is happening to him. But look at Job's response in Job 27:5: "God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me."

Things might look bleak for you right now. Your ministry may be in hard times. Your marriage may be in hard time, but I'm telling you, hold on to your integrity. It's going to bring you God's best. Things are going to change if you hold on to your integrity. Don't let it go-don't let it go! Don't let your standards slip. Don't get lose in your life or in your talk or in your walk of faith, neither in your giving. Hold on to your integrity because it will produce in time.

Integrity comes about because a person decides that integrity is going to be the anchor of his or her life. That's what integrity is - an anchor. It will hook into the ground, and when everything else is pulsing and washing you away, integrity will hold you in place until the cavalry arrives. In the end, your integrity will pay off via God's blessings. Integrity will point you to the direction of God's best.

When you read Job 42, you'll see that Job's end was much better than his beginning - he had more children and much more money. He lived 140 years, seeing his sons' sons', even to the fourth generation.

Anchor of Integrity
"Keep my soul and deliver me: let me be not ashamed; for I put my trust in thee. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee" (Ps. 25:20-21).

What else does integrity do? It preserves you, it keeps you from rotting, and it keeps you from slipping. Integrity keeps you from failing behind from where God wants you to be; God is able to keep a man or a woman who walks in integrity. He is able to work on their behalf, keeping them ending up on the "shame show." Integrity will keep you high above the fray.

Walking upright before God requires you to hold up the standard of His Word. Decide not to be moved away from God's Word. Regardless of what's going on or who's saying what, decide to walk in integrity. God is able to work with a man or woman with integrity of heart.

Make a decision to drop your "anchor of integrity" right now, regardless of what has happened in your past. Decide to operate with honesty and with moral character. Handle your money with integrity and trust, have confidence in God. Ask the Lord to reveal to you areas where you need to grow in integrity.

Do you really want to experience God's bountiful blessings? Do you really want to walk in God's best? Then become a person with integrity of heart because integrity is the way to God's best. Make your decision today.

Copyright © Keith Butler Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Keith Butler
Web site: Keith Butler
Keith Butler has been an ordained minister since 1974. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and holds diplomas from Canada Christian College and Rhema Bible Training Center. He serves in ministry with the support of his lovely wife, Pastor Deborah L. Butler, and their children: Pastor Andre Butler (granddaughters Alexis, Angela, and April), Pastor MiChelle Ferguson and husband Pastor Lee (grandson Lucas), and Minister Kristina Jenkins and husband Pastor Joel (grandsons Andrew and Austin, and granddaughter Alyssa).

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