Church on the Rock Pascagoula

Integrity in a “Compromised” World – KR Blog

Integrity: Being unfaithful to God was worse than burning to death.

One of the things I hate most isn’t really something you would expect. Take for instance the other day: I was cruising down the highway in my Honda Civic, blasting some Planetshakers (which I highly recommend you to listen to, they are VERY uplifting) with my windows down, when I got stuck behind an 18-wheeler. Now I have never been especially good at judging personal space, especially in a vehicle, but when I get behind a very slow vehicle, I lose it all!

Moving on: So I was stuck behind this 18-wheeler and driving a little too close, when this larger-than-life stone (remember my traumatic childhood experience with those? If not, check out my last blog HERE) was thrown from the asphalt and hit my windshield.

Now, if you can think of a worse thing than a stone hitting your windshield, it would probably be the crack that completely infects and takes over the windshield. Or maybe it is how that crack crawls and spirals to make its painful journey across the only glass, all before your very eyes. Or worse still, maybe it is the thought that your once safe and secure vehicle is now unsound and crippled by the fractured state of the only barrier separating you from 70 mph winds full of bugs, rocks, pollen, and God only knows what else.

This can happen to virtually anything.  You could pound a nail into a fence post and it could easily crack under the pressure of the nail. You could pour concrete for your driveway or house foundation during the cold wet winter and come summer it could fracture horribly when it heats up to high temperatures.  It can even happen to a bridge that spans over a river should a ship break free from the docks and crash into it (remember that one in 2002). Truth is sometimes when the push comes to shove, things fail. They aren’t sound. They just don’t work. And often when they fail, it is the fallout that is so damaging.

“Even children are known by the way they act, whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right.” Proverbs 20:11 (NLT)

Calculating failure is an important part of design. If a designer doesn’t know the failure point of the material they are working with to build a chair, then they cannot know if it is strong enough to support a person’s weight. But we expect certain things to fail. Take the example, when you bend a toothpick or a pencil. There’s a satisfying, “snap,” when it breaks due to the pressure. We even expect people to fail, too. Haven’t you ever read an article or watched a news report where the reporter was waiting impatiently to score a scoop on some public figure who blew it, who gave into temptation, or did something we all know they’ll regret later?

That is why it is so shocking to the world when we demonstrate the kind of supernatural structural integrity that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did. You remember them.  They were the three Hebrew boys thrown into the fiery furnace.  They did not break, no matter how much pressure King Nebuchadnezzar put on them. In fact, they stood up to the king over a little thing about what they were going to eat. (Daniel 1)

But, they did not flinch, no matter how much the King turned up the heat. The King expected them to fail. He expected them to give in. When they didn’t, he became enraged.  But then when they miraculously survived, he became amazed. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not care about the penalty, or the punishment they would face. They cared about being faithful to God.

Integrity: Being unfaithful to God was worse than burning to death.

When we have that same attitude of “no matter what” obedience, God gives us supernatural integrity to do the right thing.

Everything has a natural failure point. If you try to stand in your own strength, the world will break you. But if you follow the example of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you can show the world the kind of supernatural integrity that caused King Nebuchadnezzar to say, “There is no other god who can rescue like this!” (Daniel 3:29b)

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