Friday, December 2, 2016
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I remember seeing it first in the news from the first Gulf War, and then in Afghanistan. Well, you continue to see it as we have conflicts around the world; those amazing high-tech weapons that hit their target with this pinpoint accuracy. Oh, yeah, they say that there are "targeting errors", but for the most part, those weapons go right to their intended target – weapons like Cruise missiles or what they call "smart bombs". I still remember back in that first Gulf War, a correspondent was in Baghdad, and he described this Tomahawk missile roaring in over the city. It paused, and then it literally made a sharp turn to the left and went straight down into this military facility. Apparently, its tracking system determined that it was slightly off course, so it corrected it, and "boom!" it went right to the target. That's amazing stuff!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Your Internal Guidance System."
The secret of hitting the target is, of course, an internal guidance system for a missile and for you and me. And the Bible clearly describes what that guidance system should be for those of us who belong to Jesus Christ.
One place it's described is in Proverbs 11, beginning in verse 3. It's our word for today from the Word of God. The Lord says, "The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity...the righteousness of the blameless makes a straight way for them, but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness."
So, your integrity is supposed to be the guidance system in you that always determines where you'll go and how you'll do things. When you make up your mind that you're always going to do the honest thing, the right thing, what has integrity, then you'll be making a "straight way" for yourself. In other words, you won't be one way one time and another way another time. You won't live by one set of principles with one group and then in another setting you've got a whole other set of rules you play by. You'll be the same in all your dealings and everybody will know it, no matter where, no matter with whom and no matter what it costs. You're always fair, you always tell the truth, you always keep your promises to the best of your ability, and you do what you said you'd do. That's integrity.
When integrity is your internal guidance system, you've actually pre-made a thousand decisions that will come up along the way you don't even know you'll have. It really simplifies decision-making, because doing what's right will usually rule out most of your other options. The motto of any person, any business, any ministry that's committed to integrity and wants God's blessing is going to be, "Always take the high road."
Paul actually modeled that for us in 2 Corinthians 8. He was assigned to deliver this large offering to needy believers in Jerusalem. He said, "We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord, but also in the eyes of men." That's interesting, "Taking pains to do what is right". That's the kind of integrity that God blesses mightily. Frankly, sometimes doing what's right is a pain. It's taking pains to do it, but it is so worth it.
There's a great guideline in Psalm 4:5 that says, "Offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord." The Bible also guarantees us that, "He that honors Me, I will honor." You stake everything on the promise of God."
So, as you're facing the choices ahead of you right now, remember it is the "integrity of the upright" that "guides them", that makes a "straight way for them". If you follow your culture, if you follow the way other people do things, or your emotions, you will go off course and you'll miss where you're supposed to be. But the man or woman who makes integrity their deciding factor will always end up hitting the target.