On the Level
Integrity is a very important word. Integrity means that your life is whole, that your heart is not divided. Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters” (Matt. 6:24). That’s integrity. Duplicity means trying to serve two masters. Our Lord also said that nobody can look in two directions at the same time. If your eye is single, then your body is full of light. But if your eye is double, watch out. The darkness is coming in (see vv. 22, 23). If you look at the darkness and the light simultaneously, the darkness will crowd out the light. Integrity–that’s what David was talking about in Psalm 26. “Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity” (v. 1). In Psalm 25:21 he had prayed: “Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for You.” When you do business with someone, you want a person who has integrity. When you are ministering with someone, you want that person to have integrity.
When you have integrity, David told us, you don’t have to be afraid of sliding. “I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the Lord; I shall not slip” (26:1). He also said, “My foot stands in an even place” (v. 12). That word “even” in the Hebrew means “a level place.” David said, “I’m on the level because I have integrity. I have nothing in my heart against the Lord. I am not disobeying Him.” When you have integrity, you don’t need to be afraid of sliding.
You also don’t need to be afraid of testing. David said, “Examing my heart, O Lord, and prove me; try my mind and my heart” (v. 2). He was saying, “Lord, I can go through the furnace. I can go through the X ray. Go ahead and test me. I’m not afraid.” That’s beautiful. When your life is whole before God and others, when you’re practicing integrity, when you have a good conscience, you don’t have to be afraid of the battle or the furnace or the X ray or the testing. God will see you through. Walk in integrity. Then you won’t slide, and you won’t have to be afraid.
I’m Not Scared
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (v. 1). Those are good questions. Why should we be afraid? What does God do to us and for us when we face an enemy? Psalm 27 tells us that when we fear God, we need not fear anything else. David talked about an enemy coming in. “When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell” (v. 2). Here we have a sudden coming of the enemy. Sometimes it’s not a sudden invasion. Verse 3 says, “Though an army should encamp against me.” Here the enemy has settled in. I don’t know which of these two is the more difficult. I think I’d prefer to have my enemies suddenly show up than to have them camped on my doorstep. You may have an enemy camped in your home or your office or your church. Somewhere in your life an enemy has probably settled.
Bud David said, “My heart shall not fear; though war should rise against me” (v. 3). This is not a sudden invasion or a settled battle. It’s a sustained war day after day. “Though war should rise against me, in this I will be confident” (v. 3). In what will I be confident? The Lord. Because He is my light, I don’t have to be afraid of the darkness. And because He is my salvation, I don’t have to be afraid of danger. “Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life” (v. 1). Don’t be afraid of your disabilities and your deficiencies. God is your light, your salvation and your strength. When you have Him, that is really all you need.
How can you have the protection the Lord offers you? Verse 4 tells us, “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.” David was talking about abiding in Jesus Christ. When you abide in Christ, He is your light and your salvation and your strength, so you don’t have to be afraid.
Believing or Seeing?
Have you ever fainted? The psalmist discovered a way to keep from fainting. He said in Psalm 27:13, “I would have lost heart [fainted], unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” David felt somewhat forsaken. He was going through a rough time. He was being attacked by his enemies, and the circumstances were difficult.
You had I have to walk by faith just as David did. “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed.” Jesus taught in Luke 18 that men ought always to pray and not to faint. When you pray, it’s an evidence of faith. The world says that seeing is believing. If the world had written Psalm 27:13, it would read: “I would have fainted unless I had seen, and then I believed.” That was Martha’s problem. “Oh,” she said, “but, Lord, by now my brother smells.” Lazarus had been dead and in the grave for four days. But Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you would believe, you would see?” (John 11:40). Thomas said, “Seeing is believing,” but Jesus says, “Believing is seeing” (see 20:24-29).
The world says that seeing is believing, but the believer says that believing is seeing. The evidences of this faith are rather obvious. First, we seek the Lord. “When You said, ‘Seek My face,’ my heart said to You, ‘Your face, Lord, I will seek'” (Ps. 27:8). Do you want to build your faith and be able to walk by faith and war by faith? Then seek the Lord. Second, we call on the Lord. “Teach me Your way, O Lord, and lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies” (v. 11). That’s prayer. Third, we do the hardest thing of all–we wait on the Lord. “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart” (v. 14). The heart of every problem is the problem of the heart. Believing is seeing. Trust the Lord today.
(copyright, Warren W. Wiersbe)
Dr. Warren Wiersbe (1929-2019) was an internationally known Bible teacher, author, and conference speaker. He graduated in 1953 from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. While attending seminary, he was ordained as pastor of Central Baptist Church in 1951 and served until 1957. From September 1957 to 1961, Wiersbe served as Director of The Literature Division for Youth for Christ International. From 1961 to 1971 he pastored Calvary Baptist Church of Covington, Kentucky south of Cincinnati, Ohio. His sermons were broadcast as the “Calvary Hour” on a local Cincinnati radio station. From 1971 to 1978, He served as the pastor of Moody Church in Chicago 1971 to 1978. While at Moody Church he continued in radio ministry. Between August 1979 and March 1982, he wrote bi-weekly for Christianity Today as “Eutychus X”, taught practical theology classes at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and wrote the course material and taught a Doctor of Ministry course at Trinity and Dallas Seminary. In 1980 he transitioned to Back to the Bible radio broadcasting network where he worked until 1990. Dr. Wiersbe became Writer in Residence at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids and Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. In his lifetime, Dr. Wiersbe wrote over 170 books—including the popular Be series, which has sold over four million copies. Dr. Wiersbe was awarded the Gold Medallion Lifetime Achievement by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).