Living The Integrated Life
The Integrated Life
The language of the bible is about joining, uniting, being one, being whole and complete. On the other hand, our lives can become so disjointed, with separations in relationships and loyalties divided. It’s almost as if we live in a disintegrating world that is set on us becoming disintegrated too. God is a master at putting things together and restoring things to their proper use and function. There is a need for us to become “integrated” people. Whole, complete and “together” in every way.
Genesis 2:24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
Mark 10:9 (New International Version, ©2010) Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
God/Godhead – “Trinity”
1 John 5:7 7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
John 14:8-9 (New International Version, ©2010) Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” 9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”
John 10:30 (New International Version, ©2010) “I and the Father are one.”
The Church – Should Be On A Path of Integration
If we fail to become “whole” then the church will fail to be a unit – ONE!
Ephesians 4:15-16 (New International Version, ©2010) Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
John 17:20-21, “Father make them one, even as we are one”. For what reason? “That the world may know/believe you have sent me (the Son)”. Jesus prayed. Illustration – Great Apart, Even Better Together!
Our Spiritual Enemy [devil] is set to divide, separate, disrupt, hinder our “integration” – our coming together.
Disintegrated Society – since tower of Babel.
Gen 11:9 Therefore its name was called Babel(confuse, confusion), because there the LORD confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.
Characteristics of Disintegration: We are competitive, argumentative, manipulative, controlling (dominion – one human trying to dominate another – never God’s intention).
Family: We are now living in an era of fast disintegration and then further disintegrating families. Does disintegration of families reflect the disintegration of society?
Democracy [demos = the people; kratos = strength/rule, so democracy = rule by the people] is considered an invention of the ancient Athenian Greeks. From root deo – to bind together. Democracies are “bound together” by certain values and ideologies and often bureaucracy. A modern state is often an unstable system held together externally by a vast bureaucracy. Despots, and the likes of Sadam Hussein and Mubarak.
God’s Design – An Integrated You/Me
1 Thessalonians 5:23 (New International Version, ©2010) May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (The Message) May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!
1 Corinthians 6:20 (The Message) 16-20 There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex thatavoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never “become one.” There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for “becoming one” with another. Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.
I firmly believe that relationships which “live on credit” (engage in sex before marriage) run a greater risk of disintegration than those couples who hold to purity and preserve the sacredness of sex for the union of the marriage covenant and commitment to each other.
1 Corinthians 6:18-20 (New King James Version) Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body [a] and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Your soul is yours… YOU! You have control of you! Not even God has control of you, that’s why it’s so important to be surrendered to Jesus! Gala – fruit of spirit – self control.
Just as the human body develops and comes together (eg. fontanel), as a result of salvation and it’s ongoing effect in our lives, we are becoming whole – integrated.
Most Undeveloped Part
The Human Spirit! Why do I say that. Worship. Prayer. Life! Our first course of action – think! We think, and feel – governed by our emotions – lead by our ‘heart’ – follow. Going back to the diagram, we see that the driving force of your life is/should be your spirit.
John 4:24 “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Our spirit is more real than our soul or our body. 1 Thess. 5:23.
Heb. 4:12 “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Integration and Commitment
The reason we can’t be committed is because we are loggerheads with ourselves – no agreement between our spirit and soul and body – disintegrated. Romans 7
Integration and Integrity
People who are integrated are usually people of integrity!
God can be trusted because he is trustworthy. That’s the point: it always comes down to the issue of character, not just words. Biblical integrity is not just doing the right thing; it’s a matter of having the right heart and allowing the person you are on the inside to match the person you are on the outside. This is how God is. This is how his people should be.
When Do We Realise Our Dis-integration?
When we realize our own weakness…stop pretending! Authenticity & Integrity Happen When We Encounter God!
Isaiah 6:1-7 “I saw the Lord”, “I am undone!” R.C. Sproul comments on Isaiah’s encounter with the holiness of God:
To be undone means to come apart at the seams, to be unraveled. What Isaiah was expressing is what modern psychologists describe as the experience of personal disintegration. To disintegrate means exactly what the word suggests, “dis integrate.” To integrate something is to put pieces together in a unified whole…The word integrity… [suggests] a person whose life is whole or wholesome. In modern slang we say, “He’s got it all together.” How is your life? Are you “together”.
Isaiah says, “I’m undone. I’m torn apart,” which is just the opposite of integrity. To have integrity is to be integrated, to be whole, to have it all together in a sense, to be consistent. Isaiah finds himself torn apart, and this forces him to realize his own deficiency. When faced with the awesome holiness of God, Isaiah becomes aware of his own uncleanness. Throughout the Bible, man’s encounters with God are very consistent in this way.
For example, when Peter realizes the power of Jesus he falls to his knees and says, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” (Luke 5:8)
As fallen men and women, we realize how disintegrated we are when we come face to face with God’s perfect integration. And, like Isaiah, it forces us to recognize our deep need for personal reconstruction. Isaiah realized the depth of his own sin in the process of catching a glimpse of God’s perfect holiness, and he acknowledged those areas in which he had turned from his commitments as a priest and a prophet. But his commitment and his life as a faithful prophet demonstrate for us the possibility of framing a life of integrity with God’s help.
Ezekiel 37:7 (New International Version, ©2010) So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone.
Integration of our lives is the work of The Spirit of God in our lives.