By Beau Leaman
As my wife and I started the new year, we wanted to commit a certain word or phrase that would encompass our spiritual journey for 2015. I thought deeply about a personal vision that I could lean on throughout the year. My thoughts led me to a more personal relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and I wanted this to be the foundation. I wanted to have intimacy with my God, and I was committed to living my life in full relationship with Him. As a result of our discussion the night of New Year’s Eve, I committed to grow in my intimacy with Jesus Christ.
Since that New Year’s Eve night I have met with several men and we continually find ourselves going back to a similar theme. Through continual discussion of our backstage, I’ve realized there is so much more than simply making it a goal of walking in intimacy with Jesus Christ. At my workplace I often make the same mistake. I put the final result before simply addressing the action steps that will get me there. In both situations there are no guarantees if one has a plan, but a combination of knowledge and hard work goes a long way, and I’m discovering this in an interesting way.
I am convinced one of the greatest attributes we can have is integrity. Proverbs 11:3 says, “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.” The implications of this verse are twofold. One way will give you life, and the other, death. I am convinced integrity starts at the soul and breathes life in intimacy with our God. I am convinced that at the soul of our existence sin can be rooted, grab onto our heart, and dictate the very foundational decisions we make every day. I am convinced that godly integrity brings us close to our God because it mirrors Luke 9:23 so precisely, which says, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”
I am convinced that the depth of love we received on the cross should shape our existence, our worldview, and our overall vision on how we approach life. Proverbs 19:1 says, “Better is a poor person who walks in integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.” Integrity is won in the heart, and this is where we must take the battle. Intimacy is won in the heart, and this is won during the mundane, in the cancelled plans, in our neighborhoods, at school, and in our homes. We have no idea where and when God will show up in the details of our life, but I hope we will be quiet enough to listen, open-minded enough to have plans change, or calm enough to see Him when things don’t go our way. Each of us are made in the image of our triune God, and this is very special. I hope each of us realizes how special we are and how much He desires us. When we realize how much we’re wanted, our lives are rooted in living for Him. When we live for Him we take up our cross, fight battles in our heart, and walk in intimacy with Him.