The people of God tried to fulfill the Law of Moses for 15 centuries but could not. Why? Because truth was not written in their
hearts; it was written on tablets of stone. The stone tablets could only tell them what to do and what it took to please God, but they
could do nothing in the way of helping them do what was written there. So it is with religion. Religion is an empty attempt at
pleasing God by trying to perform what is good and thus make oneself acceptable to Him. Israel could not do it nor can we who are
under the New Covenant. (Hebrews 8)

The discussion between God and Solomon in I Kings 9:1-9 is an interesting study of the doctrine of integrity. The Lord refers
Solomon to his father David and essentially commends David for walking in the integrity of his heart and in uprightness. His
promise to Solomon is that He will bless him as he does the same. The warning is given in this passage that if Solomon or his
descendants fail in this regard their right to the throne of David will be stripped from them and calamity will come upon Israel.

Can you see that God not only gives Solomon a command here but He also gives him the keys to fulfilling His command? I like this
about our God. He is always on our side trying to help us do His will. What were the keys given to Solomon? The keys to a
prosperous future were integrity of heart and uprightness. God was not just talking about David to make Solomon feel good about
his father, He was revealing to him how to perpetuate his throne throughout his generations. This is also the key for you and me if
we are to live pleasing to God and fulfill His plans for our lives.

Since integrity of heart is our key, then let us fully understand what this phrase actually means. Integrity is defined as honesty,
truthfulness, honor, veracity, reliability, uprightness. We might define it this way: doing what is right in the sight of God.  The
“doing” of the action is not what is to be emphasized here, for that is only the outward manifestation. The truth is this: what is done
and/or what is said flows from within – from deep down inside the heart of man. (Luke 6:45) David pleased God because his heart
was right which enabled him to outwardly align with the commandments of the Law. So it is with us.

Having one’s heart right with God is in direct contrast to religion which is man’s desperate and feeble attempt at doing what is
right. Religion cannot effectively accomplish the task because it cannot set the heart aright. Until man’s heart is changed, his
actions and words cannot please God. If the people of God are to please Him, the Church must divest itself of all traces of religion
with its manmade traditions and empty practices and get back to the work of changing the hearts of men. Such is the work of the
Holy Spirit.

Step #1 in developing a heart of integrity is found in Psalm 119:11, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin
against You.” The same man that God commended to Solomon wrote this psalm. David’s ability to please God was a direct result of
his attitude toward the Word of God. The phrase “have hidden in my heart” refers to David’s careful and thorough and consistent
feeding on the Holy Scriptures. The truths of God’s Word became alive and powerful to David because they were strongly
established in his heart. When a man’s heart is truly changed by the Word of God, it is then he will please Him. This is an important
principle every Christian must understand.

The Bible is truth. Every moment spent studying the Word strengthens you and moves you closer and closer into the perfect will of
God. There is an awesome transference of the power of God that comes through the Scriptures; they open truth to us and of
course the knowledge of truth is what makes us free. (John 8:32) The Bible is not just words on a page; the Bible is a living, active
force delivered to man by God by which he is saved, he enjoys life, he prospers, and he is pleasing to the Lord. Through the Word
of God is given to us all things that pertain to life and to godliness.
(II Peter 1:3)

God is looking for people of integrity who walk uprightly before Him. He finds them in folks who have learned that the key is a
changed heart. These people have been born again by the Spirit and have hearts that are soft and pliable so they are teachable
and they easily accept and adapt to truth and to the ways of God. Like sheep they are easily led by the Great Shepherd Jesus. They
are fully pleasing to the Lord.
Psalm 119:2
“Blessed are those who keep His testimonies
who seek Him with the whole heart.”