Several years ago, our family had a video game we enjoyed playing together. I am not much of a video game person, but I really enjoyed that one because it was a simple game we could all play together. In the game, each player had armed vehicles and a home base. The goal was to take your armed vehicles and destroy your opponent's home base while still protecting your own base. If the enemy was attacking your home base, a computer voice would announce, "Base under attack." That would warn you to go back and fight the enemy to get them off your territory. Your home base would have battle scars, soot, and sometimes a small fire.
As the game progressed, if your home base sustained significant damage, the computer would give you a countdown. "Structural integrity 30%." I loved the warnings because sometimes I get tunnel vision. If I was busily attacking vehicles or the opponent's home base, sometimes I would forget to protect my own base. When the warnings came, I knew to change my priorities: protect the home base.
If the attack continued, the announcement would come, "Structural integrity 15%... Structural integrity 5%... Structural integrity failing." If the attack was not stopped, my home base would be destroyed and I would lose the game. (I hate to lose!)
Integrity: Completeness, innocence (in the Bible, moral innocence.)
In a video game, integrity means that the base was unharmed and not defiled. It was complete, strong, and in great shape. In life, it means we are not defiled. We stand in moral innocence, strong and clean.
Psalm 26:1 "Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide."
David was declaring that his home base (self) was at 100% structural integrity. His spiritual integrity had not been marred or defiled. He was guarding his integrity and didn't want to give any part of it away. He knew that if he guarded his spiritual integrity and kept it at 100%, he would never hear the countdown slide, "Spiritual integrity 30%... Spiritual integrity 15%... Spiritual integrity failing..."
How did he guard his integrity? He didn't let the enemy hang out at his home base!
Psalm 26:4-5 "I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers. I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked."
He didn't hang out with corrupt people and people with wicked agendas, time wasters and people who were morally defiled. Separation was a big deal to David. It's also a big deal to our God.
James 4:4 "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."
We don't reach the world for Christ by being like the world. We don't have intimate fellowship with ungodly people. We don't seek their counsel. We don't embrace their close friendship.
Does that mean we just sit at our home base to keep ungodly people off? No. We go out and reach the world with the Gospel. We love them and reach out to them. Our desire is to be used by the Lord to help destroy the hold that sin has on them by sharing the truth about salvation with them. Separation should never become isolation, but we should heed the warnings from God's Word and from His Spirit when our home base is under attack.
Psalm 26:11 "But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me."
Guard your home base.