Vertical Living in a Horizontal World
II TIMOTHY 3: 1-5, I PETER 2:9-10, ISAIAH 40:25-28, JOSHUA 1:7-9, PSALM 15, ROMANS 12:1-3, JUDE 3-5
Life as we know it in the 21st century is more than we can adequately handle or cope with separate and apart from divine help.
There is an unmistakable contrast between vertical living and horizontal living!
According to the tenets of the faith which Jesus authored and finished, a faith which we have been commanded to believe and practice, “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”. If anybody says they have fellowship with God and continue to walk in darkness (i.e. according to the dictates of this world) they are lying and do not practice the truth. “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship one with the other and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
Mathematically, vertical is about that which is straight up…….whereas, horizontal is about that which is parallel to the earth’s plane or that which is without rise or incline.
The contrast between vertical and horizontal living is further amplified by the difference between light and darkness, what God approves of as opposed to what man approves of; spiritual as opposed to carnal, heavenly as opposed to earthly, going up as opposed to going sideways, God based living as opposed to human based living.
We must deal with the reality of the horizontal but commit our living to the righteous reality of the vertical.
In the canon of scriptures we never get the sense that we must look down or even look to the side to see God, but we are always beckoned to lift our eyes and to look up to see Him….. and this look is not as much about a physical direction of looking up as it is about a spiritual looking up.
Consider the compass of divine direction where in the scripture says, “Unto thee O Lord do I lift up my soul.…let me not be afraid and let not my enemies triumph over me.” Not only do we have a word of divine direction from the psalmist David, but we consider where Jesus said, “When you pray say, Our Father which art in heaven hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”, etc..
Vertical living is about considering as a manifesto for daily living, the words of Solomon wherein he says in Proverbs 3:5 …… “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.”
In a horizontal world vertical living is not celebrated, vertical living is not popular, vertical living for the most part is not encouraged except it come from the ranks of those who have been washed in the blood of the Lamb and who understand the truth of the word of God where Christ says…… “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy, I am come that they may have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
The skeptics are saying that God is a myth. The cynics are saying they don’t believe Jesus is coming back……but that word which is “quick and powerful” says…… “that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of his coming?”” and saying nothing seems to have changed to indicate His coming, but “For this they willingly are ignorant of”, and willingly void of knowledge and understanding……. “that by the Word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to usward, not willing that any should perish but all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up………
Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”
2 Peter 3:3-13 (excerpts)
It is interesting that all of these things are inconsistent with the rationale of secular society and the intelligence of human-based thinking, but we are of those who believe that whenever there is inconsistency between what man says and what God says we choose unequivocally to say “let God be true, but every man a liar.”
I encourage each of you to live your life vertically oriented toward God, the formula for triumphant living.