Are You Horizontal or Vertical?
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman
"Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight" (Isaiah 5:21).
Many of us have been trained to make decisions and respond to problems in a horizontal way instead of vertical. Operating from a horizontal basis means we try to fix the problem through our own self-efforts by bringing greater pressure upon it through our reasoning or our natural skills. Operating from a vertical position means we are seeking God for the answer and waiting for him to impact the problem. Perhaps it is a spouse who fails to put their clothes away, or a boss who is overly critical, or an employee that you clash with. When we operate horizontally we attempt to shame or coerce the other to change their ways.
God knows the solution to the problem before it ever exists. Our responsibility is to ask God for help to solve the problem and to rely on Him for the outcome. The minute we take on the responsibility, God quietly stands by to let us experience failure until we decide to seek Him for the answer.
One of the best examples of the contrast between a vertical and horizontal dimension in scripture is that of King Saul and David (see 1 Samuel 25). King Saul thought the way to preserve his kingdom was to kill David. While in pursuit of him there were several occasions when David had the opportunity to kill Saul, but David chose to wait upon God's timing and await his own deliverance because he understood authority. David had such respect for those who had been put in authority by God over him that he would not take matters into his own hands.
Saul represents the exact opposite of this principle. He thought David was the problem and sought to get rid of him through force. As a result, he lost his kingdom because he chose to rule horizontally instead of vertically under God's rule in his life.
No matter what problem you face today, stay vertical with God.
Dear God, Thank you for being my Father and my greatest Friend. You listen when no one else does. You love me unconditionally. You correct me when I'm wrong, in whatever way you know I will respond. You comfort me when I grieve. You encourage me when I am discouraged. You lead me when I am confused. You carry me when I am weak. You are awesome! Please help me to be that kind of friend to others. I pray that I will be sensitive to other people's feelings and life situations; that I will be a true friend who speaks the truth in love. I pray that I will be alert to signs that cry out for help. I pray that I will be available when needed. I pray that I will laugh with and have fun with my friends, rejoice with them as well as hold and comfort them when the time comes. May I be consistent in every season of life. May I share your love and shine the light of your word upon others. And may you be glorified. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.
"He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring