Horizontal and Vertical
"How do you view the world? Is your perspective stuck in the horizontal plane, or do you account for the vertical dimension by seeking God's counsel?" Quote from Chuck Swindoll's Devotional Faith For The Journey
..........The Lord says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you." Psalm 32:8
In reading this from my devotional today, Chuck illustrates the decision making of Abraham's nephew Lot when given a choice of where he would settle down as they traveled to a new land. By human eye the lush fields and fertile plains of the Jordan Valley looked like the best place to raise his family. From a horizontal perspective all looked so promising, especially since it was near the town of Sodom.
To our knowledge the Bible never says Lot consulted God about this, which is the vertical dimension of a decision, and we of course know what happened. So this obviously took me to my conscious level of how often I personally seek both how a situation looks to me, and then how it looks to God. To be quite frank and honest, myself included, we often don't want to make God a part of this because we know what he will say. We think that somehow all the negative around that certain situation will be something we can overcome, because we are strong/smart/fill in the blanks.
Horizontally things can look so good can't they? That apple looked delicious to Eve, Bathsheba looked so inviting to David. Or horizontally, things that God picked for good can look bad for us, like the promised land to the Israelites who saw Giants as too big for even God to handle. They didn't see a land of milk and honey as God had promised, they only saw horizontally more problems.
What we can actually see is so shallow in comparison to God's view. The key to all of this is getting close enough to the Lord that we can hear his wisdom when we seek his vertical counsel, and then we step forward in faith that what is unseen is greater because he told us so. To get to this point takes a ton of spiritual work and conversation with God. If we spoke with him as much as we do our best friends, how soon do you think
we would get horizontal and vertical?
If you are old enough to remember those ancient TV sets they had controls for both the horizontal and vertical and often one was out of whack and needed an adjustment. Maybe that is true for us as well, and the great news is that we don't have to be a Lot, we just have to be a little Less of us and more of Him to get the right picture.
Let's start tuning in!
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Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at email@example.com.