Life is horizontal! It is consumed with things, ideas, people, and events around us—including those things that are within us. We tend to focus on that which engages the senses, whether touch, taste, sight, sound, or smell. This is natural and normal. However, our spiritual focus is damaged and incomplete when we make life all about the horizontal (us and our “doing”) and ignore the vertical (relationship with God—our ”being”).
In a very real sense, the message of the Bible is “Look up!” There is something beyond the horizontal. What you see around you may be good or bad, but that’s not all there is. Going vertical rescues our lives from the dangers of irrelevance, self-centeredness, and terminal weariness.
Though this is true for all of life, it can be especially critical for kingdom living. Foundationally, Christians are people who have accepted Christ’s call to a vertical lifestyle. We are to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness before being concerned with the horizontal around us—allowing God to add everything else that is needed. Followers of Jesus often get so busy doing the work of the kingdom that they forget to obey the command in Hebrews to, fix our eyes on Jesus (12:2). A vertical lifestyle informs, empowers and makes our horizontal work and activity more effective, for it is Jesus-focused.
Father, You designed me for Yourself but I have satisfied myself with what I can do for You rather than being with You. Teach me how to live the vertical lifestyle of Jesus by looking up. May my work in and for the kingdom be focused on the heavenly instead of the earthly so that Your transformational work in me will flow from a life lived out in the power of Your presence.
–Adapted from Vertical with Jesus: A 30-Day Journey to Impact Kingdom Living by David and Kim Butts. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Glorify the Almighty God, who has the power to defeat your accuser and deceiver, Satan (Rev. 12:7-10). Thank God that his immeasurable power is at work within you (Eph. 3:20). Confess those times when you have tried to battle against Satan in your own strength. Commit yourself to living in God’s all-surpassing power (2 Cor. 4:7). Ask God to help you see how his power can be made perfect in your weakness (2 Cor. 12:9).
Pray for those countries that are clearly under Satan’s power, marked by cruelty, injustice, and horrible poverty. Ask God to bring his light into the darkness.
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