Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Vertical Vision Is Better Than Horizontal Vision

Luke 9:41

Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.”

profileI heard a pastor say once that an evangelist was preaching at the church where he served and as he was preaching – and getting to some of the finer points of his message – a little old lady from the front row started turning around – looking at different folks.  He assumed that she thought she knew who the evangelist was talking about – rather than listening to see if he might be talking about her.

Someone recently told me that they sit in the back of the church so that others will not be able to stare at them from behind.   It seems that we either think others are looking at us or we’re looking at them! Horizontal vision is not very good.  Lol

I’ve often talked about horizontal vision – where we compare ourselves – our righteousness and unrighteousness – with those around us.  Compared to someone – some other sinner – we think we don’t look so bad.  At least that is what we convince ourselves.

Here’s a Scripture that speaks to this issue.  Luke 18:9-14 – 9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.  12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’  13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’  14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

How many times will God need to address this with us before we realize that we are all sinners in need of grace?  How many times will we be brought to our knees before we look up rather than sideways?  When we look horizontally and compare ourselves with others – we fail to have our eyes on Jesus.  Rather than horizontal vision – we should have vertical vision – spiritual vision – where our eyes are fixed on Jesus and His righteousness.  With our eyes fixed on Jesus we will realize that we have much road to yet cover.  We all have room to grow and improve and we all need grace.  Vertical vision is so much better than horizontal vision!

Jesus was getting frustrated with His disciples because they weren’t getting it – Luke 9:41 – Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.”

So when will we get it?  When will it finally sink into our thick heads?  When will we finally yield to God and give Him our all?  When?

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.


February 20, 2014 - Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , ,

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