Saturday, July 30, 2011

Vertical and Horizontal Relationship

What if I already have, I mean, I'm alright with God. But I still fail in my horizontal relationships. Yes, I've been told to work out my vertical relationship and my horizontal relationship will come after.

I was alright with God before my relationship with my spiritual mother turned sour. I never wanted my relationship with God be affected but it did waver, including my relationship with others.

And I thought, "can I ever have a good relationship with God when I don't have good relationships with people?" I mean God is a God of relationships. God is not my God if my relationship with His people is not there, or not cultivated.

I'm a loner, have been a loner. Frustrated with my social life because I lack it. Because I lack social life, I thought, I only want just God and me, and why do I have to trouble myself with God, others, and me? But spiritual life doesn't work that way.

Jesus said to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength (vertical), but Jesus emphasized and included, "and the second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Mt 22:35-39)

Jesus also said that before we offer our sacrifices to God, we should first be reconciled with our brothers (Mt 5:23,24).

It is also said that in 1 Jn 4:20,21, he who loves God must also love his brother.

I am in need right now. I have tried reconciling with my spiritual mother (she's also a pastor, she helped me transition in life). I stop joining prayer meetings and bible studies because it hurts when I see her. Though it hurts me more that I am isolated from God's family. Isolation is a disorder that could stunt spiritual and emotional growth. Though I've reached an adult age now, I'm still emotionally underdeveloped (or I'm emotionally that of a child).

Nonetheless, I write to you that your May 11 article may need more because it's kinda broad and I may want to know your thoughts on both the vertical and horizontal relationships. And for more than a month, I get convicted of this many times through my devotions and prayers with God.

When we have God, we are not only married to Him but also to His Family, right? And our spiritual relationship is that of a Cross (vertical and horizontal). Let me share an illustration: The vertical line is the foundation. Without the balance beam (horizontal line), how will the foundation stand tall for long? When calamities come (persecution, trials), it's byebye foundation if it's not strong enough.

Yes, God is our firm Foundation. And God knows we can't stand on our own because we are still imperfect. Relationship with others is two-way. But relationship with God is three-way. But we should never rely on others for our spiritual needs. And when we rely on God, our spiritual needs are met (that's where your May 11 article goes).

I have another illustration: Christ is my vessel (from the song "If Christ is my vessel I can smile at the storm..."), the Father is the wind, and His people is the sail. If I have no relationship with God's people, how can I set sail if there is no sail? If a storm comes, the sail is useless and it's packed inside the vessel. Still Christ is our protector.

In this storm I am in and because I have no control over my relationships with others and it really is hard for me to believe that I will ever have good relationships with people and have anything good (Rom8:28), I must still and pray for help from God to trust Him and lean not on my own understanding (Prov3:5).

I still waver with my thoughts esp with the vertical and horizontal relationships. I'm not sure whether the conviction comes from the Holy Spirit or just my own thoughts. I am not perfect.

But my main point is: I just want God and I don't want my relationship with people affect my relationship with God.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Broken Spirit and A Contrite Heart

God IS close to the brokenhearted. Once we acknowledge His Love and Presence, calling to Him, trusting Him, and praising Him would not be too much of a struggle because His Holy Spirit will guide us as we offer ourselves to God.