December 30, 2016


I agree with this statement if viewed on the purely horizontal plane of life. It sounds noble and underscores man's duty to bear the responsibilities of life. And, this is good, especially in an era of irresponsibility! But, it leaves out the vertical dimension or the part God plays in the affairs of man. He must, of course, be reckoned with. And, from Scripture, we know He sovereignly invades lives, as in the cases of Job and Paul (to name but two), interjecting tough things that disturb us greatly and put us in difficult circumstances. These two men made many hard but right decisions but ended up in tough straits, Job in great agony of loss and Paul in a barren prison. But it was God who brought these things to pass for their good, His glory and the furtherance of the Gospel. Job didn't know all that had gone on behind the scenes between Satan and God, Satan wanting to prove the hypocrisy of Job's faith. Such incidences happen more than we readily acknowledge. Then too, God chastens us for His purposes of sanctification, which often we don't understand or honestly acknowlege. All such things are God's doings, not ours. In fact, He works all things after the counsel of His will (Eph. 1:11). So, what I DO I do under a special Divine appointment, purpose and control. And, His grace in such times of hard experiences is sufficient. But, on the other hand and at the same time, the stupid things I DO I surely bear full responsibility and cannot blame God. And, such cannot be blamed on others, my circumstances, parents,  etc. Interestingly, I've known people who use the purely horizontal line of thought to heartlessly blame people and refuse to extend Christian love and understanding. Such wrong thinking can lead to a very cold and impersonal view of those in need. Would any of us have gone to Job and said, all that is happening to you is because of your poor choices. No. But I think, that's what his friends nonsensically said! Yes?  But, no, God was intrinsically involved and the point was proved in the last chapters of the Book. People walking by faith always analyze life from both the horizontal and vertical aspects of existence.