Summary: I don’t know if our fascination with physically going vertical has any relation spiritually, but I will tell you that there is an innate desire built into every human to go vertical. God has designed a part of us that just won’t be satisfied until we lear
Going Vertical - Soaring to New Heights
Introduction: Humans have an uncanny fascination with the thrill of going vertical. Something about having the pull of gravity acting upon the human body as other forces, whatever they may be, struggle upward. (Slide 2) There are those who struggle to climb the very faces of mountains. (Slide 3) There are those who can’t wait to get to the next theme park to venture skyward in whatever means possible. (Slide 4) There are those who just want to hang in an inverted position as nature’s forces exert pull downward. (Slide 5) Then there are those who go out of their way to take special risk of both life and vehicle for one more vertical trip. (Slide 6) Nothing more exhilerating than taking an afternoon with the friends and hanging onto the side of a vertical cliff. (Slide 7) Of course there are all the new bungee cord thrill rides to launch the human body vertically as fast as possible. (Slide 8) The new extreme sports fad is pushing the limits in vertical endurance. (Slide 9) Theme parks can’t keep up with the hunger for a more intensive vertical experience. (Slide 10) Man has even gone so far as to build mountains for people to seek to satisfy their vertical appetite. (Slide 11,12,13) Talk to an pilot and they will tell you that there just isn’t any experience in the world like going vertical. The thrill, the pull, the launch - it’s just beyond one’ imagination. Yet, it is something that lies inside most every human being - (Slide 14) the desire to go vertical.
I don’t know if our fascination with physically going vertical has any relation spiritually, but I will tell you that there is an innate desire built into every human (Slide 15) to go vertical. God has designed a part of us that just won’t be satisfied until we learn to go vertical - seeking out and living in God’s presence.
Introduction: Isaiah’s challenge to the people was to seek God, to drink from the living water, and to make His name known. Jonathan, the son of King Saul demonstrated the kind of faith that Isaiah was attempting to inspire. Jonathan grew frustrated with living in the camp of fear and failure. So, he left camp, climbed a mountain, and looked for God.
Jonathan was a man who understood the principle of numbering his days - of making each day count for something. In our text, we discover that Jonathan was an incredible soldier who possessed an amazing faith in the Lord. On this particular day, Jonathan decided life was too precious to waste. It was on this particular day that Jonathan decided to go vertical.
Let’s catch up on what’s going on here. Israel’s army is hiding among the caves of Gibeah after having been defeated in battle by the Philistines. The Bible says that after Israel defeated the Amorites and Jonathan defeated a group of Philistines in a small skirmish, Saul foolishly declared war against the Philistines who were “as numerous as the sand” (1 Sa 13:5). Saul’s soldiers knew they were over-matched, and they “quaked with fear” (1 Sa 13:7). Saul’s arrogance in going to battle against a superior enemy without seeking the Lord’s will led to additional disobedience. In his unwillingness to wait for the prophet Samuel to arrive, this arrogant King Saul foolishly offered a sacrifice. Upon his arrival a short time later, instead of a divine blessing, Samuel, rebuked Saul saying, (Slide 19) “You have not kept the command of the LORD…your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought a man after His own heart.” (1 Sa 13:14). Following this word from the prophet, Israel’s army retreated to the caves of Gibeah. While Saul’s army was hiding, the Philistines raided the neighboring villages confiscating all the weapons. When we arrive at chapter 14, the Bible says that only two swords remained - Saul’s and Jonathan’s. The rest of the army had resorted to using farm tools for weapons.
It was this particular situation that Jonathan found himself in that caused him to leave camp, climb that mountain, and look for God. It was on this particular day that Jonathan decided life is too precious to waste waiting for the enemy to finally show up and destroy him. It was on this particular day that Jonathan (Slide 20) went vertical.
I challenge you today to make a decision in your life to follow that prompting that is within you and go vertical - learn to soar to new heights. Determine in your heart that you are not going to (Slide 21) simply soar upward a short distance but you intend to go all the way. Let’s examine together what it means to go vertical.