I was sitting in church, not long ago, gazing at the back of the stage during our opening worship song. Contemplating a question that came to me as I was staring at the cross.
What significance is there in the point where the vertical timber and horizontal timber meet? The intersection?
I quickly realized that was roughly where the crown of thorns sat on Jesus head when he slumped to his death. I often heard the cross used as an analogy for where the temporal or horizontal meets the spiritual or vertical plane. Maybe that’s it.
What are you thinking right now? That place where the cross intersects; is there some symbolic meaning there?
I had to assign something to it. God often speaks to me in moments like this. Not audibly, but in my mind and my heart. I just knew there was something there.
Here’s the thing. I walked away that day without an interpretation. In fact, I started writing this without real clarity asking God; what do you want to show me in this today?
Here’s what I heard:
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21 (NIV) Jesus is King. He is the head of the church. He is our advocate. He is our Savior. He is our guide. He is Love. He taught us how to love. He has a purpose for our life.
By nature I’m a planner. It’s in my DNA. I love to dream and document. Plan and implement. I love when a well thought out plan comes together. I love creating strategy and steps to get where I want to go or think I want to go – in business and in life. What I do know is there were many plans that I orchestrated that were a disaster. Businesses that failed. Relationships that were decimated. Balance sheets that imploded. Why? Because I didn’t take them to the intersection of the cross. The place where God says; “these are my plans and my desires and my will for your life” The vertical comes in synch with the horizontal. The next steps are God’s to decide. He paints the vision, he reveals the dreams for my life and most of them are executed in quite a different way than I ever planned. That’s why I love it so much when a plan comes together and it really wasn’t mine.
A company that I lead wasn’t even in existence a year ago. I was in church chatting with a friend when she mentioned there was some one that knew of me and wanted to meet me. I had no idea what she or they had in mind and she didn’t give me much to go on. Normally I’d say thanks but no thanks without a little more information. I did believe it to be business related and a topic that centered around an existing retail specialty food business that I’ve been stewarding for God for nearly 20 years. I just followed the bread crumb. 10 months later we’re about to export our first shipment of jams, butters, and salsas to the country of Panama where God is and has been preparing the hearts of the Panamanian people to receive the blessing he has in store. Not just by feeding their tummy’s but also by feeding their souls with the love of Jesus. God has clearly showed my wife and I that we will be serving the least reached people group; the top 3% or wealthiest (our distributor and colleagues) and the disenfranchised of society that needs Jesus equally as much. The forgotten. The poor.
Now that’s serious plans revealed that weren’t even on the radar screen. I did know this. That God had an amazing plan of ministry for my wife and me. I just never dreamed it would be in Panama and throughout Central and South America.
You see there is a place where the intersection of this world and the unseen world meet. It IS the intersection of the cross and it always will be.
Do you trust Him enough to lay down your plans and engage His purposes; not matter what that may look like or what the “cost”?
We have that assurance that Jesus death and resurrection claimed the ultimate victory over sin. And we also know that he has a plan for our life. Not one that’s built on doing anything except trusting Him to lead us in it, showing Himself every day and in every way possible and sometimes in the seemingly down right impossible.
The next time you gaze at the cross think of the intersection of the vertical and horizontal as that place of unity in life with God the Father, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and you.