Vision for Life
“Where there is no Vision, the People Perish” (Prov.29:18)
The world has been shaped, humanly speaking, by men of vision. Christopher Columbus had a vision of a round earth and led Europe to the New
World. The founders of the United States had a vision of a free nation and gave us a democratic republic. More recently, Nelson Mandela had a vision of a people not ostracized because of their color and saw the end of apartheid in South Africa.
These and other events serve to illustrate the indispensable nature of vision. For the Christian and the church, vision is more than the hope that something will come to pass. The source of a believer’s vision is the Word of God. The Word of God, ignited by the Spirit of God leads the believer to see the world and life differently. And vision affects life when it becomes so personally real and powerful that it grips us and drives us. When the writer of Proverbs says; “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” He is talking about a Scripture-saturated, even a Gospel-saturated view of life. The word “vision” in this passage is “prophetic revelation”. For the Christian, vision is all about the revealed will of God. This passage is one of the most quoted in the Bible, but it is much more than a quotable quote. It is an exhortation from The Lord of glory to search the Scriptures and immerse yourself in them until the vision of Scripture is your vision, the passion of Scripture is your passion, the hope of Scripture is your hope.
The significance of vision is this: “Where there is no vision the people perish,”. While it is stated negatively, the positive implications are inescapable. A vision with its source in the Word of God is indispensable to a fruitful life in the present and in touching and changing the next generation for Christ. The significance of such a vision is in both its short-term and long-term affects. Other translations of this phrase are “the people go naked” and “the people are unrestrained”. People without a Biblical vision are apt to go and land just about anywhere.
Biblical standards and theological convictions must be part of and rooted in a broader Biblical vision. The spiritual leader of the home must be genuinely committed to a Biblical view of the Godhead, salvation, eternity, and life. These things must be so woven into life that you communicate them as naturally as you would golf or fishing. If we are to avoid the short-term affects of not having vision, this is what we must strive for.
The problems is that without a Biblical vision our churches and our children will tend to wash out or fizzle out. If you want church members or children who become disinterested, frustrated, or rebellious, toward Biblical Christianity and Christian living, leave them without vision.
But ultimately it is Biblical vision that leads one to faith in Christ. Those without Christ live with an exalted view of themselves, an unrealistic view of the world, and a hopeless view of the future(in particular, eternity). So it is a change in the heart’s vision that leads to repentance and faith. Without that change “the people perish”.
And so pastors, it is not enough to do ministry as usual. You must look beyond the present, and even your lifetime, to the future of the church and Gospel witness in future generations. And this vision is not about quick fixes. Nor is it about what’s trending. It is rooted in the eternal truth of God.
And men, it is not enough to beget children, nor is it enough women to bear them. They must be seen as arrows in the hand of a mighty warrior. Otherwise they may become twofold more the child of hell. You must cast your eyes to the coming generations with the vision and prayer ,”That they might set their hope in God”.
(Watch for my next blog – ‘The Strength of Vision’)