While I was making the beds and cleaning up our bedroom late yesterday morning, I found myself mulling over our Pastor’s sermon about the Christian’s need to have a vision. Among many other scriptures he used Proverbs 29:18 as a foundation for his point. This verse reads: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” (KJV) A modern version tells us that without vision “the people cast off restraint,” (ESV) and yet another that “… the people will lose self control.” (ERV)
I had to laugh at the modern translations as that seems to be exactly what we are seeing among many people in the world today. This verse makes it pretty clear (at least to me!) that the correct vision to hang onto in this life comes from God’s will as found in His Word. Without that ever-before us, we can easily get off track and lose self-control.
I also had to stop what I was doing for a moment and mention to my wife who was sitting quietly in the middle of the room that “We’ve always had a vision for the things we sought to accomplish throughout our marriage… and even before.” I can remember as a young elementary age kid planning for things in the future. It was like I’ve always needed to have something before me that I was reaching for in order to keep life interesting, challenging and meaningful to me.
Then when my spunky girlfriend began to introduce me to the Word of God in High School, it just seemed like a logical transition to transfer the directions of my visions from my limited capacity into the hands of what I was beginning to see and hunger for… a strong, mighty, faithful and loving Father God. And it has kinda been that way ever since those early days in the fall of 1970.
And that thought takes me right back to our discussion of the importance of personal Bible Study time each and every day! In our last two posts we gave some practical methods for the study of God’s Word and I felt like yesterday’s conclusion of a two part series on vision was another way to stimulate our interest in His Word.
The Psalmist in Psalms 119:114 prayed to the Father explaining that “You are my hiding place and my shield. My hope is based on your word.” (God’s Word ©) What he was saying was pretty much the same point as the statement from Proverbs 29:18 above. A quick glance into the Hebrew and Greek translations will confirm that the word “hope” (as usual) would better be translated “expectation.” So therefore you could say that “My ‘expectation’ is based on your word” with “word” referring to the “logos” or written word of God. (Strong’s)
The writer is establishing the idea that his expectations in life are solely based on the vision he gains from his daily-increasing familiarity with God’s Word.
From these two verses, one can also learn how to quickly discern the source of your and/or other's vision in life. When Piper and I were first faced with the reality of what we were up against with the attack in her body, we immediately (if not sooner!) turned to God and His Word for our vision of her health. There was NEVER any question! We had just spent three years being saturated in the Word in Bible College and the Church and Christian community we were involved with in Oklahoma. Other thoughts, reasoning’s or diagnosis NEVER had a chance to sneak in!
When we returned home, I can’t say that everyone responded with the same positive resiliency as we had. I think the worst year started in late summer of 2010 when I quit my job at The Home Depot to take care of my wife full time. For us it was simply a matter of continuing to follow the vision that God’s Word was prescribing to us and stepping out in faith. But we soon discovered that not everyone was agreeable to our steps of faith for it seemed they had a different source for the vision that was unfolding in their understandings.
But, as you most likely know by now, the results of any vision does not always present themselves immediately and ours didn’t either… but then slowly and methodically things began to change for our benefit… just as the vision from the scriptures in God’s Word had given to us back in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
So… what kind of vision for your life do you want to have? You know Piper’s and my answer to that question… and we have some 47 years of results to prove it! Is it always easy? NO! Does it always work out exactly the way you think it should? NO!
BUT - through faith, lots of continual expectation and daily communication with the Father through the pages of your Bible - you will eventually see His Will, His VISION and therefore His grace and faithfulness come to fruition in your life.
Don’t wait another day… start today! Have a great week as you delve into the wonderful truths in God’s Word for you, and as you do, keep telling yourself… “I am excited and EXPECTANT about finding God’s VISION for my life today!”