We need a vision so don’t lose your vision of the cross. The cross lifts us up from the ashes and plants our feet upon the rock. When we forget that we are forgiven we forget to forgive others. We need to come boldly to the throne of grace to receive mercy so that we rightly distribute it to others. If not, we forget that we are supposed to be distributing the grace of God through the gospel and we get stuck in the us versus them mentality. So don’t lose focus. Establish that new vision, this new year.
Our lives are supposed to give testimony to the one who died yet lives. He came he saw he conquered. The least we can do is remember.
“Where there is no vision the people perish” is a Christian idiom that we have adopted to mean that basically we need a strong vision statement for our leadership so our church can latch onto, otherwise people will think we are directionless. Now I say idiom here because the interpretation we take away from this tends to be anachronistic.
It is anachronistic because business vision statements are not at all in mind here. He is not simply saying without a plan chaos ensues, which I do think is conventional wisdom. The Bible continually reminds us to order steps after the Lord. We are to say “If it be his will we will go into the city and do this and do that…”(James 4:13-17) Man is in the habit of making plans and God is in the habit of disrupting them. A better translation is when the contrast at end is not edited out.
“Where there is no prophetic vision/revelation the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.” (Proverbs 29:18)
This famous Christian saying is not about leadership building but about making sure the people are clinging to what God has said. They are keeping a revelation of him in mind while they operate their daily lives or else they begin to drift.
I can make all the plans in the world. So can a church, but if God is not the foundation, the goal means that all our labor will be in vain. (Psalm 127:1) Now many a church vision do end up falling into this, they are houses of God after-all, but the principle is to not to stray from the Lord. Keep yours eyes on him. Learn what pleases him and keep to it, not simply have a little organization to your structure.
Having a vision is a good thing, but God isn’t walking around with a clip board checking to see if you have a proper purpose statement. What he is looking for is a body of believers who are tethered to him. Their vision is entirely him focused so whatever their ministry looks like, it looks like Jesus.
As another new year is upon us, I want to take the time to remind us that without a proper vision of him our ways will drift. If for example we think that God is all about love and do not parse out Biblically what that means, it can mean that we adopt every whim of the world in order to not squish some toes. This is why we need a proper vision of God, which is why the verse answers itself with blessed is he who keeps the law. To keep the law is to know what the law actually says. Zooming out for a moment we need to know what the Word of God says to have a proper vision of him. In order for our revelation to be correct.
Knowing God, is holding to God. This is why David asks:
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By ordering it according to your law”
9 How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.
10 With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!
11 I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
12 Blessed are you, O Lord;
teach me your statutes!
13 With my lips I declare
all the rules of your mouth.
14 In the way of your testimonies I delight
as much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on your precepts
and fix my eyes on your ways.
16 I will delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word.
Read this again and conclude if Bible reading is important? A new year, another reading of the Word of God is dire to our walk. It should be. He shapes life and creates reality and has given us the play book. Keep your eyes on the Lord and you will not fall. See we cannot say “I will love God, but I do not know about that Theology stuff” as if they are different. Theology is the practice of studying and learning about God and in this Psalm David ties the two together.
God has done the work on the cross for your souls and so he is the one we look to for everything. He is our hope, He is our purpose, He is our vision, He is our catalyst. So I will quote my favorite verse: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not lean on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your path straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
So craft those vision statements and create those new year’s resolutions but remember who the point is and from whom you draw your strength.