For years and years, I used to read Proverbs 29:18 in the original King James Version,
“Where there is no vision, the people perish”, this was always interpreted to me as, “When you don’t know what you want, you are going to die!” Coupled with, Habakkuk 2:2 “Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.”
I was convinced that with these two scriptures, the Napoleon Hill statement was 100% true, “If a man can believe it and see it, he can achieve it!” I was incorrect, and incomplete.
That was until I read Phil Vischer’s book, “Me, Myself and Bob, A True Story About God, Dreams, and Talking Vegetables.” In his book, Phil describes the rise and fall of Veggietales and Big Idea, and how the vision that he had initially for his company had became something completely out of control. And how throughout the process of success and failure he learned what having a “vision” really meant.
I would like to share with you an excerpt from his book, in this passage he is referring to a daily devotional book that he had read by Henry Blackaby called Experiencing God….
“I picked it up and opened it to week one, day one. A few paragraphs down I read these words: “If you start something and it does not seem to go well, consider carefully that God, on purpose, may not be authenticating what you told the people because it did not come from Him, but from your own head. You may have wanted to do something outstanding for God and forgot that God does not want that. He wants you to be available to Him, and more important obedient to Him…”
Day five: “It is not what is in your heart, nor what you want to accomplish for God, nor what you want to see in your church, or even what you want to see in your group of churches. The key is not what you want to see (your vision), but what is in God’s heart and what is in His mind.”
…“We have no business telling God what we want to accomplish for him or dreaming up what we want to do for Him.” And “The people of God are not to be a people of vision; they are to be a people of revelation.”
What? That’s blasphemy! Or at the very least, highly un-American! Of course we’re supposed to be people of vision! There’s that verse-Proverbs 29:18-“For lack of vision, the people perish.” HA!
I was big on that verse. I’d even been introduced with that verse. “’Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint!’ Here’s Phil Vischer!’” Yet Yoda Henry was ready to skewer that one with his little green light saber, quickly pointing out that when we quote Proverbs 29:28, we always quote the King James Version. Check out a modern translation like the New International Version, he advised, and you’ll find the verse reads, “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint.””- Pages 235-238, Me, Myself, and Bob
VISION is NOT REVELATION
Phil goes on to describe how somewhere along the line, he had stopped listening to God and become hard hearted in the achievement of his dreams. He had interpreted Proverbs 29 the same way I used to. “What I WANT is more important and enough for GOD to do it.” And in Habakkuk, “If I WRITE it down, I am SURE to get it.”
Books like “The Secret and Think and Grow Rich” Will teach you that same concept, however they leave many people falling short and frustrated. The message ends up coming across that if you ‘dream, imagine, and visualize’ becoming a concert pianist and want it bad enough you can do it, because after all what YOU want and on YOUR power you can do anything. Have you ever gotten frustrated screwing a round peg into a square whole?
Read Proverbs 29 in a modern version,
“Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint” NIV
AHA! WHAT?! ‘Revelation?’ Yes! You see God has a purpose for your life, and he is waiting to reveal it to you. All you need to do is ask Him for it. We are not called to conjure, imagine, and force our reality. We are called to step into the life that God has for us. As a matter of fact the complete verse in Habakkuk reads this way,
Then the LORD replied:
“Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” NIV
Our lives are about the revelation that God shows us. In the days of old, before PowerPoint’s, goal setting, self-help books, and false imagery, ‘vision’ meant to dream. We as Christians need to recognize that being in God’s will, is not a challenge. His yoke is easy, and His burden is light!
A prayer for today,
“Lord, let my brothers and sisters see today perhaps for the first time, what you would have them to do with their lives. Give them the revelation of the plan that you have had purposed for them since the beginning of time. Give them the bravery of heart and courage to let go of that which they may have been forced upon to do. Allow them to boldly go forward in the attempt of fulfilling their destiny, regardless of how ‘ridiculous’ it may seem. Your revelations are pure, and mighty and on purpose. We desire to be on purpose for You and want whatever You want for our lives. We die to our own, and submit to You. Your revelation for us is all we need, God alone. In Your Son Jesus’ name, AMEN. ”
**Phil has gone on to create a new company called Jelly Telly. You can look him up on the web at www.jellytelly.com. He expresses how upon completely surrendering to the Lord, the very first book he wrote afterward was read to his wife and she broke down in tears. He now describes his life as “Skating on ice, not pushing boulders up mountains.”
For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. Habakkuk 2:3
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