Where there is no vision, the people perish:Proverbs 29:18a
There is no greater misconception in the church community than the interpretation of the word “vision”. Typically, vision is understood and presented as a project or program to enhance the church’s bank account or an economic stratagem to improve the social ills of the community. Although these agendas are good in their proper place, nothing could be further from biblical truth.
“Rightly dividing the word of truth” and understanding the mind of God, a vision always heralds judgment, repentance, reformation, redemption, and restoration of God’s people. These indeed are not words connected with today’s vernacular of vision.
As the child Samuel ministered in the house of the Lord, God’s word was precious and there was no open vision (1 Samuel 3:1). God gave this little boy a vision stating He would bring judgment against Israel and the house of Eli. Israel strayed from God and Eli, the priest of God, allowed his sons to corrupt God’s house without correcting them. God’s vision was so devastating Samuel feared to tell Eli. Habakkuk cries out and pleads with God to arrest the deplorable condition of His people. God replies He will send the Chaldeans to execute judgment, resulting in eventual restoration. Perplexed even more, the prophet cannot fathom how He would allow the wicked to devour “the man that is more righteous than he” (Habakkuk 1:13). God instructs Habakkuk to “write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it” (Habakkuk 2:2). Peter prays and receives a vision from God which ultimately sends him to preach Christ — bringing salvation to the house of Cornelius (Acts 10). Paul stands boldly and declares before King Agrippa that he was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, an apostle appointed anointed to preach deliverance to the Gentiles (Acts 26:19). Isaiah’s vision of a judged and suffering Christ continues to be the only redemptive avenue for mankind throughout the ages (Isaiah 53).
The proclamation of the unadulterated Word of God has always been, and always will be, “God’s vision” offering salvation and deliverance to a lost generation. The physical, social, and economic well-being of any society begins with hearing and obeying God’s Word. “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (3 John 2). May men and women ordained by God, empowered by the Holy Ghost, continue to declare the vision of the Lord. “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:16).