Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” In this scripture, vision takes on two vital aspects.
First, it is vision of our redemption. Joshua instilled within God’s people the confidence that the Lord would fight for them and deliver them from every enemy. They were God’s nation of conquerors.
In the same way, we must see the redemption that Jesus brought for mankind. He has made us sons of the living God! He has given us a position with God and dominion over the power of darkness!
Vision allows us to look beyond the temporal to the eternal. We look beyond our weaknesses to His mighty strength. We see beyond sickness to His health. We set our eyes beyond lack and on to His limitless abundance.
With our eyes set on the vision of Christ’s victory, we take on His victory. The Conybeare translation of 2 Corinthians 2:14 brings great enlightenment:
“But thanks be to God who leads me on from place to place in the train of His triumph, to celebrate His victory over the enemies of Christ; and by me sends forth the knowledge of Him, a steam of fragrant incense, throughout the world.”
As our vision of redemption increases, so does our victory, just as Israel’s confidence increased their revelation of Jehovah unfolded.
Second, Proverbs 29:18 gives us a vision of direction. Israel wandered aimlessly for 40 years, unconvinced of God’s direction or path. The people lived from day to day without understanding the purpose for their lives. Having no vision, they became subject to discontentment.
Without vision and direction from the Lord, we too can wander in uncertainty. When a person has no vision for the direction in which God is leading, it is easy to slip into discouragement. Proverbs 13:12 tells us the effect that a lack of vision will have: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.”
In fact, to “perish” in Proverbs 29:18 means to loosen, become lawless and undisciplined. Where there is no vision, dream, or pursuit of God’s plan, people become loose, undisciplined and discouraged. Doesn’t that sound like a picture of our society today?
Israel began to see that when they remained close to God, the land of their dreams came within their grasp. When we begin to perceive the vision that God places before us, a hunger and desire to remain close to God will emerge. Our desire will be to walk in the dream within our hearts. By remaining pliable and open to God’s influence, we will see His direction in detail. Then the hope that His plan brings will keep us from becoming discouraged. It will be a tree of life.
The vision of the new land of God’s promise kept Joshua alive. He would not rest until he conquered all and dwelt within that vision. It provided the direction for his life.
In the same way, God wants vision to provide His direction for our lives. It could be a vision for a business, a home, or a ministry. It may be a vision to spend more time with God in prayer. Let’s lay hold of the direction the Lord gives us today!