“Where there is no vision the people perish”
When I see this passage, I sadly, and with grief, see churches all around that have no target, no plan, no vision, and while they may perform their weekly rituals, they accomplish little. Few, if any, find salvation through faith in Jesus. Baptisms are virtually non-existence, except when a baby is occasionally baptized, and the church has very little impact on their community and the world at large. This is especially true when it comes to making disciples of Jesus or ensuring the salvation of lost souls.
They do have a whole lot of business going on inside the “four walls.” And while the folks inside are having a great time, few really know what’s happening in their elect or select community. A whole lot of what goes on inside is for the members at large. What happens in the Church stays in the Church. The ancient wisdom written above literally can be translated, “When there is no vision, the people run amuck.” Now, that last word, “amuck,” is an interesting word, and here is why: There is a false etymological belief that this is in reference to sailors running a ship aground. That is, they run the ship into the muck. But this is not what actually represents the historical roots of this word. The English word from Malay “Amuck” means to attack furiously or to attack with uncontrollable rage. How could this possibly fit?
I have struggled to figure this out, and what I have is that when God’s people fail to truly have God’s vision, and they do not see where God is blessing in order that they can join Him in His blessings, they quite simply die. Because they want God to “bless my mess,” They quit surviving. They quite literally perish. Some churches actually close their doors for the final time. Life ends for them. And so does the opportunity for eternal life end for the countless souls that could have received the powerful eternal life grace salvation message of Jesus. These souls, many with broken lives, don’t have anyway to pick up the pieces of their lives. Why? They fail to do so because no one had the vision to share the good news that, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old is gone and the new has come.” Those might have had the chance to be given the light of Jesus, continue to stumble around in the darkness of their existence, because no one had the vision to shine the light of love into their darkened lives. Those, for whom Jesus died to free them from the bondage of their sins and death, stay enslaved to their passions and sin. Why? They do so because the visionless ones are silent as their loved ones hear stories allowing their sinfulness to continue to dominate them. Wrong get’s declared right and right gets declared wrong by churches, and loved ones are afraid to speak the truth in love. So, when people are left to die in condemnation to sin and death, it is indeed homicidal. And it is homicidal because of the soul murder that takes place.
Wow! This feels kind of dark. And it is dark, but light can shine into this darkness and chase it away! The people of God can pray to have God’s vision and have God light up their lives! God WILL answer their prayers! With their vision they can drink from the liberating power producing living power of the Holy Spirit, and they can offer some of their drink to those parched and thirsty ones. With their vision, they can be empowered to lift up Jesus, and they can love it, as Jesus draws all people to Himself. The ones with the vision can experience the freedom and liberty and life that comes from knowing Jesus as Savior and Lord! And they can share it with the enslaved who wish to be free! Then too, the visionary ones can dream God’s dreams, and they can cooperate with God’s grace, as they watch the miraculous grace of God make those dreams of new life, liberty and salvation all come true!
So, while it is true that, where there is no vision the people perish or even run amuck, it is also VERY true, that where there is a vision, people come alive and it impacts the lives of everyone surrounding them! I think this is good news! It is VERY good news indeed! Let’s get a life! Let’s get the light! Let’s take hold of God’s vision!
God Bless You,