by Charmain Hibberd
Marketing Assistant (Writer), CBN Europe
‘Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.’
Proverbs 29:18 KJV
Are Guidelines Good?
Proverbs 29:18 tells us that without vision, people perish. Another version of the bible (NIV) says that without revelation, people cast off restraint. There is something about guidance and parameters that help us to live a successful life.
Think of laws and how they help to guide society in the right direction.
Think of a baby. With a routine, they can achieve healthy sleep patterns, healthy eating patterns and establish a bond of safety and security. Without a routine, they are quite a handful!
The alternative to order is lawless living which ultimately can lead to destruction and demise.
The Bible often refers to us as followers of Jesus as sheep. We are Jesus’ flock and He is our Shepherd. Sheep need pens to keep them safe, without it they can get lost or stuck in barbed wire and hurt themselves.
God isn’t trying to ruin our fun with laws and restraint, He is actually trying to release us to enjoy the pastures He places us in, securely.
Consider a log fire. One of the first things you would think of when you light a log fire is to place a fire gate in front of it so that the more vulnerable members of the household don’t hurt themselves.
Laws and vision are similar in that they provide parameters for living. Without vision we can stumble around aimlessly.
‘God isn’t trying to ruin our fun with laws and restraint, He is actually trying to release us to enjoy the pastures He places us in, securely.’
One of the most helpful statements that I have ever heard is that vision leaks.
After having set a vision for certain areas of my life, personally, I would plod along working towards the vision but never revisiting or refreshing the visions I had set.
Then I had a revelation through the insight of my Pastor and it changed my whole perspective.
It is so vital that we revisit the key areas of our lives and dream again, revise how we are doing and set new vision for the season ahead.
Life can be very unpredictable and, because of that, we need to top up our vision tanks regularly.
If, for example, you set a vision for yourself in the area of finance and then you come into some inheritance, your vision is going to change isn’t it?
Your giving may increase, your ability to enjoy yourself a little more or help others in a significant way may alter.
Imagine each of the key areas of your life as cups with small holes in the bottom. As you pour vision in, it is already starting to slowly leak out. Because of this we must keep dreaming and setting new vision for ourselves.
Now, I have a confession to make.
I don’t actually like the word ‘vision. When I took part in a Christian leadership course a few years ago, I would always break out in cold sweats whenever I was confronted with the question – ‘so what is your vision?’
“I DON’T KNOW!” I would want to yell! You see, I don’t consider myself to be a visionary and find dreaming and casting vision quite challenging. It was upon this self-realisation that I decided to change the question. So I did. Now, whenever I’m asked about my vision I simply change the question to ‘what do you see?’
What do you want to happen?
As soon as I did this, ideas flowed! Dreams came to life! I did have vision.
‘Imagine each of the key areas of your life as cups with small holes in the bottom. As you pour vision in, it is already starting to slowly leak out. Because of this we must keep dreaming and setting new vision for ourselves.’
The Widow and the Oil
When casting vision and considering what I want for my life, I’m often reminded of the account of the widow and the oil in the Bible.
One day the wife of a man from the guild of prophets called out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead. You well know what a good man he was, devoted to God. And now the man to whom he was in debt is on his way to collect by taking my two children as slaves.”
Elisha said, “I wonder how I can be of help. Tell me, what do you have in your house?”
“Nothing,” she said. “Well, I do have a little oil.”
“Here’s what you do,” said Elisha. “Go up and down the street and borrow jugs and bowls from all your neighbors. And not just a few—all you can get. Then come home and lock the door behind you, you and your sons. Pour oil into each container; when each is full, set it aside.”
She did what he said. She locked the door behind her and her sons; as they brought the containers to her, she filled them. When all the jugs and bowls were full, she said to one of her sons, “Another jug, please.”
He said, “That’s it. There are no more jugs.”
Then the oil stopped.
She went and told the story to the man of God. He said, “Go sell the oil and make good on your debts. Live, both you and your sons, on what’s left.”
(2 Kings 4:1-7 MSG)
Different Areas, Different Dreams
Imagine that certain areas of your life are like the empty jars. Pour vision in. What do you want to see in each ‘jar’?
The 5 areas of life that I like to set vision for are as follows:
- My relationship with God
- My relationship with the people in my life
- My finances
- My work life
- My health and wellbeing
It’s worth noting that when the jars ran out, the oil stopped. Perhaps there is a link between our dreams, and vision stopping? If we stop dreaming, will we stop seeing our dreams realised?
Why not take time out today to pray and ask God for heaven-sent dreams.
Then determine to revisit your vision for each of these areas once a month or once every season? I’m certain that, if you do, you will be growing consistently and growing ever closer to the vision you see for your life.