"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. A servant will not be corrected by words: for though he understand he will not answer. Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him." - Proverbs 29:18-20 KJV
I also liked the way the ESV translates this passage (mostly verse 19) so I will include that also.
"Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law. By mere words a servant is not disciplined, for though he understands, he will not respond. Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him." - Proverbs 29:18-20 ESV
Proverbs is indeed a book of wisdom. I look at this passage and see a blueprint for pre-planned action. Words and actions that mesh together.
A vision is no pie in the sky kind of thing. There are steps taken one after each other to get to a goal. A prophetic vision describes the plans God has made and often includes a promise of a certain result.
We talk about 'the finished work' of the cross and rejoice that God sent His Son to die for our sins. Sin has been paid for and God's vision is still unfolding for us. God has plans and because of that humanity will not perish.
God didn't just tell me to do something. Words would never had corrected me. He did something. The cross has corrected me and will correct me. God's act of mercy wasn't just mere instruction. I had to make a decision about what to do with this spectacle of love.
God has plans and so do we. Planning is a fundamental part of life.
If you want to get into a good school there might be a waiting list or certain deadlines. Submitting the papers before the deadlines action long before the first day of school. It requires things to happen in advance.
If we are wise we plan in accordance with God's plans.
What will it be like when we stand before God? The thief on the cross next to Jesus had little time to make any plans. His strategy was simple. He asked Jesus to remember Him.
"And he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." And he said to him, 'Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.' " - Luke 23:42-43 ESV
It was this thief's last heist and he stole Heaven. This man asked Jesus to include him is His 'vision' and Jesus reassured the man that because of His faith recognition he was going to be included.
Without a vision I will perish. Without a plan my Bema seat (the time when we stand before God and He hands out rewards) will not be what it could be. I'm not going to strive but I am also not going to be passive and let life take me where ever it wants to all the time.
God is God and He can change my plans. I understand that dynamic. I don't want to be so attached that I can't let go and adjust.
Let's walk in a redemptive vision that has 'the finished work' of the cross as the cornerstone of the structure of our actions. That means we don't just talk about things. We submit the paperwork and start putting the resources aside. We pray that God would move but we act by faith as though He is going to move.
The faith vision will have sustaining and stabilizing power. Moving in it will provide momentum.
God... We get glimpses of Your vision in the scriptures and we are in awe. You set the sun, moon and stars in the sky and they move with clockwork precision. You sent your Son and He did a marvelous work in paying for our sins. We want to plan according to your plan. Give us a vision that 'glorifies Your Name' if we don't have one. Keep us functioning in plans that line up with Your plans. We want to keep taking steps for the rest of our lives so that those around us will have a stabilizing vision to step into. We are little and often shortsighted. Help us God. Guide us. We trust that you will. Thank You Lord.