"Vision" is possibly the most popular self-help buzz
word of the last few decades. Unfortunately, "vision"
is too often used as an excuse to violate God's authority. God created
us to be people of vision, but we must have a godly vision for ourselves,
our families, our businesses, and the church.
We talk about vision in three respects: 1) divine, prophetic revelation;
2) physical sight; 3) inner sight (mental perception, cognition,
and understanding which often produces a visual image).
First, we must understand that the word "vision" is limited
to prophetic revelation in the Bible. Therefore, we must be very
careful in applying Scriptures containing the word "vision"
to a discussion of man's inner vision for himself. Proverbs 29:18
is often erroneously quoted as a proof text that man must have a
vision for himself, but Solomon is writing concerning prophetic
revelation - not man's inner vision.
There are different types of vision. There are social visions as
with Martin Luther King, Jr. There are liberal arts visions as with
artists and musicians. There are entrepreneurial visions as with
those who see niche markets and can envision where the world's markets
will be in twenty years. And there are cognitive visions which are
insight based upon knowledge which has been intellectually cultivated
Let me suggest that Christians may have a combination of these
visions for themselves, but that they must first have a cognitive
vision based upon the word of God; therefore of faith. Paul says:
"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of
God" (Rom. 10:17). Therefore, a Christian's inner vision is
limited to that which is authorized by God.
For example, my oldest daughter is in first grade. One of her class
assignments is to think of three professions that she would like
to enter when she grows up. Although I was surprised that she would
have this assignment at such a young age, it is good for children
to begin developing vision. The challenge for parents is to begin
instructing their children at a very young age concerning vision
- godly vision vs. evil vision thus godly professions vs. evil professions.
Paul says: "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in
the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through
Him" (Col. 3:17). Do all in the name means that Jesus must
be the authority by which we conduct our lives. Therefore, He must
also be the authority for our inner vision. Then to guard against
pride, we must give thanks to God, our Creator, who has blessed
us with the ability to envision goals and realize our dreams according
to His will.
In my next article, I plan to further discuss vision from the Scriptures.
For now, let me suggest that godly vision, in a word, is wisdom.
"Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of
the Lord is" (Eph. 5:17). To understand the will of the Lord
is to be wise; and to be wise is to have a godly vision.