In the 21st century, businesses and organizations place great emphasis on creating vision statements and casting vision. The fundamental concept is that individuals and organizations need direction and purpose to prevent aimless wandering. This is true.
However, a vision for business or ministry is specific to an individual mission. This requires continued communication of the vision that includes clarifications and confirmations of the intended outcome of the vision and mission.
Also, it’s only valuable if there is follow-through to accomplish the specific mission. If there is no clear plan to implement the vision, then it remains just a nice philosophical thought. Vision statements require a commitment and willingness to do the work of the mission.
As a pastor and mentor to pastors, I’ve seen many churches with admirable vision and mission statements. But as I observe the ministry itself, how the ministry operates seems disconnected from the intent of the vision and mission statements.
This disconnect between the intended vision and the actual work of the mission leads to dysfunction and confusion. There needs to be more than a philosophical connection between the vision and the mission. There’s a verse in Proverbs 29 that speaks to this—
Without prophetic vision people run wild, but blessed are those who follow God’s teachings. (Proverbs 29:18 GW)
Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law. (Proverbs 29:18 NKJV)
One can relate this proverb to this popular trend of vision casting and vision connected to a primary mission, but this proverb addresses something different that is more vital for all people.
Relating this proverb to vision casting and the crafting of vision statements is to make an application without a full understanding of what this verse declares. To be more specific—the first phrase requires the second phrase for a complete understanding. People run wild when there’s no prophetic vision because godly vision needs to be grounded in and driven by the truth of God—God’s teachings.
During King Solomon’s time, the Law of Moses was the anchor of God’s teachings. Although it’s primarily summarized in the 10 Commandments (Exod 20:1-17), the Mosaic Law governed all aspects of life—moral, spiritual, civil, and health.
The context of this verse provides a better understanding of what is meant by prophetic vision. It is a divine revelation of truth. In Solomon’s time under the Old Covenant, divine revelation was always tethered to the Mosaic Law. In our present time, under the New Covenant, because Jesus fulfilled the Law (Matt 5:17; Rom 10:4; Gal 5:23-25) God’s teachings include the Gospels and the other New Testament books.
The truth of God—as revealed by God in the Scriptures—is a tether to keep us from running wild. God’s Word is the foundation for prophetic vision and anchors us so we don’t run wild.
A simple illustration is like the string attached to a kite. Without the string attached and guidance by the person flying the kite, it will drift off by itself or dance wildly in the sky till it crashes on the ground. A boat in a violent storm without an anchor or sail will be tossed to and fro and then driven to destruction by the wind and waves.
These two illustrations are like you and me without the anchor of God’s teachings. If we’re not grounded in the truth of God, we are prone to be tossed to and fro by the prevailing winds of popular culture (Eph 4:14).
If it seems the world around you is running wild—it is. If we don’t want to be caught up with those running wild, we need the anchor of God’s truth. The Truth of God anchors us and the direction of our lives.
People run wild when there’s no prophetic vision because they’re not grounded in the truth of God—God’s teachings. The Scriptures serve as a tether and anchor to prevent us from running wild and aimless like others in this world.
When you find yourself caught up with everyone else and running wild with no clear direction for your life—it’s time to stop and seek the Lord. Pray with an open Bible in hand and ask the Lord to ground you in the truth and guide you in a personal way.