“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18 KJV)
Is there any limit to the application of this verse? Nations have formed, wars have been fought, and great sacrifices of all manner made because people had a vision. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of the end of racism in the United States was a God-given, Scripture-based vision. This vision drove him through seemingly impossible obstacles and hardships. It was a vision for which he sacrificed greatly. It was a vision that cost him his earthly life.
Of all the visions we could discuss, I’m narrowing in on one:
Do you have a God-given, Scripture-based vision of who God says you are?
You need one! It will carry and sustain you through seemingly impossible circumstances — ones bombarding you from within as well as afflicting you from without. It will be a vision to direct your daily life.
Where there is no revelation (an accurate knowledge of Scripture backed by a firm belief in its truth) of who we are in Christ, “we cast off restraint” (Proverbs 29:18 NIV). In the Hebrew language, “restraint” is translated “go back to.” And that’s what we do. Though saved, we go back to thinking and acting in ways not ordained by God, ways based on lies and focused on our flesh. We struggle and suffer unnecessarily, especially in the areas of worth and significance. Furthermore, we exhaust ourselves striving to become someone we already are:
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come”
(2 Corinthians 5:17).
Whether or not we feel “new,” we are. We are new creations – fully accepted and fully loved. The old sinful ways of thinking, feeling and acting are gone, their power lost. A new person with a new way of thinking, feeling and acting has come. The change that occurred immediately in our standing before God becomes evident in our lives as God changes our old way of thinking and acting to match our new, true identity. Without a vision, this doesn’t happen.
I want my God-given identity to determine how I act, instead of letting unrestrained actions determine who I become. In this quest, two passages have become paramount. The first one, from Colossians 3:12, contains three words that describe WHO God says we are:
Chosen Holy Beloved
What these words say about us is amazing!
Chosen: selected, picked out, decided upon, marked with favor
Holy: consecrated, set apart, made pure, made whole
Beloved: dearly, greatly loved
How radically different would our lives be, how great the peace, what confident assurance, what clear direction would we have if we truly believed those three facts?
The next passage, Galatians 2:20, tells us HOW. I’ve put the Scripture first, following it with what has become my daily mantra:
“I have been crucified with Christ.” Done!
“I no longer live.” Done!
“Christ now lives in me.” Done! Praise God!
The verse continues: “The life I live in the body, I live by faith.” This is our ongoing choice! Will you believe the truth of who God says you are? I implore you: embrace way #9 of 52 ways to glorify God:
Get a vision — a literal, mental picture of who God says you are.
When you do, consider the glory that is given to God:
We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God, and not from us” (2 Corinthians 4:7).