This week’s “In Other Words” is being hosted by Heather. Check out more posts by visiting her blog.
“Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God],
the people perish; but he who keeps the law
[of God, which includes that of man]
—blessed (happy, fortunate, and enviable) is he.”
~ Proverbs 29:18 (AMP)
As I weighed this quote the verse from Proverbs kept coming to my mind. I kept thinking that without God’s Word there can be no vision. In the New International and New King James Versions, this verse says, “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint.”
As I think of this truth, and allow it to roll around in my heart. It begins to penetrate my mind and resonate with my Spirit. Paul, as Saul the Pharisee, possessed great zeal but he lacked revelation or vision. In Acts 7 we find the account of the stoning of Stephen. A godly disciple who served the early church, commended by the apostles to the office of deacon. He was faithful and knew the history of his Jewish heritage and believed in the Messiah who authored His redemption.
Stephen when facing the Sanhedrin who had the power to put him to death, professed the truth of his Jewish faith and heritage in great detail. In Acts 7:52 Stephen speaks condemnation to the Sanhedrin for persecuting the prophets of God. The visionaries. Even the promised Messiah was killed because these who ruled over God’s people refused to receive His Spirit and His vision. It so insighted their anger that they began to stone him. Stephen, even in the throws of being stoned by an angry mob, saw a revelation of heaven and asked God to forgive those who were persecuting him. He had vision – the restraint of mind to honor God even in death. While Saul stood by nodding his approval to the entire ordeal.
Saul made it his life’s work to persecute and kill Christians. Not only did he approve of it, he was famous for it. He was a devout man of God, “a Hebrew of Hebrews” he later calls himself. He knew the law backwords and forwards, but had no true revelation of God in his life until he had a confrontation with Christ and His physical sight was taken. After this life-changing encounter with God Saul’s name was changed to Paul. Paul would go on to become one of the most influential and lifechanging ministers of God’s Word to ever live. Paul faced adversity, persecution, death and imprisonment, but he never faultered in his faith and never lost sight of the vision God had given him that day on the Damascus road.
Scripture also teaches that Jesus, in John’s vision on Patmos, is revealed as the ultimate revelation of God. It so impresses me that God would tell us early in the Old Testament, that without vision the people perish and/or cast off restraint. Because Jesus, in this age, is that revelation – the Word made flesh and He has made His dwelling among us. He indwells each one of us who is called by His name that we may not perish and will grow to cast off the restraint and bondage of sin for the power and supernatural miracle of empowered restraint in our holy God.
I will leave you today with Paul’s words from Ephesians 3:2-6 (NIV):
“Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. 6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.” ~ Eph 3:2-6 (NIV)
To God be the glory who changes our lives first through the revelation of Christ at Salvation and then through the continual revelation of Himself to us through His Word as we seek Him and renew our minds. To Him be the glory forever and ever, Amen.