Proverbs 29:18 – “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law.” NASU
We are not talking about sight but insight or the vision of the heart at to the objective and purpose of God for our lives and the Church. Problems arise in the Body of Christ and ministries when there is either NO VISION causing people to cast off restraint or there are TOO MANY VISIONS or unrelated visions causing people to run wild in all directions without direction or purpose. Both are destructive and detrimental to the cause of the Kingdom of God. Without vision, none of us can stay on course. Without vision, we will not be set on fire by the Spirit of God and develop a willingness to be harnessed together and pull in tandem toward a common goal.
Every person has a vision even if they cannot or have not articulated it or fully understood it. If that vision is not a ‘church-related’ vision, given by God for the whole church in which we can see our special place in the Vision of the Whole that vision will be or become ‘self-centered’ or a ‘survival vision.’ This is the kind of vision in which a person says or thinks, “I will do only what is necessary for me to get along in this world. I will do what I think will bring me happiness and satisfaction. I will do so long as it does not interfere with my desires, goals, dreams, ambitions, and vision.”
The truth is all of us have a ‘survival vision’. It stems from our ‘self-centered’ nature, and whenever we are not truly yoked to a higher God-given vision, the ‘survival vision’ will assert itself and take a supreme position in our lives. This is the condition in the church when the congregants declare, “I have a right to…. I demand…. You must give me….” Survival visions stem from a ‘self-centered’ point of view. They cause people to look at the minister and the church and say, “What do you have to offer me? How can I benefit from you?” When they should be asking, “What can I add? What can I provide? What can I do for the cause of the Kingdom?” The person operating in a ‘survival vision’ is not only ‘self-centered’ but they operate out of a ‘need orientation’ rather than a God-centered view of life and ministry.
The tragedy is that NO PASTOR, NO APOSTLE, NO PROPHET, NO TEACHER; NO PERSON can ever meet the needs of a church filled with ‘survival visions.’ WHY? “The eye is never filled with seeing; the ear is never filled with hearing.” All the needs a ‘self-centered’ person has CANNOT BE SATISFIED. It doesn’t matter how good the music, worship, programs, ministries, preaching, leadership the needs of a ‘self-centered’ individual or church WILL NEVER BE MET!
It is incumbent upon each of us to ‘see something greater than ourselves’. We must allow the Holy Spirit to instill in our hearts a God-centered vision. The truth is a God-centered Vision and a Survival Vision cannot cohabit the same heart! When a ‘survival vision’ is in operation NO ONE will rise above the level of their individual vision. If a person reasons: “When all my needs are met, then I will go on to a higher vision.” He or she WILL NEVER go on, for the needs of the human heart are inexhaustible.
So, ask the Holy Spirit to help you move from a ‘survival vision’ to a ‘God-centered vision’ and plug into the Vision God has given the local fellowship and allow your individual vision to be incorporated into it making both visions stronger and more complete.
God bless you as you go through your day!