Jun 18 (Daily reading: Proverbs 27-29) “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law” (29:18). The first half of this proverb is often quoted. We must not overlook the second half. The vision that we need to be able to do God’s work is found in His law, or His word. The Old Testament is full of warnings against false prophets, who are defined as those who give their own counsel and not God’s. For example, Jeremiah warned against those who give “a false vision…the deception of their own minds” (Jer. 14:14). “They (false prophets) are leading you into futility; they speak a vision of their own imagination, not from the mouth of the LORD” (Jer. 23:16). This is why some, like Henry Blackaby, have written that vision is best understood in terms of revelation from God’s word.
The consequences of no vision, or following a false vision, is that one will be “unrestrained.” There will be no guidance, or as the Message says, “They stumble all over themselves.” There is a double warning here: we must not listen to false prophets, but also, we must not BE a false prophet, guilty of spouting our own spiritual theories. Solomon also said this: “He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, even his prayer is an abomination” (28:9). If we are praying from the inspiration of a false vision, even our prayers can be biased, coming from the desires of our own heart. And Solomon warned further: “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool,
but he who walks wisely will be delivered” (28:26). If we let our deceitful hearts guide our vision, we will be in danger of missing God’s revelation. I once warned a young pastor in Guadeloupe who was teaching his own false doctrine that God would hold him responsible for leading people astray—a terrifying thought!
– Al Gary
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