I am overwhelmed by the number of conversations I have had recently
about struggling or failing churches, right close to me. The “uniting”
theme has been a lack of direction or vision. It doesn’t seem that
there was a lack of trying or ideas, but I have been shocked by how
different leaders or leadership are grasping at almost anything trying
to regain a foundation to a struggling congregation.

I truly believe that many churches are losing their way so fast it
might be too late for many of them to ever recover. Proverbs 28:19
addresses the issue of a lack of vision clearly, but I think the
majority of us our interpreting this passage incorrectly. There are
two things to consider:
1. Don’t stop reading at the semicolon, because it is after this
punctuation mark that the clarity of what the vision should be is
given: the Bible. Happy is he who follows the teachings of God.
2. Don’t let anyone tell you that vision means a man made idea of any
sort. Fire any pastor/leader who claims God has uniquely gifted them
with a vision for a community or congregation, telling you there is a
program, or a property, a method, or an answer in his or her head.
Vision here is best translated by the second half of the verse. With
“God’s revelation”, given to us through the Bible, we will not wander
or perish spiritually, we will have direction and find the answers to

We have a book that has proven itself a gift from God, a gift that
unleashes it’s power when we practice it in our daily lives. It is
unleashed through, acts of love, kindness and mercy. It points us to
Jesus Christ, who speaks through the Holy Spirit, which in the end
re-unites us with God our Creator if we believe and have faith in what
Jesus did and who He is.

The Great Commission reiterates the truth in Proverbs 28:19 with a
directive. In essence the orthodoxy of Proverbs becomes orthopraxy in
Matthew. I am begging the church, which is you if you are a Christian,
stop chasing waterfalls and start chasing God through the teachings of
Christ and the Bible and while doing so – live it!

Proverbs 28:19

New International Version (©1984)
Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but
blessed is he who keeps the law.

New Living Translation (©2007)
When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever
obeys the law is joyful.

English Standard Version (©2001)
Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but
blessed is he who keeps the law.

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is he
who keeps the law.

Posted via email from Cliff Cline

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