Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law.
After decades in the ministry, I have observed that there is almost no difference between the lives of Christians and non-Christians. Just look at the statistics. Christians file for divorce, fall into bankruptcy, are involved in affairs, and are overcome with addictions at the same rate as non-Christians. Why is there such a disconnect between our beliefs and our behavior?
Proverbs 29:18 reveals the reason. Solomon said, “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law.” This verse has nothing to do with church building programs or goal setting. That word “vision” in Hebrew means “revelation from God.” Where there is no word from God, people perish. And we see that all around us. People are withering under unrelenting financial pressure, unfulfilling relationships, and unrealized dreams because they have no instruction from God.
When our girls were little, we decided to get them a pet hamster. So we went to the pet store one afternoon and came home with a hamster named Tiptoe. I assembled the cage, put the wheel for Tiptoe to run around on, and then put the feeding trough and water dispenser in there. Then we let Tiptoe loose. He was excited! He spun around on the wheel for a while, then went to the food trough, and then he went to the water dispenser. It was a plastic container with a spout at the end of it and had a button on the end of the spout. All Tiptoe had to do was put his tongue against that button, and the water would release. But Tiptoe did not know that. He looked at that water spout and put his mouth around it, but that did not work. Then he licked the side of the water dispenser, and that did not work. For lack of instruction, Tiptoe was in danger of perishing. He did not know how to work that water spout.
In the same way today, some people are perishing in their relationships, in their finances, in their careers, and in every area of life because they have not learned the secret for living well. And that secret is wisdom. Wisdom is the key that unlocks the door to experiencing God’s best in every area of our life. Wisdom is a skill. Just as Tiptoe had to have a skill to receive his needed water, we need skills to live life. If you are a wise person, you will shape your life, marriage, finances, relationships, and career after the pattern that is given in God’s Word.
Now wisdom is opposite our natural inclinations. Haddon Robinson told the story of working on his garage door one Saturday morning, and he was trying to loosen a screw. As he turned the screw counterclockwise, the screw tightened instead of being loosened. He was frustrated until a neighbor came over to help him and said, “Haddon, don’t you realize that is a reverse screw? It goes opposite the direction you would think.” The Bible is just like that. The Bible is kind of a reverse screw. Its wisdom is often opposite our natural inclinations.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Art Of Living Well” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2013.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.