二○一九年二月十六日／二月十七日 Click here for English version
Lacking revelation, people cast off restraint. How about you?
Rev Wayne Cheung
Recently, the term "vision" has cropped up in my mind time and again. It might have been inspired by a hymn or a Bible verse, I do not know. To Christians, vision refers to heavenly insight including God's revelation, will and guidance. The important thing about vision is not the way it is revealed to us, but the mentality and actions with which we respond to such insight. Vision may not necessarily involve wondrous prophecies or supernatural divine commands. But it is often associated with what God entrusts with us and moves us to do, here and now. To ordinary people like you and me, the vision of God has a lot to do with our daily lives, our Christian identity and our life testimonies.
The classic verse "Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint" is only the first half of Proverbs 29:18. To interpret this verse correctly, we need to read the second half as well, "but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction." What the Proverbs emphasizes is God-revering everyday wisdom that we need to live out in our daily lives. The vision referred to here is both God's concrete guidance for man as well as a channel by which He wants man to receive His blessings in real life. It is only when man co-operates with God and obeys His will that man will remain restrained. Listening to God and obeying His teachings flow naturally from a faithful life.
Admittedly, our times are more complex than any of those before. We are accustomed to absurd, agitated and restless scenes in the city. And beyond it is an environment that is hostile to the Christian faith. Then, how do we identify the vision and will of God amongst such conflicts and predicament? We can perhaps reflect in two areas:
First, we need to establish the adherence to God's wisdom as our over-riding spiritual precedent. This year is our Bible Study Year. Then studying the Bible diligently, planting ourselves firmly in the word of God and honestly putting it into practice must be our undeniable duty and mission. There is no short cut.
Secondly, we need to cultivate an affection for God - a gratitude for His grace along with reverence and love for Him. Dear brothers and sisters, have you forgotten God's grace? When did you last give thanks to God and praise His name? I have to exhort you earnestly to engrave in your memory the words of the Lord Jesus: "… If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5)
At this time of writing, I heard some fellowship groups singing a familiar song which echoed in my heart: "In encroaching darkness, I see thy guiding hand. In the raging storm, my faith goes strong…. Thy vision empowers me, I see no narrow, winding path but thee. Let me grasp my time, stand firm in the truth, cherish thy vision. Let me seek thy guidance and illumination. Whatever changes the world doesn't change me. My gifts, my life I offer thee. Removing barriers with love …." (From the hymn "With Thy Vision")