The King James version states, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” while the Revised Version says, “Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint”. Oswald Chambers has apply stated that there is a great difference between following an ideal or following a vision. An ideal has no real inspiration while a vision does. What we have today in mainstream Christianity is millions of people trying to follow an ideal, trying to do what it says in the Bible, in order that they may wear the label ‘Christian’. But it is not possible! For as it states in the RV translation, identifying with an ideal only provides a way to justify neglect of the real truth and gives license to disobedience by means of human reasoning. Those who follow an ideal will never attain anything spiritual. And, further, in the King James version it points out that those “people perish”. So, anyway you read this verse the vast difference should be apparent. Simply living by ideals will lull a person to sleep and in the end count for nothing spiritually.

Vision, however, is inspiration. It is to have our eyes on the Lord, to enlist the leading of the Holy Spirit, to allow the Lord to work in the affairs of man, to incorporate the miracles of God and to live and have our being in HIM. It is the difference between truth and error, spiritual life and death, and in living in the trials and frustrations of this world as compared to living the ‘abundant life’ He promises.

The good news is that there is a very simple way to tell which of these two lives we are living: that is if we are totally honest with ourselves. We must simply answer the question, Is the highlight of our day the hour we spend alone with the Lord in the morning and the time we speak of Him in the evening to our families? Is it the longing of our hearts and what propels us to pray without ceasing and meditate in His Word day and night? Do we hear His voice and follow in obedience? If not, be warned! We are only living the shadow and have missed the substance of the Christian life. We may be following an ideal but not possess the vision that will carry us into eternity.

There is life for a look at the Crucified One,
There is life at this moment for thee,
Then look, sinner, look unto Him and be saved,
Unto Him who was nailed to the tree . . . (There is Life for a Look)