By Darlene Winans
Hello again. You doing OK? This COVID seems to go on and on – how are you doing, living under the “new normal” of life as we know it? Masks, hand sanitizer, social distancing, online learning, isolation… when will our lives return to normal? If you’re still at home, working from home, or worse, unemployed, you know it’s hard to live in isolation without a goal or a purpose. And that’s what the book of Proverbs says, “Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint (Proverbs 29:18a, NIV).” The King James Version of the same verse says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
When we look at the KJV and the NIV versions of this verse, we immediately recognize two key differences: “revelation” vs. “vision,” and “cast off restraint” vs. “perish.” When you compare the words “revelation” and “vision,” one can see similarities in the two words. When you have vision or a vision, there is revelation. But the original meaning is more like “purpose.” Interesting. Without purpose the people perish. Without purpose the people cast off restraint.
And the second difference: “cast off restraint (NIV)”, vs. “perish.” These two phrases seem quite different from each other, until we look again at the original meaning. In the Hebrew, the word is paw-rah, which can mean “to lose control (cast off restraint)” or “to perish.” Ah. The one word in Hebrew has two meanings, which explains the differences in translation. Further, the meaning of paw-rah, when interpreted as “cast off restraint,” means or implies the following:
- To go crazy
- To neglect
- To be naked or exposed
Saints, are you going crazy in this COVID season? Have you neglected your relationship with the Lord – your prayer time, Bible time, devotion to Him? Is He exposing those areas of neglect to you? Without revelation, the people go crazy! Without vision, the people neglect their walk with the Lord! Without vision or revelation, we are exposed!
The other meaning in the Hebrew means “to perish,” but it can mean a physical death, to die spiritually, or to die emotionally, to give up hope. Without vision, we die spiritually. Without vision, we die emotionally. Without revelation, we give up hope.
So how do we do that? How do we keep the vision viable, right now, in the middle of the pandemic? It’s such a difficult season! Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” When we seek God, we receive revelation. When we pursue His righteousness, we walk out the purpose that God gave us, that vision. And then the vision will be fulfilled when “all these things will be added to you.” Amen!
In this season of COVID, we may be isolated, we may be unemployed or working from home, we may feel we are living without purpose. My encouragement to you, my sisters and brothers, is to find purpose in the midst of it all. Don’t stop pursuing your dreams. Don’t give up on the vision God gave you. Don’t leave behind the revelation that the Almighty shared with you in that intimate moment. Keep it in your heart. Keep it in the forefront of your mind. This will allow you to thrive in this season!