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Where There is No Vision, the People Misinterpret Proverbs 29:18


Setting up goals for 2015? Don't use this commonly misinterpreted scripture to justify vision boards.

As 2014 comes to a close, many people are reflecting on the year and setting goals for the new year. I’m particularly delighted to see so many Christian women desiring to use the gifts God has given them to glorify Him. However, just as everything else in this world is corrupted, so is our goal setting. And this is where Miss Interpreted comes in.

Miss Interpreted yearns to honor God and makes her plans for the new year accordingly. She reads half a verse from Proverbs that says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (KJV) as a reason to set up vision boards and use visualization to make her dreams come true. This is hardly a surprise since Miss Interpreted follows the teachings of celebrity pastors, such as Bill Hybels and Rick Warren, who teach this false interpretation:

Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained.” They can’t focus, can’t reach their goal, can’t follow their dream. An older translation says, “Without vision, the people perish.” I’ve seen it with my own eyes – without vision, people lose the vitality that makes them feel alive.”
-Bill Hybels, Courageous Leadership, page 31

(links to Rick Warren’s teachings are found below this article)

Let’s look at other Bible translations, with attention to the words I’ve set in bold:

Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint (NIV)

When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild (NLT)

Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint (ESV)

Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish (AMP)

Words like revelation, divine guidance, and redemptive revelation of God make it clear the verse is not talking about a vision that we can cast. Likewise, run wild and cast off restraint are referring to rebellion – not a “vitality that makes them feel alive”.

Putting it all together, this verse means that without God’s revelation in understanding His words and obeying them, people will cast off restraint and do what they think is right in their own eyes.

Isn’t it odd that Bill Hybels chose to use the KJV to misinterpret the verse’s meaning? He actually begins by quoting the NASB version, which is a clearer indication of the correct interpretation, but I suppose the accurate meaning doesn’t support his message.


When There is No Vision the People Misinterpret Proverbs 29:18


We’ve only looked at half of the verse so far. It continues: “But blessed is he who keeps the law” (ESV), or “But happy is he who keeps the law” (NASB). It’s obvious by now that this verse is referring to obedience and not to failed dreams or the size of the congregation as Rick Warren would have us believe.

I suppose the faulty interpretation of this verse is attractive to Miss Interpreted, because if she’s following Rick Warren, she is most likely also under the teachings of the Word of Faith Movement/Prosperity Gospel. After all, how much different is casting a vision to “believing and conceiving”? As if this isn’t bad enough, vision casting is really in effect the law of attraction, shamelessly promoted by twisting Scripture. Basically, Miss Interpreted is flirting with the occult. She is putting her faith in her ability to visualize rather than in trusting God to direct her steps (Proverbs 3:6). Deceived Miss Interpreted started off with a desire to honor God and ended up meditating on her own vision boards, thereby sacrificing to demons, not to God (1 Corinthians 1:20).

How can God be glorified if we don’t discern His words? Let’s plan to glorify God by testing everything (1 Thessalonians 5:21), so that our love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment; so that we may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ (Philippians 1:9-10)

Soli Deo Gloria,


For more information on the occult practice of vision casting, see:





16 Comments on Where There is No Vision, the People Misinterpret Proverbs 29:18

  1. abey
    December 20, 2014 at 1:42 am (3 years ago)

    And some Advertise as if Preaching

    • Pamela
      December 20, 2014 at 6:37 am (3 years ago)

      Lol Abey: “Pay your seed tithe now and for a limited time receive 200 fold in return”.

  2. abey
    December 20, 2014 at 8:10 am (3 years ago)

    When there is no revelations they will quote others words, no, not the Prophets neither the Saints but the Apostates. These are the days of Apostasy for in the OT a woman enters the Sanctuary she was to be slain by the Levites. How true for the very cause of the modern Apostasy commenced through the Anglician unto its episcopals through women pastors, fallen into “Sodom” the very marker. Rev 12, they the Elect, the first fruits of the lamb, filled in the spirit led by the lamb, the remnant seed of “The Woman”, who are not defiled by women, to the sexual corruptions, the core of which is “Sodom”, for these are the sons of God, the Church that moves in the Spirit, to Romans 8:19 the eagerily awaited ones ’cause they are instrumental to the scene in revelations “where a large no. of people in white garments, washed in the blood of the lamb, stand before the Throne of God” For in the old, the sons of God married the daughters of men, even unto the cause of destruction of man by the flood & later Fire & Brim stones even as those days become visible again through the Complacency like unto Lots wife.
    In the very first place it was the woman that was found in the Transgression not Adam, from then satan has a certain spiritual hold on women until this day even to the wisdom of the Biblical words “women shall not preach nor unsurp authority” for no matter how sincere she may be, satan turns it to his advantage, even unto being deceived by pentecostal/Zionist prophecies through the twistings is but Know that Freemasonry the very entity off that Enmity from Eden BY Theosophy-the Biblical false Prophet that governs the world today unto the present Kingdoms that sit against the Kingdom of God by His Christ, to Zech 5-the curse of Flying scroll (Freemasonry) governed by the wickedness(Theosophy) in an Ephah. Indeed no sweet words like the osteens but to the words of Christ “For the many that I Love, I rebuke & chastise” is but to know for a surety to become cleansed & fruitful even to stand in white garments before God, as Prophesied.

    • Pamela
      December 20, 2014 at 12:13 pm (3 years ago)

      Haha, or when there is no revelation they will make up stuff. In this message Beth Moore is giving a “Hair Brush Prophecy” (57 minute mark) http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=6301409332

      These are hard times which is surely setting up the Great Apostasy. On one hand I’m excited to know His return can be very soon. On the other, all of my loved ones are lost, so it’s bittersweet to say the least.

      Yes, women are easily deceived. And I wonder where Adam was while Eve was being deceived – where are the men today who are to look over the women to see what is chosen for bible study? Where are the husbands who take an interest in what their wives are watching on Christian television programming? Where are the watchmen? It’s easy to see how these false teachings can spread so rampantly.

      Oh to stand in white garments before God! What a hope and joy you have ended with.

      • abey
        December 20, 2014 at 9:57 pm (3 years ago)

        In general men have become complacent in their God given responsibilities. For the whole world is under the thumb of the evil one, but the hope is, as I witness, the Church that moves in the Spirit called “Faithful” to Romans 8:19 the eagerly awaited manifestation of the sons of God the 3rd & final event to His Kingdom on Earth, unto the Lords Prayer. The other two preceding events that have come to pass 1) The Forerunner John the Baptist born in the Spirit & Power of Elijah,declaring the Messiah 2)The Messiah (the Express image of God in whose image is man created & is Faithful, even a I witness) to his introduction. 3) The Manifestation of His first fruits yet too, all to the Glory of the Father., not forgetting the Holy Spirit. Cheer up, for a short troubled time is cancelled out in terms of the Eternal

        • Pamela
          December 21, 2014 at 11:39 am (3 years ago)

          So true. Maranatha!

    • Pamela
      January 3, 2015 at 9:32 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you Margaret! Happy New Year to you and yours.

  3. ~ linda
    January 23, 2015 at 3:22 pm (3 years ago)

    Powerful testimony and truth. Glad you are a neighbor @ Grace and Truth.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

    • Pamela
      January 23, 2015 at 4:53 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you Linda! Glad you are a neighbor as well 🙂 Have a blessed weekend.

  4. Arabah
    January 23, 2015 at 8:22 pm (3 years ago)

    Pamela, I agree with some of your insights, especially that this scripture is widely misinterpretted. However, to say things like, “if she’s following Rick Warren, she is most likely also under the teachings of the Word of Faith Movement/Prosperity Gospel” and conclude that “basically, Miss Interpreted is practicing in the occult” is a bit of a stretch. At any rate, you are right that goal setting is not for us to fulfill OUR own dreams. I appreciate some of the points you make here, just don’t fully agree with everything 🙂

    • Pamela
      January 23, 2015 at 8:38 pm (3 years ago)

      Hi Arabah, thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate your viewpoints. Miss Interpreted represents what I have seen within the body of Christ – including myself! – but I don’t want to assume that all those who are reading Rick Warren’s material are also reading Joyce Meyer’s or Joel Osteen’s books. Since vision casting originates from the occult, that’s how I drew that conclusion. I do hope you have a blessed 2015! 🙂

  5. Leah Adams
    January 24, 2015 at 5:05 am (3 years ago)

    Pamela, I completely agree that Scripture, taken outside of context, can be misinterpreted and used in ways that are not biblical, nor edifying to the body of Christ. Although I have never created a vision board, I feel like it is a huge stretch to say that those who do are practicing the occult. Perhaps the vision board is based solely on God’s vision for that person?? Only the Holy Spirit can judge a person’s heart, and He will deal with that heart if there is error, regardless of whether that person is a regular Joe/Jane or a pastor/leader.

  6. Sharon
    February 14, 2016 at 4:45 pm (2 years ago)

    I know this is an old post but yesterday at Church our Pastor spoke about the Church’s vision statement being almost finished and also talked about doing a vision statement for ourselves and how important it was. I made a list last night so I could start to formulate one this morning. I looked up the Proverbs verse in a number of translations and then checked the word for “vision” in my Key Word Study Bible and also in Vines Dictionary. And then decided I would get on the internet and I typed in “Proverbs 29:18 misinterpretation” and one of the pages that came up was your website. So I’ve read your article. Wonderful.

    We live in a Church world where some verses have become almost slogans for how we do our Christian walk. I found it interesting that my Pastor uses a NKJV but used another translation instead because the NKJV says “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint;” but used one that said “Where there is no vision the people perish”.

    Rather than do a vision statement I will instead work on some memory verses that will “improve” my walk with God this year and make it richer and more intimate.

    • Pamela
      February 14, 2016 at 5:39 pm (2 years ago)

      “We live in a Church world where some verses have become almost slogans for how we do our Christian walk.” – that is so poignant, Sharon!

      I think having a plan and purpose is great, however, the word “vision” has practically become akin to magic.

      I just read Tim Challies book Do More Better, and I thought about writing a mission statement to make sure I’m focusing on what I should be, however, I find that my Christian walk is influenced by what I’m being convicted by, so it would have to be a broad statement. Recently, I was convicted to study, meditate on, and memorize verses relating to the fear of God. Before that, it was issues of the heart. Like yourself, focusing on memory verses works for me, at least for now.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment and God bless you and your walk with the Lord Jesus Christ.


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