Habakkuk 2:2 (Literal) Then YHWH answered me and said, “Write the [revelatory] vision and make plain on tablets, so that he may run who reads it.”
Proverbs 29:18 (Literal) Without [revelatory] vision, the people cast off restraint, but one who keeps Torah is happy.
These two passages have been mistranslated and misrepresented for centuries. Today, people believe these are describing their vision of what they think Yah wants for them. Some go as far as publishing books on “holy vision” and creating “vision boards” to manifest items they desire. This can lead to taking a leap of faith into something the Father did not ordain. We must see the actual context before seeing a deep meaning in any part of Scripture.
Twice, the prophet Habakkuk cried out to the Lord for recompense against Judah’s approaching enemies, and 2:2 was the beginning of His response to the second one. The “vision” is the Father’s concerning what will happen to Babylon and others sent to judge His people, due to their habit of going overboard with oppression and forcing their beliefs upon the conquered.
It was to be written plainly, meaning no flowery language (i.e., Isaiah’s poetry) upon a hard surface, like stone or wood, to protect it from destruction. The part “…he may run who reads it,” meant the prophecy was to be sent by messenger when the time was right. It was to encourage the righteous in their time of trouble, that He sees what will happen and its result.
The Proverb’s Point
Let’s rewrite Proverb 29:18 in modern-day vernacular:
Without direct spiritual guidance, the people go crazy in sin. Those who protect and do Yah’s Instruction stay sane.
This can also mean when the people’s sins abound, they receive less and less of Him—until they whine to Him about the results of their sin. Those who are consistent in their loyalty to Our Father have no worries, even if the world as they know it falls apart around them. The latter is an example of “…the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Literal vs Figurative
The Father still sends revelation to those prepared to receive it, but unless it glorifies Him or enlightens us, it is not of Him. You can ask Him for confirmation whether a thought or idea is of Him. If no answer comes, keep it on the back-burner. If it is something of the flesh or this world, you better triple-check. I am assuming people are in constant praise, prayer, and able to recognize His work by advising this.
Some believers have a habit of taking Scripture out of context and trying to apply it in different ways. This is known as allegorizing the text. Understand, I am not against seeing your situation in Scripture, but make doubly sure it matches to what the text refers to. Also, understand Biblical symbolism overall will reduce these mistakes.
For example, because of Yahshua saying with enough faith, mountains or a tree could be cast into the sea, people equate mountains with obstacles in life. Some have a problem with that; I don’t. This is one of the many reasons we must maintain our correction with the Spirit Most Holy Who Helps Us.
Spiritualizing the text is seeing things hidden within Scripture. I have no problem with it since the Jews have four levels of interpretation. Everything in the OT points to Our Father’s Will, Yahshua, and His bride, but should be examined carefully.
If you need examples of these, look to Augustine and his allegories concerning Scripture. While I love Scripture interpreting Scripture, many of his seemed unnecessary and not very deep. If I read a new interpretation, it must make such an impact that I rejoice further in the wisdom of the Lord. If it is wrong (or the teacher is false), He will let me know because I ask for constant correction.
Matthew 23:24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!
The absurd would be like comparing yourself to the gnat and being thankful you were not the camel, or vise-versa, and trying to see something extra.
John Fenn of Church Without Walls International has a great series on spiritual discernment:
How to Discern Between Your Spirit and the Holy Spirit #1 of 4, Our Spirit
How to Discern Between Your Spirit and the Holy Spirit #2 of 4
How to Discern Between Your Spirit and the Holy Spirit #3 of 4
How to discern your spirit or the Holy Spirit, Non-tithers in hell? #4 of 4