VOWS TO GOD
“When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the [temple] messenger, “My vow was a mistake.” Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God.” Ecclesiates 5:4-7
TRULY, everything we read in God’s word is His vow, his commitment to his people. Joshua said of God, “Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the LORD your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.” Joshua 23:14
JOSHUA had deep convictions of God’s faithfulness to all that he promised, enabling him to rise up to great leadership, and allowing him to lead God’s people to victory after victory. Joshua’s convictions also enabled him to make his own personal vow to God, “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15 The vow to serve God faithfully for the rest of our lives is the promise of every Christian and the vow upon which all others will be based. At baptism, we vowed faithfulness to the lordship of Jesus unto death. Upon that commitment we make additional vows of how we use our time, money, and our family’s in ways which will serve to inspire others as well.
DREAM DANGEROUSLY: What areas of your life must radically change? Where do you want to be one year from now? Five years from now? You must dream about a deeper walk with God through radical prayer and fasting. How about evangelism? What would be dangerous and put you on the cutting edge to make you rely more on God? Supporting and intern, being an intern? Do you dream of leading a Bible Talk or House Church? You must dream before you can vow.
VOW DANGEROUSLY: A vow must be specific or it will be impossible to fulfill. If you want to be bolder in evangelism, what will your goal be in your neighborhood or in studying the Bible with non-Christians? How much more prayer, Bible study, and fasting will you promise to deepen your relationship with God? How much more time and resources will you vow to spend building and sacrificing for the Kingdom of God? Think about what you think you can do, then get dangerous and vow a little beyond so you’re acting in faith. Get specific and get advice, so that you can fulfill your vow.
FULFILL YOUR VOWS DANGEROUSLY: When the vow is made, we must not delay in fulfilling it and we must not allow our mouths to lead us into sin by not fulfilling our Vows. (Ecclesiastes 5:4-6) It’s easy to allow the worries of life, like financial or family challenges to get in the way of fulfilling even the most basic of vows to our Lord like being devoted to the fellowship by coming to everything and being on time (Acts 2:42), having discipling times so that we can be taught to obey everything Jesus commanded. (Matthew 28:20) The greatest chance of success in fulfilling your vows is to stay strong with God every day and have someone hold you accountable for your vow. Ask for the prayers and encouragement of many so that your vow can radically change your life and inspire others with its success.
LET US FOLLOW the example of others before us who saw the faithfulness of God and through their convictions dreamed, vowed, and fulfilled their vows to the glory of God!