Numbers 30:2 “If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.”
All men are liars.
It’s true. It’s true for me and it’s true for you.
Should our pride rise up in defiance against that statement, may we be reminded of God’s Word:
Romans 3:4 “God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.”
But our text this morning is concerning a vow – saying you will do a thing and having the character and integrity to follow through on your commitments.
There are some who will commit to an event only to have another invitation come later and possibly more enticing. There are some who wouldn’t think anything of saying you are coming to the one and deciding to go to the other without so much as a text, call, or explanation to the first to whom you gave your word.
It’s called trading up socially.
As a child of God who has been given the task of carrying the gospel to a lost and dying world, our word means something. As representatives and ambassadors of the King of Kings, we must say what we mean and mean what we say.
Matthew 5:37 “But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.”
Say ‘yes’ when you mean yes and ‘no’ when you mean no. Sounds pretty simple.
As a man with multiple roles and responsibilities, often, these collide on my calendar. Prioritizing them can be difficult and sometimes near to impossible. When I try to please one person, I offend another. When I try to please all people – I fail miserably at both.
When an invitation comes, it makes sense to say, “Let me check my calendar.” That way, we can weigh all the options against our priorities. Many would say our priorities should be; God, family, ministry and country. Often there are situations and circumstances where the last three might change places for a time, but the first One should always and forever be the first One. God told us:
Colossians 1:18 “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.”
Simply put, preeminence means first place. And if in ‘all things’ God gets first place, all is well… right? Not when my flesh is involved and alive. When our perspective is skewed, we see things selfishly. We filter all things as to how it might benefit us first and then how it may affect others afterwards.
The change in our generations have been corrupted on this point. Grandparents to parents; parents to children; we have all made decisions without a thought of giving a look to God to see what He might want us to do. Often, we DO know what to do and just do what WE want anyway. We salve our conscience thinking we can live with the consequences.
It is one thing when we trade up socially on each other. But what happens when we trade up on God? I mean that jailhouse confession; that foxhole prayer: ‘God, if you get me out of this, I’ll serve you forever!’ Maybe not even that extreme. Moved by the Holy Spirit to come to an altar and make a decision to surrender to the call of God only to be distracted by the cares of this life to let it all slip away.
If you and I were to keep to all the things we have confessed and committed to the Lord, where would we be? What people might have heard the gospel who today, are still lost? What city, what people could have been reached had we stuck to our word. What ministries could have been started, what churches grown, what mission field evangelized?
God is uber-faithful in keeping His Word. Yet, we fail Him numerous times.
While you and I still have breath in our bodies, we still have time and opportunity to accomplish all we vowed we would do.
Time is truly a precious commodity. As the seconds tick away on our life, we will never be given these moments back. Those moments where the Holy Spirit’s voice pricks our hearts about a truth, convicts of sin, cajoles us about taking a step toward fulfilling the will of God in our life or just asks us to come away and spend time with Him.
Whatever that personal challenge is in your life, may we embrace the truth that God will not forget your work and labor of love. But, may we also remember He will not forget the vows we made to Him.