Deuteronomy 23:21-22 “When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee. But if thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee.”
This is a term typically given to vows or promises made in times of great distress or trouble. They go something like this;
“God, if you get me out of this, I’ll serve you,” or “God, if you do _____, then I will _____.”
We have all broken a promise to someone. Though we may not remember it, or it doesn’t come to mind, there are things we said we would do and never followed through. The natural or unsaved man will take no thought of breaking their word to someone. But God is quite clear as to the words we give to one another and Him.
We make light of certain professions that have wrested words and twisted them for gain.
Lawyers and politicians.
We often tell this joke:
“How can you tell when a politician is lying?” and the answer is, “Because their lips are moving.”
We may joke and categorize people and professions regarding the keeping of our word to others, but, God, very soberly, tells us how He values the words we speak when we promise to do something.
The caveat to all this is when someone lies to us, and we become hurt by it. We will often retract our trust in a person because of the wound. Get hurt often enough, and we begin to distrust everyone – including God.
The active part of our faith is when we act upon the trust we place in God. God tells us to do many things that take our faith to accomplish.
Romans 10:9-10 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Salvation is one of those things.
The victorious Christian life is another.
God tells us that He has a plan for our lives that if we would follow His leading, we will have all that He promises.
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
My part in this plan is to obey and to follow. As a purchased possession of God, I must yield to the One by whom I am possessed. The one factor we must deal with is our own will.
When our will is submitted to His, we can begin to see His plan unfold. Our enemy knows this and works tirelessly to get us to take back possession and control of our life. He gets us to question God when we do not see clearly, or by faith are unwilling to trust Him for the outcome.
After salvation, all that we will ever experience will come after we first submit to His will and His way. We are told it is our reasonable service.
Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Many never come to realize the fruit of their relationship with God because they only have faith enough to trust Him to keep them from Hell. Others are held back because they are ignorant of just what God asks of them.
Discipleship of the new believer is elemental to all growth in any church. When the body is grounded in the Word of God, they can be a discerning group that will promote good and shuns evil reasonably quickly. If not, the church will be blown about by every wind of doctrine.
Ephesians 4:11-16 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”
A lengthy passage, I know. But, essential in understanding the core purpose of the church. God gave us those who will teach and preach for our perfecting, edification, and the work your church has been given to do.
In His promise to us, God gives everything we need to accomplish what it is He told us to do. Power, provision, and protection are ours when we step out in humble obedience.
Take a survey with God about all that you have promised Him. Ask Him to reveal any unfulfilled promises we’ve made to Him and ask for help to fulfill them.