Vows or Resolutions?
Alright! Christmas is over, the conception of our Lord has been completed, His birth will occur nine months from now, and THEN the Savior will be born in the flesh.
We have a brand-new year in front of us and what are we going to do with it? First thing is to probably make some resolutions that we'll never keep. Stop smoking. Go on a diet. Start exercising, and on and on it goes.
And from past experience, we all know that most of these resolutions will be broken in short order. And it's no big deal, really. We may end up disappointing our family or ourselves, but we'll soon get over it. At least until June when some will vow to lose weight before they go to Florida on vacation and lay out on the beach.
These types of resolutions are physical in nature and although some of them are good for our health, they won't keep us out of heaven if we break them.
1st Timothy 4:8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. KJV
Having a fit body will not get you into heaven, but living a life in accordance with Father’s wishes, will. And where do we find those wishes? Written throughout His Book of instructions.
What about making a vow to our Lord or our Father? There’s probably been a time in your life when you might have made a bargain with our Father.
Perhaps your prayers for a loved one to be healed of some sickness hasn’t been answered and in a desperate attempt to get our Father’s attention, you might vow to do something that is extraordinary in your life. Something that you think will please Him and in return, you would expect a healing.
Not all vows to our Father carry this kind of weight. Some vows are made to get a new car, for instance. What in the world could a person promise to do in return for a new car?
Don’t be rash when doing this. Give very careful consideration to whatever it is that you vow to do, expecting something in return, because if you cannot fulfill that vow, it’s better that you never made it to begin with.
Ecclesiastes 5:4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.
Ecclesiastes 5:5 Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. KJV
Remember that you are attempting to deal with Father on a one-on-one basis and if you’re not completely serious, then He considers you to be a fool. Think it through, thoroughly, before you make one.
Jephthah, in the book of Judges, made an open-ended vow to our Father….
Judges 11:30 And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands,
Judges 11:31 Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord's, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering. KJV
Jephthah made a vow to our Father that if he was successful in his war against the Ammonites, with Father’s help, of course, he would make a burnt offering of the first person that came through his door after he returned from the battle.
And who came through that door?
Judges 11:34 And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter. KJV
According to his vow, the first person through his door, after he returned, he would kill and offer up to the Lord. That person was his only daughter. And after a couple of months, Jephthah fulfilled that vow and killed his daughter.
It’s foolish to make any sort of vow to our Father because we don’t know what the future will bring or how our circumstances might change over time. Only Father knows these things.
And it’s not a sin unto a spiritual death if you have made a vow in the past and haven’t been able to carry through with it. Talk to Father and explain why you made the vow in the first place and why you’re not able to complete it. He knows all of this already, but He wants to hear it from you.
This will release you from that vow. Remember that the only unforgivable sin is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and this certainly is not that.
My advice is to live by the rule of KISS. Keep It Simple, Stupid.
You can have great self-determination without committing yourself to a vow. Just stay with a resolution. Lose some weight. Stop eating so much cheesecake. Or whatever it is that you want to change about yourself.
There’s really no reason to make a vow to Father in the first place. He knows your heart and He knows your circumstances and He knows the stress that you might be under. Simply talk to Him and leave the rest up to Him. What ever happens next will be His will, not the fulfillment of some rash vow made in desperation.
Had Jephthah talked with the Father about this situation, he may not have had to kill his own daughter.