Sometimes because of ignorance, pressure, desire for human applause or outright recklessness, we make promises, pledges and vows that we never fulfill and honour.
Followers on this column are now familiar with the following cardinal rule. God’s prophecy or instruction to you is the last unfulfilled instruction.
Don’t look for a new word before you do the last thing that He told you to do. Our God is a covenant-keeping God and He expects us to do the same. In the heat of the moment we may park our minds and use our emotions and make rush, irrational and outrageous promises that we never mean to fulfill.
God is so faithful that if we make a vow to Him as a condition for a certain answer in our lives, He quickly honors. There are people that promised God that they would make their cars available to the work of the church if God gave them one.
During the pressure of looking for employment, some promised God that they would always donate towards evangelism, missions and television ministry, till death. Some grabbed God by the throat in need of a marriage and promised various things to God. I know people that promised to serve God with increased vigour if He healed them of sickness, but are now using their healthy condition for more mischief.
Whatever situation or condition God answered, but when they handled the breakthrough, they reneged on their promises. They found out they had better use and need for the money, job, house, car, health, etc.
There are many people that are now trapped and bound. They are failing to move on because God is waiting for their action. Before we go any further, vows, promises or pledges are good as long as they are coming from a sincere heart. You would agree with me that God gives you the desire of your heart, but when that happens, second thoughts crop up.
The devil will tell you how stupid it will be to hand out that big thing to God. Satan will lecture to you how you would never get another chance if you “wasted” that opportunity by forwarding it to God. David knew that it is God who gives power to make wealth and riches come from Him. David rejoiced in giving to God and says in I Chronicles 29:14: “But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? For all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.”
Here is God’s advise to you. Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 reads: “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. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.”
It is clear that vows are okay with God. In her barrenness, Hannah made a vow to God for a child, and God answered her and she kept her promise. (1 Samuel 1:14, 28). The Bible also records the irrational vow by Jephtah who was faced by a war.
Judges 11:30-31 reads: “And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands,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.” His daughter was the first to come out to meet him and he offered her as a sacrice as he had vowed. The teaching is that we should never make vows that we don’t mean to and we should pay our vows.
It is foolishness in God’s sight to promise without the intention to do it. He advises us to consider first before we say. Don’t promise to phone someone if you don’t mean it. If you make those marriage vows, please keep them. If you are not serious then don’t marry. Let us not play games with God. Let us be women and men of our words. Consider Ecclesiastes 5:2: “Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.”
Don’t promise to construct dams or bridges to get a political office and never return after you are elected.
From this day onwards, I advise you to revisit your pledges, promises and vows and honour them. Don’t be held back, do it now. You are going somewhere.
•All Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible.
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