Ecclesiastes 5:4-7 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to vow than to make one 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. *
I recently came across this passage while reading a Bible I’ve had for almost twenty years. I couldn’t remember why I had double highlighted the passage but the impact of the words was enough to make me stop and check myself to see whether I had an ‘outstanding debt’ in this area. “Do not let your mouth lead you into sin”… Has my mouth led me into sin? As the question started to gnaw at me, I began to think of the vows I had made to God … vows I may have made when I felt Him gently guiding me in a particular direction or vows I may have made when I needed instant deliverance.
Have I been employing the ‘many words’ tactic, trying to talk my way out of something I gave Him my word I would do? Have you? Our life experiences may take us through bitter waters. Sometimes we feel like we’re at the end of our rope and that there’s no way out. Often the tendency is to pray: “Lord, if you help me out of this one, I’ll do whatever you want me to do!” This awesome God delivers… and then we forget about our promise to Him.
As I write, I am getting the sense that there is something I need to work through but I can’t quite put a finger on it so I’m praying for revelation. What about you? … Are you getting a sense of unfinished business between you and your Father? Is there something you committed to do that you haven’t quite gotten around to doing? Did you promise God you would do something after you achieved a particular goal? Missions? Volunteer service? Ministering to the infirmed? Serving sacrificially? What was the vow you made that remains yet unfulfilled?
While I turn these questions over in my mind, I contemplate the many times He brought me through issues I thought I’d never survive. I contemplate the times I asked Him for direction and then went my own way anyway. I am thankful that He has not treated me as my sins deserve but that He gives me this opportunity for redemption.
Father, I have made more mistakes than I can count, yet You still love me. Thank You for being patient with me. There are things I promised in moments of despair or joy that I may not have fulfilled… please forgive me for having made promises I did not fulfill. I don’t know where You are taking me but I have given You my life and all that I am. I pray that You would lead me and that I would willingly follow after You.
The years have brought experience and the experiences have brought wisdom. I am spiritually old enough to know that when I make a pledge to You, I ought to follow through. If there is unfinished business I need to take care of, please bring it to memory so that I can fulfill my vows to You. Please set a watch over my tongue that I do not speak for the sake of speaking but that I would take commitments to You seriously. I believe You will provide whatever physical, emotional, spiritual or other support I need to help me walk in the destiny You’ve called me to.
I stand in awe of You and I trust You to order my steps.
*THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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