You once needed a ‘miracle’ badly from God. Due to your shallow knowledge of God, you thought for God to give you that miracle, you must make a VOW to Him. So you made serious vows…
‘Lord, if you do this for me, I vow to…’
‘…give you all my salary…’
‘…triple my tithe…’
‘…never commit sin again…’
‘…sell my properties and give to you…’
‘…never miss church again…’
‘…serve you in at least 4 service units in church dedicatedly…’
‘…never do this…never do that…’
‘…always do this…always do that…’
Funnily, the miracle came!!! Now you realized that you have a vow that you CAN’T fulfil or you will be stranded fulfilling it. You got to Church and pastor’s preaching was as if GOD was warning you vividly!!! ‘…if you made a vow, you MUST fulfil it!!!…God is no respecter of persons…there is a curse for not fulfilling any vow or pledge to God…it is stated vividly in the Bible…. When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed— BETTER not to vow than to vow and not pay. (Eccl 5:4-5)…you don’t joke with God and go scot free…’
You also heard a brother’s testimony in church: ‘…praise the Lord…I vowed to God if he will do this for me…and I paid my vow…in fact in advance…and he has done it…praise the Lord…’ Hmm… Now, not only ‘God’ is after you. Your pastor’s message is also after you… Your church member’s testimony is also trailing you… Your conscience is heavily on you… Even YOU are after you…
Well, I have a Good news for you!!! GOD IS NOT AFTER YOU! Now listen carefully: there was a time in which you have to vow to God before you can see a strange manifestation of His glory!!!That was in the OLD COVENANT OF THE LAW! But something was wrong with that covenant. The Bible says:
‘…For if that first covenant had been faultless, then would no place have been sought for a second.’ (Hebrews 8:7)
That ‘first’ covenant was faulty! What was the fault? People couldn’t meet up with their own part of the covenant! So our Gracious Father INTRODUCED a Second covenant! ‘…For if that first covenant had been faultless, then would no place have been sought for a second.’ (Hebrews 8:7) In this second covenant, you are not under any compulsion to make a vow to God!
Now listen carefully: under the new covenant, there is absolutely nothing you need from God that He is not ready to give to you FREELY!
‘…He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also FREELY give us all things? (Romans 8:32)
Wow! That question is one of the best rhetorical questions in the Bible! Did you VOW before God gave you Jesus? How come you feel you need to vow before God will give you ‘that blessing’? You are indirectly saying – that ‘job’ is more difficult for God to give to you than JESUS, His own Son! That is a psychological fallacy! There is NO earthly blessing that can compare to the blessing of the gift of JESUS to you… and it came FREELY! I hope you are getting this?
Peter once told Jesus: “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.”(Matt 26:34) Peter was actually trying to prove how much he was dedicated to Jesus…but …nobody told him to make a vow. Jesus told him: “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” (Matt 26:34)
Oh! I thought Jesus was suppose to ‘commend’ peter …and not ‘condemn’ him! But because Peter has put his confidence in his flesh though it was in a desire to please God, it was bound to fail! Listen: God is not requiring a VOW from you in order to bless you! What God is requiring from you is to LOOK TO JESUS and your favour will manifest!!! You won’t find anywhere in the new testament after the resurrection of Christ where a believer made a vow to God before he could receive a blessing from God! In the new covenant, you are required to be a CHEERFUL giver…not a VOWFUL giver!‘…for God loves a CHEERFUL giver…’ (2Cor 9:7)
As for those who have made vows and are now in a fix about fulfilling it, please note first that it was NOT because you vowed that God gave or will give you that blessing!!! It was because of His Super-Abounding Grace which flowed to you as a result of your faith in His Son, Jesus! The Bible says:
‘…Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places IN CHRIST.’ (Eph 1:3)
Your blessings are NOT in your VOWS! Your blessings are in CHRIST! Do not allow any teaching/testimony/guilty conscience make you feel your blessings are tied to your vows! Never! They are tied to your faith in the finished work of Christ for you! It is in this faith…that you GIVE…not VOW….simply GIVE as the Lord leads you!
It is written: ‘…For you did not receive the SPIRIT OF BONDAGE AGAIN TO FEAR, but you received the Spirit of adoption (sonship) by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15) Take note of the word ‘again’ in the verse above! It means, there was a time in which to relate with God, people operated by the ‘spirit of bondage that leads to fear’! Vowing falls into this category! We are no longer under that covenant! Right now, we have received the spirit of sonship which makes us see God as ABBA FATHER!!!
Did you VOW to your father before he paid your school fees? How much more our ABBA FATHER?! If you are being trailed by your conscience for not being able to fulfil a ‘vow’, simply remind your conscience that you don’t operate by your works of righteousness… But by the GIFT of righteousness which Jesus graciously provided for you. Here is a verse for you:
‘…I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith…’ (Phil 3:9NLT)
Hallelujah! Simply say: ‘Father, I thank you for sending Your Son Jesus to die for me, so I can have a new form of relationship with You. I no longer relate by the spirit of bondage with you but I now relate by the spirit of sonship with you! Therefore, I terminate every vow and its consequence against my life…and I begin to live in the reality of the new covenant with You, in Jesus name, Amen!
That’s it! You can now go ahead to render a good offering cheerfully that doesn’t get you stranded or feel in bondage/join the service unit/live a more ‘moral’ life, etc…according to God’s favour on you without any fear of judgment for times of your imperfections! It is redundant to operate the gift of Righteousness in Christ and be scared of a “devourer”.
In conclusion: always remember… Your blessings are NOT in your VOWS!Your blessings are only in CHRIST! Congratulations on your freedom to live life free of guilt and shame in Christ Jesus. Amen.