September 11, 2012

Pay Your Vow

Ecclesiastes 5:4 says, “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.”  A vow here means a promise or commitment.  The Message Bible says it this way, “When you tell God you’ll do something, do it—now.  God takes no pleasure in foolish gabble. Vow it, then do it.”  When we make a commitment to serve the Lord He takes that commitment very seriously.  This verse says that God has no pleasure in fools or in foolish gabble.  If you said you would do it, then do it.  We are to live our commitment we make to the Lord.

In following the Lord, there may be times that our vow of commitment may be sorely tried.  In following the Lord, we may be faced with a challenge to either stay with our commitment or to change and do something else.  This challenge usually comes when things don’t go our way or something happens that we don’t like.  It is during these times that we must stay true to our vow of serving the Lord and staying the course He has called us to. 

We read the story of Jonah and we see the importance of fulfilling our vow to the Lord.  Jonah made a vow to preach God’s word and to stand in the office of prophet.  Yet when God called him to preach to a people he didn’t like and to deliver a message he didn’t want to give, Jonah broke his vow.  The moment Jonah turned from his commitment to God and followed his flesh he was in trouble.  The key to keeping our vows to God is to trust Him and to know He would never ask us to do something unjust.  We also need to remember that our commitment was to follow and not take the lead.  

Well, as the story goes on, Jonah found himself in the belly of the great fish and in a seemingly hopeless situation.  Jonah was wise enough to know that breaking his vows got him into this mess and the only way out was to recommit himself to his vows.  Jonah 2:1 says, Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish's belly.”  If you find yourself in the midst of a mess, do as Jonah did and cry out to God.  In verse 2 he said, “and He heard me…”  God hasn’t changed and His plan for you hasn’t changed.  He is waiting on you to make the change and recommit yourself to Him.  No matter how big of a mess we make of it, God is bigger than our mess and His plan for us never changes.

Jonah 2:7-9 says, When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.  Jonah got his eyes off of his mess and back on God and His plan.  Jonah refused to look at the lying vanities that said it wouldn’t work.  Instead He began to praise God and speak His faith.  God heard Jonah’s commitment and turned his circumstances around.  Because Jonah recommitted to his vow, God not only saved him but He also saved all who heard the message. 

As long as we still have breath, it is not too late to fulfill our vow to God.  Don’t look at your circumstances and let their lie determine your future.  Cry out to God, recommit yourself to Him, and get back to doing what He called and created you to do.  Remember Romans 11:29, For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.].”  By His mercy let each of us fulfill our vows to God.