Have you ever been in such a desperate or dire situation that you cried out to God for some reprieve and part of your plea included a promise (a vow) to do something for Him in exchange for delivering you from that situation?
If the situation has passed… Did you keep your promise to Him?
In Psalm 66:13-14, the psalmist said:
Now I come to your temple with burnt offerings to fulfill the vows I made to you – yes, the sacred vows that I made when I was in deep trouble.
I’m sure I’ve made “desperate promises” in the past… I can’t imagine that I’ve gone this far along in life and never felt the need to, but none readily comes to mind.
When I read this verse and the accompanying commentary in my quiet time today, I thought to myself… “Wow, make sure you never make any vows to God out of desperation because you might not be able to keep them when the storm passes.”
So what did I immediately do? I made a desperate promise to God.
Because I’m in a storm… I’m in deep trouble and I need Him to rescue me.
Now, I’m not advocating this type of seemingly reckless behavior, but I wondered if I had called out desperately enough to God to deliver me. I wondered if I was willing to sacrifice for the sake of showing how desperate I am.
So I made a God a promise in exchange for His deliverance.
Am I bargaining with God? No… At least, that’s not how I see it.
This isn’t “Foxhole Faith”… I genuinely plan to show God my appreciation for His mercy and grace, both in this storm and after this storm passes.
In Deuteronomy 8:11, God warned His people of Israel through Moses to not forget about Him when the going was good once they got into the Promised Land, but that’s exactly what they did.
When things are going well, we tend to forget that the blessings we are experiencing are from God, but the minute the tide turns, we feel the pain, and when it hurts badly enough, we turn back to God in desperation.
Sometimes the hard times come even when we (I) am in right relationship with Him. That’s when I’m reminded that His purpose for the pain is to draw me closer to Him, even when I think I’m “close enough”, He wants me closer still.
I want to stay true to my own “distress vow”, I want to fulfill my promise to Him when He sends my deliverance from this current situation. I made a big promise and even though it’s totally doable, the difficult part of it for me is that it will take me stepping way out of my comfort zone to do something that I believe will honour God.
I sometimes think He’s been calling me to do this thing but my fear has been holding me back… I now wonder if He might want me to do it first and then He will move in my situation…
Oh what to do…? What to do…?
To be continued I guess.