Friday, December 30, 2011

DECEMBER 30 "DO I HAVE TO FULFILL AN EMOTIONALLY CHARGED VOW?"

     VOWS are often made under much emotion, do I have to fulfill them?  THE LAW states that any contract signed under "pressure" is invalid, it is called "duress".  Want to get out of fulfilling a legal obligation...., claim you signed or agreed to it "under duress".  Could we also say then that a vow is some kind of promise made under "emotional duress"? 
     Let's look at when vows are made.  They are made when we are either very high in spirits or very low.  Do we know when we are making them that we are "surely" not going to fulfill them, definitely not.  We are drunk with emotion and we are not making decisions that we would make if sober minded.  We see this even in the case of Ananias and Sapphira who obviously were high in jubilation when they made their vow to donate ALL of the proceeds of the sale of their property. Should someone have stopped them and confronted them about the ramifications of their decision.  Should someone have said "all are you sure you want to donate all of it, how about half or something?"  Would they have listened to wise counsel in the midst of their spiritual euphoria, probably not!  And who is to say that giving the whole amount was not wise?
     When we are at an emotional low or seized with great fear we are also just as likely to vow what we will never fulfill. We are not making decisions in a right state of mind.  An individual that is depressed or gripped with fear will make a VOW to sell all their possessions and go to Afghanistan to start a missionary work, should God get them out of their situation.  Question is, "will they sell all and go to Afghanistan" when the situation changes or will they think a little more carefully about the endangerment of their lives and their children, once the pressures of their dilemma have lifted? Of course they will and they will renig on their vow.  Question to ask then is are vows really lies and are we responsible to fulfill these emotionally charged vows/promises?  Does God hold us to them vows?  In out text...... He does! 14 “Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord."  God says, "you vowed and I'm keeping you to it!".  We would say, "c'mon God, give the guy a break" but God doesn't see it that way.  When Ananias and Sapphira re-nig on their vow, they are killed, both husband and wife.  Were they killed because they renegged on their vow or because they lied to God, that is debatable, but the issue started with a vow that was made and that's where the issue often starts and ends. Another vow that God holds them accountable for in our text is "the marriage vow".   Once again, we would say, "c'mon God, they've given it their best shot, they're miserable together, the kids are suffering, this is what's best" but God, once again, doesn't see it that way.  Does not the Word of God warn us not to make irrational vows, does it not say that it is better "not to vow" than to make a vow and break it.
     If there's one lesson we all need to learn in life as we "grow on to maturity" in the Lord, is that we never make a vow when are emotions are high, when are emotions are low and when we are immersed in fear. Secondly, we must learn that once we make a vow we need to honor it. Third and last, we need  to learn and know, that if we make a vow to God and dishonor it, we can expect consequences and we must learn to deal with the consequences, move on and not be bitter towards God but look ourselves in the mirror and say, "this is my fault, not God's" He is good and I am simply reaping the consequences of my own foolish and immature decision(s).  When God is going to judge David for his irrational decision to number his troops God says, "I'm gonna judge you for this, this are your options".,
David takes the option to fall into God's judgment in lieu of man and never once utters a sentence or even a word about the "injustice of God".  David accepts God as a judge and also accepts God's love for him at the same time, how's that!?
     How many vows have you made in the eyes of God but yet never fulfilled them and just tried to move right on with life as if nothing had ever happened?  Ever feel like your "kicking against the goads"? Maybe you are, maybe there's some thing(s) you need to reconcile with God, accept his judgment and then prepare to move on with a fresh start, but that "fresh start" doesn't begin until you reconcile with God rather than go on each day pretending like everything is okay.  It is not you who made a vow to God and you broke it, without even thinking twice about it! What you need to do is make things right with Him today, so you can move on with him.....TOMORROW!