“Again, you have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Do not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.’ But I say, don’t make any vows! If you say, ‘By heaven!’ it is a sacred vow because heaven is God‘s throne. And if you say, ‘By the earth!’ it is a sacred vow because the earth is His footstool. And don’t swear, ‘By Jerusalem!’ for Jerusalem is the city of the great King. Don’t even swear, ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black. Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Your word is enough. To strengthen your promise with a vow shows that something is wrong.” (Matthew 5:33-37 NLT)
Guilty! This word is for me personally… When I mess up, I mess up big time.
Father forgive me. I know that I’m not supposed to break the vows I’ve made to You, and I knew on Tuesday, when I broke my vow to fast, that I was sinning against You, but I excused my sin. I was hurting, and I can’t take my pain medication on an empty stomach.
While that’s true, the fact is that I could have asked You to remove my pain, and I certainly didn’t need to eat as much as I did. The truth is that I made that vow without even thinking. I certainly didn’t feel You leading me to fast. I just thought it was the right thing to do.
My Lord, for all that I say that I hate religion, could it be that I’ve become religious? Could it be that instead of seeking Your face, I’ve allowed myself to be caught up in traditions and rituals that don’t please You? My Lord, forgive me. Forgive me for following my own ideas rather than being still and waiting for You.
Forgive me for telling You what I think You want to hear, rather than simply waiting for You to tell me. Forgive me Father, for being impulsive and running headlong into things, rather than waiting for You to lead me.
Forgive me Father, because when I make a vow to you that I don’t keep – a vow that You haven’t even asked of me – I become a liar.
Have mercy on me, O God, because of Your unfailing love. Because of Your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my shameful deeds — they haunt me day and night. Against You, and You alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in Your sight. You will be proved right in what You say, and Your judgment against me is just. For I was born a sinner — yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. But You desire honesty from the heart, so You can teach me to be wise in my inmost being. Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; You have broken me — now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me. Do not banish me from Your presence, and don’t take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me again the joy of Your salvation, and make me willing to obey You. Then I will teach Your ways to sinners, and they will return to You. (Psalm 51:1-13 NLT)
Lord, I do love You, and I don’t just want a religion. I want to humble myself under Your mighty right hand. I want to walk with You in the cool of the evening. I want to be a woman after Your own heart. Father, I submit myself to You – please show me Your ways! I want to see You, hear You and touch You.
Father, I won’t vow not to break anymore vows that I’ve made to You. Instead, I ask You, Holy Spirit to guard the gate of my mouth, and help me Lord, not to make anymore vows that You never even asked of me or required of me. Walk with me Lord, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Cheryl A. Showers