I got a surprise from my parents after my high school days. I will mention it briefly but it was before the laptop I mentioned in the 2013 post “My Little Story: It Pays to Wait”. I am now realizing that God was using the simple things I cherished to help me understand His Word. I felt some years ago that He was being hard on me but now I understand that it was part of His Love toward me.
The Lord corrects the people he loves and disciplines those he calls his own.(Hebrews 12:6, CEV)
So this was what happened: My parents got me Nokia 6111. It was a latest trend and cheaper than the Nokia N series. I loved that phone partly because it was an upgrade from the phones I previously used; Siemens A50 and A65. Again, it could play mp3 and supported mp4. The camera was also great at the time because I had to buy external camera for my Siemens A65.
As young as I was, I decided to dedicate the phone to God. Initially, I had copied all sort of music on it but I made a vow that I was going to delete all songs apart from gospel. I thought since this was my best ever, I should have worship and praise kind of music on it: Don Moen, Ron Kenoly, Cece Winans, Hillsong, Darlene Zschech, Fred Hammond, Bishop TD Jakes, Women of Faith, Andrae Crouch, etc with some local songs. This started well and the phone was just amazing.
However, it wasn’t long until I started sliding to some hip-hop. I remember the first song; J Lo with Fat Joe’s Hold you down. Then to Sean Paul’s Get Busy, 50 Cent’s In da Club, Many Men, Nelly’s Delimma, G-Unit, Snoop, Lil Wayne, Ashanti, Busta Rhymes, Ja Rule, Birdman, etc. I kinda like the songs but they conflicted with my stance on Colossians 3:16 which says that “…Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts“.
Fast forward>>: Within a week of going against my commitment, the phone’s speaker broke. I think that I was listening to Like Glue or Get Busy by Sean Paul when the speaker went off. I took it to the shop to have it fixed but it went off again. Frustrated by what I was going through, I decided to delete all songs but gospel. And then without taking it to the shop, it came suddenly with rattling noise. Well, I didn’t enjoy using the phone from that day and lessons were learnt. I made a firm stance that my future phones would only accommodate gospel songs. That has been the case since.
The scripture says that It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. (Ecclesiastes 5:5). Often times we are tickled by sudden blessings that prompt us to quickly open the mouth to make commitment to God. Other times too the uncertainties surrounding the future propel us to make a vow which is dependent on what we expect from God. Either ways, the scripture admonishes that “It is far better not to say you’ll do something than to say you will and then not do it.” (TLB)
Once you make a vow to God, it becomes binding and God expects you to honor your what you promise. We see that in the case of Jacob, Hannah, Jephthah, David, etc. These people kept their vow. In the case of Hannah and Jephthah, it was their only child yet they kept their promise to God.
It’s easy for us to think that “God will understand, bla bla bla….” but the consequences is well written in the scripture:
Don’t let your mouth make you sin. And don’t defend yourself by telling the Temple messenger that the promise you made was a mistake. That would make God angry, and he might wipe out everything you have achieved.(Ecclesiastes 5:6, NLT)
Don’t be in a haste to make a vow. Some preachers would encourage you to make it as an act of faith. There is nothing wrong with that but know that it’s God you are making the vow to and not the preacher. Vows require discipline and sometimes it will cost you for a moment before the period of harvest. For instance if you make a vow of $1000/month for the next 3 months. It’s possible that your inflow for these month will be $1100 or $1000. In this instance, it’s not a matter of God will understand but you honoring Him for Who He is. Jephthah’s only daughter came to meet him yet He said “For I have made a vow to the Lord, and I cannot take it back.” (Judges 11:35, NLT). There is also one overlooked vow; Marriage vow. You can’t make a vow and later think it was a mistake.
I learnt my lessons with my Nokia 6111 and also from other stories I will share in the future. I have learnt that making vow to God should be a carefully thought through personal decision. It shouldn’t be imposed by any person. And when you have made the vow, have the discipline to honor it because God can’t be fooled.
If there is an unfulfilled vow in your life, as far back as you could remember, you can get back to God on it. Know that God knows the heart and He forgives sins. I believe that He is generous enough to welcome you, to have you talk things through. He is able to equip you with what you need to come clean and be careful when next you open your mouth to make a promise to God.