Let me start by saying I am not perfect. I have fallen time and time again. I have lied, cheated, stole, and done so many other things. I had been stranded in the pit of darkness within my own mind. When God pulled me out of that I choose to live to my life by certain standards. No one has forced me, or brainwashed me to live this way. I choose to live this way because of MY commitment/promise to God. He had done so much for me, there was nothing I could do to repay Him other than commit myself to Him. On that note, there used to be a time when many held similar standards/commitments on clothes, drinking, hair, music and so on. Yet now I’ve noticed more and more of my friends start to draw away from the promises they made and I wonder why.
I remember this one friend who had suddenly been blessed by an awesome gift, it was one she had never expected. She told me that when she got that gift she promised God that she would never cut her hair again. I was like “That’s awesome!” I was more excited by what God had done in her life than her promise to Him.
I also remember this one young person who would criticize those around him/her for listening to certain kind of music, he/she stated that he/she would NEVER listen to music like that. Again I just was like wow! During that time I was just beginning to understand what it was to walk with God. I must have been like 19 or 20. I was half way in the world and halfway in the church. I heard all these promises people were making after camps or youth services, and I would just stay quiet. In my prayer time I would say to God that there was nothing I could promise Him because I knew that there was no way I could keep my promises to him living the way I was. When God changed my life 5 years later I promised that I would live my life in a way that was pleasing to Him. I promised that He could take who I was and change whatever needed to be changed. I promised to make Him my everything. It was in that time that God started to change me, things about my personality, and what I enjoyed were no longer the same.
When I think about all the places I have failed God I cry. I cry because I think of all the promises He made me, and the fact that He has not broken a single one. I think about how everything I have and where I am at now is a direct result of what He has promised me; to never leave me or forsake me (Heb 13:5); His plans to prosper me (Jer 29:11); to give me strength in my weakness (Is. 40:29) and many many more. Some of us even go as far as repeating those promises to ourselves in our difficult times, reminding God what He promised us, as if He forgot. Then I’m reminded about my own promise to Him. How I had promised to live for Him and commit my life to Him.
So I live my life in that way, but when my old friends see me, and I remind them of the promises they made to God (b/c often we’re the ones who forget), or they see my life and feel that i’m being too “religious” and they think I’m judging them. Trust me friend, that is the last thing I’m doing. I remind you because I remember what I felt like when I broke my promise. I remember the tears I cried because I had failed Him yet again. I thank God that He is not like us and forgets the promises He’s made to us. Or take away the gifts He’s poured out on us. He’s not like an ex-boyfriend who at the end of the relationship wants all “his” stuff back. When He gives us something, and when He makes a promise. he doesn’t go back on it. Yet we live our lives throwing what he’s done for us in His face. We make promises to never cut our hair because of the miracle or gift he’s given us, only to 3-5 years later say, OK well that was good, but I’ve gotten what I needed so I don’t need to keep my promise anymore. Or to say well back then I promised to not listen or do that, but now I’ve got a stronger relationship with God so I can pretty much do what I want to anyway because i won’t be affected by it.
When I think of broken promises I think of Ananias and how he had promised to give a certain amount of money and in the end he did not give all that was owed. No one was asking him to do that, or forcing him to give, but he had decided to say he gave all the money but only gave a portion. He purposely broke his promise to God. You can read what happened to him in Acts 5.
God never said we needed to promise Him anything, He said that if we loved Him we needed to keep His commandment (John 14:23). Yet when we promise to do something for Him we commit our lives to that. We say for as along as I breath I will DO this or NOT Do that. Yet how often do we follow through?
Have there been promises that you’ve made to God that you’ve “forgotten” or chosen to not complete for one reason or another?
God doesn’t want your promises, He wants your life. But if you have made a promise to Him you have committed yourself, you owe it to Him to keep that promise.