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What vows would you make to God?

September 11, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

“Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.” (Psalm 37:5-6)

AW Tozer was a prominent American pastor and author in the early to mid-20th century, best known for his enduring works The Pursuit of God and The Knowledge of the Holy. I wanted to share a summary of a short treatise he wrote called “Five Vows for Spiritual Power,” which can be read in its entirety here. His approach in this treatise is to argue that if you are truly concerned about growing spiritually, then you should make vows and keep them. If you fail to keep them, don’t give up, but confess, repent, and start over. Don’t let the possibility of failure keep you from making vows that point your heart in the direction of God and holiness. In Tozer’s mind, refusing to make a vow might give the illusion of freedom, but also can result in uselessness, like someone who chooses to be homeless. On the other hand, those who make vows may sacrifice some freedom, but like a government official, in the end they take on greater power and responsibility as a result.

Tozer’s five vows are these:

  • Deal thoroughly with sin – Every known sin in our lives should be named, identified, and repented of. Don’t excuse it away, but call it what it is and repent of it, trusting that in Jesus’ death, we are forgiven.
  • Never own anything – We all have things, of course, but strive to get to a place where you do not possess anything, believing that it all belongs to God. And then be open to use it however might bring honor to Him.
  • Never defend yourself – Let God be your defender. As God said to Moses in Exodus 23:22: “I will be an enemy unto thine enemies and an adversary to thine adversaries.” Do not try to defend your service or reputation, but entrust yourself to God.
  • Never pass anything on about anybody else that will hurt them – the gossip has no place in God’s favor. If you know something that will hinder the reputation of one of God’s children, bury it forever. Remember that “in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:2)
  • Never accept any glory – Are you seeking a reputation for yourself? Jesus made himself of no reputation, and so must his followers. Determine that God alone will get the glory for your life

 Vows like this cut across our human nature. They can not be done without trusting in God and finding our identity in Him. But as we deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus, we find that we are being spiritually strengthened to be the men and women of God He has called us to be.


            What do you think of these vows? Are there other vows you need to make before God today?

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