Many of you know that we started a new exclusive community of worship leaders last year called The Asaph Generation. As we start 2015, I’ve been reading some of Asaph’s writings in Psalms. Something he said jumped out at me and has arrested me. Listen to this:
“Make vows to the LORD your God and fulfill them; let all the neighboring lands bring gifts to the One to be feared” (Psalm 76:11 NIV).
Did you catch that? Asaph is telling us to make vows to the Lord. Honestly, I’ve always been hesitant to make promises to God. I’ve always been afraid I couldn’t or wouldn’t keep them. My take on vows has been somewhat negative. I guess that’s because of how I read–and how it was burned into my psychy years ago–what Ecclesiastes says: “When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed” (5:4).
Yet, here is my worship leading hero telling me to make vows. Don’t hold back, Asaph seems to imply. Make promises to God. Be proactive in my promise-making. Don’t wait until I’m shoved back into a corner, begging God to deliver me. Make some promises to God now–as He leads me and out of love and honor for Him.
One commentator I read said the vows Asaph was referring to are vows of praise and thanksgiving. I don’t doubt that’s true. Yet, I believe it means more than merely telling God He’s worthy or beautiful or merciful. I believe it must be more than feeling thankful for what He has done for us. Here’s why: Asaph said to make vows and fulfill them–IE: keep them, perform them, pay them. A promise is something I say I will do, something I obligate myself to by my words.
So, this morning, I carefully and prayerfully wrote out a few promises to God for 2015. I set some personal and professional goals, some spiritual and physical goals; and I made some goals for my family–things I can do to be a better father and husband. I will share these goals with my accountability partners, and I will do my best to fulfill my promises before God.
I’m so thankful my God is merciful when I fail to keep a promise consistently. But I’m even more thankful that He prods me on to maturity, to get back up and try, try again. He is my power and strength helping me fulfill each and every promise He led me to make to Him. Praise His name! –DwayneShare