| Five Vows for Spiritual Power|
My counsel in this matter is that if you are really concerned about spiritual improvement, the gaining of new power, new life, new joy and new personal revival within your heart you will do well to make certain vows and proceed to keep them.
The first is: Deal thoroughly with sin. Sin has been driven underground these days and has come up with a new name and face. You may be subjected to this phenomenon in the schools. Sin is called by various fancy names--anything but what it really is. For example, men don't get under conviction any more; they get a guilt complex. Instead of confessing their guilt to God and getting rid of it, they lie down on a couch and try to tell a man who ought to know better all about themselves. It comes out after a while that they were deeply disappointed when they were two years old or some such thing. That's supposed to make them better.
The second vow is: Never own anything. I do not mean by this that you cannot have things. I mean that you ought to get delivered from this sense of possessing them. This sense of possessing is what hinders us. All babies are born with their fists clenched, and it seems to me it means: This is mine! One of the first things is mine in an angry voice. That sense of This is mine is a very injurious thing to the spirit. If you can get rid of it so that you have no feeling of possessing anything, there will come a great sense of freedom and liberty into your life.
The third vow is this: Never defend yourself. We're all born with a desire to defend ourselves. And if you insist upon defending yourself, God will let you do it. But if you turn the defense of yourself over to God He will defend you. He told Moses once, in Exodus 23:22: I will be an enemy unto thine enemies and an adversary to thine adversaries.
The Fourth vow: Never pass anything on about anybody else that will hurt him. Love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). The talebearer has no place in God's favor. If you know something that would hinder or hurt the reputation of one of God's children, bury it forever. Find a little garden out back--a little spot somewhere--and when somebody comes around with an evil story, take it out and bury it, and say, Here lies in peace the story about my brother. God will take care of it. With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged (Matthew 7:2).
The Fifth vow: Never accept any glory. God is jealous of His glory and He will not give His glory to another. He will not even share His glory with another. It is quite natural, I should say, for people to hope that maybe their Christian service will give them a chance to display their talents. True, they want to serve the Lord. But they also want other people to now they are serving the Lord. They want to have a reputation among the saints. That is very dangerous ground--seeking a reputation among the saints. It's bad enough to seek a reputation in the world, but it's worse to seek a reputation among the people of God. Our Lord gave up His reputation, and so must we.
| 2010/6/15 17:50||Profile|
| Re: Five Vows for Spiritual Power|
Colin; you could have titled this Five Keys
to Humility, because humility is the key to
power with GOD and with men!!
Martin G. Smith
| 2010/6/15 19:09||Profile|
| Re: |
How about 5 vows for spiritual improvement, the gaining of new power, new life, new joy and new personal revival within your heart??????????
| 2010/6/15 20:14||Profile|
| Re: |
I wonder how many of us have had success in "keeping vows" with God. It seems the more you vow, the more obligation of willpower is needed to maintain the vow you made. And when failure occurs, the enemy has plenty of ammunition to bring the weaker brother or sister under guilt and condemnation.
Is it unbroken "vows" that God requires from us in the New Covenant as a qualifier for experiencing a new magnitude of His power, His life, His joy, and personal revival in the heart? We'd all be sunk a million times over if this were the case. You know you've broken every vow you've ever made to God, and the ones you've kept only gave you credence in boasting and looking down upon others who couldn't keep them.
The power you speak of comes not in the human strength of keeping a vow, no matter how noble, but in the humble confession of our inability to do so. We need the Lord's strength, His grace, His power, His life. It is by looking unto Jesus in weakness that His enabling power effectuates in us the very virtues you mention. But as soon as we try to "keep a vow for God" we head for a fall, because the oath's genesis arises from the fleshly motive of acquiring a standard of righteousness through human determination.
Paul Frederick West
| 2010/6/15 20:47||Profile|
| Re: |
Paul, You are quite correct.
One should never undertake a vow they are not prepared to see through to the end. Christ Himself warns of this.
However, Christ also said that when we make a vow, we are to keep it. We are able to keep vows through the power of Christ. Yes, we may fail to keep a vow from start to finish. We may stumble and fall. But we can get back up, upheld by the right hand of Christ, and fulfill our vows.
If not for this, no one could stay married. No one could keep their wedding vows after an affair is repented of.
No, vows should not be made lightly... but they should be made when the Holy Spirit prompts a child to do so...
| 2010/6/16 2:15||Profile|
| Re: |
Can we not officiate and solemnize christian marriage without forcing the bride and groom to make a vow.
Can we not break this tradition and still have perfectly legal and morally binding wedding sacrament.
| 2010/6/16 5:03||Profile|
| Re: |
Mat 5:33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:
Mat 5:34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:
Mat 5:35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.
Mat 5:36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.
Mat 5:37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
Is this not clear enough?
| 2010/6/16 5:20||Profile|
| Re: |
A carnal man refuses the discipline of such commitments. He says, I want to be free. I don't want to lay any vows upon myself; I don't believe in it. It is legalism.
Well, let me paint a picture of two men.
One of them will not take vows. He will not accept any responsibility. He wants to be free. And he is free, in a measure just as a tramp is free. The tramp is free to sit on a park bench by day, sleep on a newspaper by night, get chased out of town on Thursday morning, and find his way up a set of creaky stairs in some flophouse on Thursday night. Such a man is free, but he is also useless. He clutters up the world whose air he breathes.
Let's look at another man--maybe a president or prime minister or any great man who carries upon himself the weight of government. Such men are not free. But in the sacrifice of their freedom they step up in power. If they insist upon being free, they can be free, just like the tramp. But they choose rather to be bound.
There are many religious tramps in the world who will not be bound by anything. They have turned the grace of God into personal license. But the great souls are ones who have gone reverently to God with the understanding that in their flesh dwells no good thing. And they know that without God's enablement any vows taken would be broken before sundown. Nevertheless, believing in God, reverently they took certain sacred vows.
This is the way to spiritual power.
| 2010/6/16 5:35||Profile|
| Re: |
Can we not take responsibility, take discipline, or commitment without making a vow.
Can we not give to the church without making a pledge.
Can we not just do what we are supposed to do without swearing.
We can not escape responsibilities while we are able whether we want it or not, and we will be accounted for any negligence we made whether we have taken a vow or not.
This is not about legalism but just plain submission to the words of the Lord Himself.
If this is carnality, I really don't know why.
| 2010/6/16 8:44||Profile|
East TN (for now)
| Re: Paul|
Brother, thank you for this. I, for one, appreciate it. I humbly admit that I have broken every vow I've ever tried make to God.
The power you speak of comes not in the human strength of keeping a vow, no matter how noble, [b]but in the humble confession of our inability to do so.[/b] We need the Lord's strength, His grace, His power, His life.
God bless you,
PS: I like reading your stuff when you're not chastising us!! (huge grin) Thank you
| 2010/6/16 9:27||Profile|