Welcome to summer break, the season of rest from school. So, what do we do? Many of us, myself included, promise to spend more time with God.
We have amazing plans of commitment to reading our Bibles and promise to pray more. The question is: Do we keep our vows?
Most of us think of vows in terms of marriage vows, but really, a vow is anything we promise God we’re going to do.
Keeping a vow to God is a good idea. If we don’t, there can be serious consequences, even deadly ones.
Open your Bible with me to Acts chapter 5, and you’ll see what I’m talking about. In the days and weeks after Jesus ascended to heaven, His disciples met in houses. They ate together, discussed past events together, and spread the news about Jesus. They held everything “in common.” This meant that their money was pooled together and doled out when needed to anyone in their group.
All of their friends and family members were taken care of. This was well-pleasing to God. This showed that they did not value material possessions. Into this scene enter Ananias and his wife, Sapphira.
No, Sapphira was not just a fancy name for a gemstone; she was also a follower of Christ. She and Ananias were in the “group” of disciples who shared their wealth. Great! So, what’s the problem? They were greedy and deceitful. Maybe a little scared, even, that their stack of twenties would run out before God could re-supply them. So, what did they do? Sold land. Got cash. Gave SOME to the pool for their fellow friends.
What did they do with the rest of the money? Kept it. For a rainy day. In case of an emergency.
“They’re just being wise!” you say.
Nope! They were greedy and deceitful. The problem was not that they kept part of the money but that they lied about it. They told their group of friends this was the full amount of money they received for the land, but it wasn’t. Consequently, they broke their vow to God.
When Ananias brought the money to Peter for the pool, Peter already knew this was not the full amount and asked Ananias why he let Satan fill his heart. In response to Peter’s question, Ananias fell to the floor dead. A few men then covered him and dragged him out and buried him.
Wow, that’s quite a story, but it’s not over yet. Not hearing the tragic news of her husband’s death yet (most likely because CNN wasn’t invented), Mrs. Gemstone walked in to see Peter. He asked her if this was the price she received for the land. What did she say? Yes! To which she also fell to the floor dead that same instant. The men that carried her husband out carried her out too and buried her next to him.
Great story, right?? No, actually a warning. Don’t make a vow to God that you don’t intend to keep, and don’t take His instructions lightly.
I’m not saying that if you break a vow to God, you’re going to die. That’s not the point of the story of Ananias and Sapphira. The point is that God takes vows seriously. We should too.
When God tells you to do something, and you promise to do it – then do it. When He asks you to trust that He will prepare the outcome, trust Him. The promises to God you make over the summer matter.
Entering a relationship with the Divine is committing to His will, His way, His timing, and if you aren’t prepared to commit to that, don’t make a vow.
~ Miss Q