Inner Vows Part 2
Last week I introduced the topic of inner vows and left you with the assignment to ask the Lord if you have made any inner vows. Well, what do you think? Did any specific vows come to your mind? This is not the time to beat yourself up if you have made some. Most, if not all of us, have made them. This is the time to walk out of those vows into freedom.
At the time inner vows were made, they were useful strategies to help us avoid pain in our lives. Many inner vows are actually good ideas. The problem is we don’t qualify them with the phrase, “with God’s help”. The inner vow, “I will never be like my mother.” would be better expressed, “With God’s help I will never be like my mother.” Do you see the big difference?
There are two problems created by inner vows. One is, as I said last week, we can block out the Lord when we make a vow about how we are going to handle ourselves in a certain area of our lives. We basically tell him that we have figured out how we are going to live and that we don’t need his help in this area of our lives. Because He respects our wills, we block Him out of that area. As a believer we want to always walk with the Lord, leaning on Him in every area of our life, we don’t want Him blocked out at all.
The other issue with inner vows is with the enemy of our souls. He is aware of our vows and knows that we are “supposed” to keep them --- read Deuteronomy 23:21-23 below ---- and so he waits until we inevitably break our vow. The he slams us with condemnation and shame because we couldn’t do what we said we were going to do. An example of this is if you vow that you will never get angry like your father. You will exert lots of self-control and effort to keep from flying off the handle. But at some point there is a situation that just gets the better of you and you have an angry overreaction. The enemy then pounds you with how bad you are to get so angry. “You couldn’t keep yourself from getting angry. You are just like your father! You should be ashamed of yourself.”
Another example would be if you made the vow not to become an alcoholic like your mother. That is a really good idea! But when we make a vow we are not relying on the Holy Spirit to empower and guide us. We are relying on our selves and our strength. We will either succeed and feel self-righteous and proud, or more likely, we fail and the enemy slams us. You can see that our inner vows don’t serve us well in the long run --- we shut the Lord out and we give the enemy the opening to pound us with condemnation.
What can we do about inner vows?
We address inner vows the same way we address other areas of our lives that are out of line with the Lord, we repent. We break the vow. It is a simple three-step prayer.
Tell the Lord you are sorry that you made the vow to….(spell it out, be specific).
Declare out loud, “In the name of Jesus, I break this vow to …...”
Lord, I invite you come into this area (and all areas) of my life and show me how to live.
It is that simple. Take these steps to freedom today.
Thank You, Lord that You have all the strategies for living the abundant life that we need. Thank You for the freedom You bring when we repent and break our inner vows and begin to a deeper reliance upon you. Continue to show us if there are any more inner vows in our lives and give us the grace to deal with them before You.
In Jesus name,