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12:41 PM   [19 Sep 2012 | Wednesday]

MAKING A VOW TO GOD... A PERSONAL STORY !!!

Those people that are familiar with my writing may have noticed that I very seldom, if ever, speak about myself. But, a friend of mine wanted to know about vows to God recently, and I shared a story that had happened to me when I made a vow to God a long time ago. You may find it interesting !!!

When I first began to preach, I was also a builder of expensive custom homes, but my personal financial position was somewhat lacking and it made me feel uncomfortable. Years earlier, I was a bridge builder and very wealthy, but something less than a Christian. As my physical condition started to deteriorate, I could not continue to keep that business going and spent all of my money trying, but without success and went bankrupt. But, I was making a little money building houses, but could never get ahead so I sat down with God one night and explained my situation to Him. I had borrowed a thousand dollars from a friend and had paid back a hundred dollars but stopped paying because I could not afford to any longer, leaving a balance of nine hundred dollars. Incidentally, this person was Jewish and I was a Christian preacher and it did not show integrity on my part by not paying this person back. Well, I spoke to God and came to an agreement that after I saved a certain amount of money in order to make me feel a little secure that the next amount of money that I received, I would pay the nine hundred dollars to my Jewish friend…

The way my little business ran was that I would get a check from the owner each week for the work that we did, and then go cash the check and pay all the help in cash. The work continued to come in and slowly I reached the amount of money in savings to which God and I agreed. The next week, I got the check and cashed it and paid all the help and was left with thirty eight hundred dollars for myself. I went home and put the cash on my bureau and went into the living room to take a nap. There were three stacks wrapped with a thousand dollars each and eight hundred dollars loose on top. When I lay down to rest, I began to think that I would buy myself a few things that I wanted and pay the nine hundred dollars the following week. I napped for an hour or so and got up and went into my bedroom and noticed that most of the money was gone. There was just one stack that was wrapped with a thousand dollars, but when I counted out the money, it was not a thousand dollars but nine hundred…

I immediately got into my car and drove to my friends’ home and gave her the nine hundred dollars… I have no idea where the rest of the money went but it was gone. So, I had made a vow to God and when He completed His part, I did not honor my part but it was clear what I had to do when there was only nine hundred dollars on the bureau !!!

I felt very ashamed of myself for what I was going to do, but God made certain that I was going to honor our agreement. I did feel a little better though because I did finally honor my vow regardless of how it happened. This is a true story and that was twenty five years ago and I have made only two more vows to God since then, and kept them both without hesitation. I learned very quickly that it is better not to make a vow unless you intend to keep it. And never promise to do something in return from God that you cannot possibly do, but if you do make a vow, what you give in return better be something equal in importance as the favor you ask of God and not some simple, easy task. It should require some sort of sacrifice on your part…

Oh, incidentally, we finished the project we were working on when this event happened two weeks later, and the owner gave me a five thousand dollar bonus for doing such a good job !!!

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