We all have probably done it. And most of us have done it more than once.
I know for a fact that I have.
I have found myself in a difficult situation making a deal with God. “If you take care of this, I will ________ (fill in the blank).
Yes, my promise. That’s how God looks at it.
When I don’t do what I told him I would do, I am breaking my promise to God.
The Israelites often had this very bad idea. Jeremiah tells us that God worked through King Hezekiah who decreed that the Israelites were supposed to free all of the Hebrew slaves. God had already commanded that the Hebrew slaves be freed after serving 6 years but the people had been ignoring this for a long time.
We are told that the people initially obeyed God’s command but then later “they changed their minds”. They took all the slaves back. I get it – going back to doing all the work themselves was not fun but breaking your promise to God is going to be a whole lot less fun. Trust me.
Since the Israelites had “shrugged off” their oath and did not free the slaves, God told them he was going to set them ‘free’ from his protection. They were now ‘free’ to be destroyed by war, disease and famine.
Wow! That’s not the freedom I want.
There are consequences when we ‘shrug off’ our promises to God. Our lack of obedience does not go unnoticed. Those of us who have put our faith in Jesus are under God’s new covenant of grace so he will not set us free from his love and care. But, as a Good Father, he lets us pay the consequences for our bad decisions. He walks beside us – guiding and encouraging us. But we pay – because then we learn….
Some of us are slower learners than others.
One of the many things I have learned is to take my promises to God extremely seriously. I don’t make them unless I totally plan on keeping them. I’m going to avoid “changing my mind” and “shrugging it off” when it gets too difficult. That way I can also avoid the negative consequences that can happen.
It’s a very good idea.
Please help me keep my promises, Abba Father.