How are those resolutions going? Anyone out there brave enough to have made a list for 2021?
I’ve been checking out blogs, tweets, articles, and posts on resolutions, and it got me thinking about something similar—vows.
I think of resolutions as marks we set for ourselves, while vows are promises we make to God.
Have you ever made a vow to God?
Perhaps you’ve vowed to God that you will:
Stop the habit
Quit the addiction
Forgive the wrong
Not give up on them
Live in purity
Read Scripture and pray daily
Control your temper
Limit social media
And, and, and…
Any of those on your list? Anything more?
Brace yourself. God (through Moses) said: A man who makes a vow to the Lord…must never break it. He must do exactly what he said he would do (Numbers 30:2).
It’s one thing to break resolutions for yourself, but vows to God ?
I have a list of broken vows too. As I ponder that list, I feel waves of guilt, shame, disgust, and defeat.
Is God disgusted too? Angry? Outdone?
What do we do? Where do we turn?
Jesus was the perfect vow (law) keeper to his dying breath. He was without sin, yet on the cross became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21a).
On the cross, Jesus became me, and you.
Jesus the vow keeper became the vow breaker.
In our place, Jesus became one who had broken every single vow he ever made with God. He was punished for our failed promises. He was broken for our vow breaking.
Our sin–all our broken vows–went to the grave with Jesus.
And there it remains.
Jesus resurrected as the victor over the grave, sin, guilt, our lists of broken vows; and with Him came a fresh start.
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Faith. Forgiveness. Salvation. The righteousness of God. Sinless before God.
The perfect vow keeper with God.
That’s how He sees you. Because He sees Christ in you.
No sword hanging over your head. No anger, no shame, guilt, disgust from God. Only forgiveness, compassion, understanding, and a new beginning.
By His grace, we are perfect vow keepers in His eyes. As a result, we can be “vowed” to God from the heart, not vowed to behave from a list.
With a vowed heart, let’s long and labor for victory over habits, addictions, and tempers by looking to His grace (divine enablement) and not at our lists.
With a fresh start, let’s forgive, persevere, and redeem the time not because we resolved or vowed to do so, but because Jesus resolves and vows to do so in us and through us by His grace.
My friend, in this new year, set not your ambition on lists to keep but on the Savior who keeps you.