…You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the Lord. But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, ‘By heaven!’ because heaven is God’s throne. (Matt. 5:33-34)
It has been simple for me to this point of my journey to be self-indulgent. This is to say my concern was focused on myself ahead of others, somehow developing the illusion I was more significant. This has led to isolation in some areas of my life leaving me to wonder why.
The one area that has been prominent with me this past year is the all encompassing power of prayer. Not the individual prayer I reserve for myself, but the focused, targeted prayer I extend to others in need. There was a time that I would extend the gracious act of prayer for individuals in crisis, or had a burden on their heart. My intentions were completely genuine at the moment this vow was offered. Time would then alleviate this offering from my “to-do” list and the extended prayer would never take flight.
My fulfillment in this powerful act has taken on a different routine in my recent journey. I now understand that the paths by which these selfless opportunities come to me are not by happenstance. These moments take me out of self and bring me closer to Christ. In fact, I’m sure Christ has placed them within my course to do just that. I now take more efficient mental notes or stop in the moment to reflect and pray for the cause at hand. It is a private act and to myself, or at times it may be vocalized within a small group.
These vows are promises to Christ that I will lift others up in times of need. I never related not following through with these acts as breaking a promise to God. But I have come to realize this to be true. I am allowed to say no to these selfless offerings, but if I say yes…I need to follow through with reverence.
May God bless you and give you Grace!