Keep Your Promises to God

When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow!” (Ecclesiastes 5:4 NASB).

As you start a new year, you may be making some resolutions. Some might be commitments to yourself, your career, or your family. Others may be promises to God. If you make a promise to God, you should be quick to keep it. Just like delayed obedience is disobedience, a delayed promise is an unfulfilled promise.

Ecclesiastes 5:4 says it clearly: “When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow!(NASB)

Another promise to keep is to run quickly from temptation.

With temptation, you need both preventative and emergency tactics. Preventative tactics mean that you work to keep yourself out of tempting situations. But today let’s focus on emergency tactics—what to do when you are being tempted.

The Bible clearly says what to do with temptation: “Run from all evil things” (1 Timothy 6:11 NLT). That’s right. When you feel tempted to do something self-defeating or dishonoring to God, you should move out of the situation rapidly.

What should you not do? Don’t argue with temptation. Don’t fight it. Why? Because you’re going to lose.

If you’re watching something on television that tempts you to lust, change the channel. If you struggle with alcohol, run far away from the bar.

One specific temptation the Bible tells us to run from in 1 Corinthians 10:14 is the worship of idols.

“Wait a minute,” you might say. “I don’t have idols in my house.” Let me ask it another way: What person or thing do you idolize? Success? Beauty? A favorite athlete or sport? A certain celebrity? Social media?

Anything you put before God is an idol. Today few of us have idols that look like stone or wooden figures. Instead, we carry our idols in our wallets, watch them on TV, or park them in our driveways.

No matter what your idols are and no matter what your temptations are, the strategy is clear: Run away. Don’t argue. Don’t fight. Run. If you don’t want to get stung by the bees, get away from the hive.

So as you enter this New Year, resolve to do two things quickly: Keep your promises to God, and run from temptation.

Talk It Over

  • What promise to God do you need to fulfill today? What do you need to fulfill this week?
  • What temptation have you been trying to fight that you instead need to flee?
  • What is one thing you’ve put before God? What would it look like to run away from that?

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