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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Warfare Portals 18

Dear beloved: Another avenue of entry for the demonic in our life comes through unkept vows to the Lord. Ecclesiastes 5:4-6 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! It is better that you should not vow than to vow and not pay. Do not let your speech cause you to sin and do not say in the presence of the messenger of God that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry on account of your voice and destroy the work of your hands? Many times we make vows to the Lord that we are going to tithe a certain amount, or give to a missionary, or promise to work in a certain place or a certain amount of time for the kingdom, and then the business of the world and the pursuit of riches of self indulgence takes our time and resources, and we ending up backing away from our vow. The Lord says it is better not to make the vow!

The classic example in scripture of someone giving a vow to the Lord and then not keeping it is in Acts 5:1-11, the story of Ananias and Sapphira. v1 But a certain man named Ananias , with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, v2 and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife's full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostle's feet. v3 But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back some of the price of the land? v4 While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold , was it not under your control? Why it is you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God." v5 And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last; and great fear came upon all who heard of it. v6 And the young men arose and covered him up, and after carrying him out they buried him. And then we go on to read that the very same fate came to his wife Sapphira, because she had full knowledge of the situation and was complicit. This scripture can only be fully understood when you go back to Acts 4:34, where it says of the new believers, For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales, v35 and lay them at the apostle's feet; and they would be distributed to each, as any had need. And so we see because of the vows and intents for good that was in the hearts of the new believers, they were able to sell their pieces of property and bring the money in fullness to the apostles for distribution. Ananias and Sapphira started out with those intentions, but after the sale of the property they decided to keep back some for themselves. They forgot that God was the one who had orchestrated the sale and was watching to see if they had followed through with their vow! Their sin was not in not giving, for they did give; it was in not giving what they had vowed.

When you make a vow to the Lord for ministry, ask the Lord to give you the strength to keep it. Paul declares to the Thessalonians in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. When God calls you to ministry, even in the smallest way, He will give you the resources and tools and strength to do the job; He would not call you to do something if He did not know that you could do it, and that He could be the provision for it. Phillipians 4:19 says, And my God shall supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. So we know that God will supply not only material needs such as food and shelter, and money for the utility bills, but also the resources and gifts needed to fulfill the callings to ministry. The money that Ananias and Sapphira held back they thought they needed for some purpose, but it became a matter of life and death for them. God used them as an example to bring great fear to those in that community who were in the same situation, so that others would not error in the same way. Lord have mercy on us that we would not error and that you would never need to make an example of us for any reason!

When an opening came for me to start a radio ministry a few years ago, after three months I was 450 dollars in the hole and had not received one single donation from my appeals for contributions over the air. So I prayed and did business with the Lord, and said " Lord, this opening on the radio you made, you gave me the voice and the intellect, it is by your design and sovereign will that I do this, do you want me to continue or throw in the towel? I leave you with this burden, I can't carry it any more." The next week I received a check in the mail for 400 dollars and I have never lacked to pay the bill each month now in over 5 years! To God be the glory, I promised I would keep going on the radio as long as He supplied, and He has faithfully. Beloved, as you walk with the Lord this day, be careful what you promise to God, His expectations for us are quite high, but so is His provision. May God bless you this day, in Christ, Jim

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