Thy Vows Are Upon Me (part 2)

In the previous installment, I said that it is good for us to make some holy vows before God—as did David, the Psalmist, who said: “Thy vows are upon me; I will remember praises unto thee.” (Ps. 56:12). The vows specified in the first post, drawn from A. W. Tozer, were (1) that we deal with sin thoroughly, and (2) that we not “own” anything. Here, then, are three more vows that Tozer recommended we follow for spiritual power:

(3)  Vow never to defend yourself, but turn your defense over to God. Paul said, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifeth, who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather that is risen again who is even at the right hand of God who also maketh intercession for us.” (Romans 8:34) Again, the Apostle Paul affirmed: “For God is my record” (Phil. 1:8) and “For God is my witness.” (Rom. 1:9) It is noteworthy, however, that in the matter of Paul’s testimony before councils, he himself said that if he had done anything worthy of death then he would accept that judgment; and he also demanded his citizenship rights to a hearing at Rome when falsely charged. (Acts 25:10,11)  So he did defend himself before governors and kings when falsely accused. One must assume that in matters less than crucial to one’s testimony, Paul would counsel to let the charge die of itself, but in other matters integral to one’s testimony, there are times to speak the truth in defense of one’s integrity. 

Tozer’s advice still, without qualification, is that one should not try to defend one’s self but let your life, your work, and your witness be your only and best defense. The late evangelist from Gay, West Virginia, B.R. Lakin, wisely said, “If you want to get people down on you, just know more, have more, and do more, and they will be down on you.” Jesus, of course, had lots of critics and those who unjustly mischaracterized Him, but He did not attempt to answer every critic; even at His mock trial, He said nothing in His own defense. Perhaps this is why Tozer advised his hearers to cease from trying to defend themselves.

(4)  Vow never to pass on anything about anybody that will harm that person. Romans 14:10: “Why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” Heed Solomon’s wise words in Proverbs 26:22: “The words of a talebearer are as wounds…when he speaketh fair, believe him not for there are seven abominations in his heart.” And in Proverbs 6:17-19: “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

A villager once visited a monk, confessed that he had spread some vicious gossip about another person, and wondered how he could undo the damage.  The monk said, “Go to every home in the village and place a feather at each doorstep,” and so the man did just that.  Later he reported to the monk that he had finished placing the feathers at every doorstep, and wondered what else he could do to make things right. The monk said, “Now, go and gather up every one of those feathers.” The man exclaimed, “That’s impossible: the wind has blown them everywhere!” “So,” said the monk, “is it impossible for you to undo what you have done in slandering your neighbor.” Gossip can never be justified: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” (Ex. 25:18). Avoid it like the plague.

(5) Vow never to accept glory for yourself. God is a jealous God and will not share his glory with another. Saul was sadly reminded that “When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made head over the tribes of Israel and the Lord anointed thee king over Israel?” Contrast Saul the King with Paul the Apostle: “Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also…if I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.” (2 Cor. 11:18,30) Again, Paul said: “Though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool.” (2 Cor. 12:6); and, “But God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ by whom the world is crucified to me and I to the world.” (Gal. 6:17) Abraham is called “Friend of God” three times in the Scriptures, but of him it was said: “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.” (Rom. 4:20)

Thy vows are upon me, O God; I will render praises unto Thee.” (Ps. 56:12)

One thought on “Thy Vows Are Upon Me (part 2)

  1. Excellent Post today. I love what B R Lakin said. He was more than a crowd gatherer, he was a crowd shaker and a crowd mover.




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