A few weeks ago I was jumping on our trampoline with the grandgirls, when one of them, playing make-believe, announced that she was vowing something. I couldn’t even tell you what it was, nor what pretend game she was playing, but I immediately stopped her, then explained to all of them that they are never to make vows under any circumstances. This is uncommon, and unpopular, but I find it very important, and very scriptural. Most people make vows when they get married—my wife and I did not. If people understood vows, I believe they wouldn’t make them, ever, and believe the reason most people do is because they don’t understand the mechanism of a vow.

To explore this subject we need to look at what a vow is, what it does, and why we shouldn’t make them.

What is a Vow?

A vow is a promise that carries spiritual weight behind it. It is best understood as a legal contract that requires payment. Vows are agreements to perform some kind of action, and the payment is the action that the vow states one will do.

Numbers 30:2 says, “If a man makes a vow to the LORD, or takes an oath to bind himself with a binding obligation, he shall not violate his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.”

A vow is a binding obligation that requires one to do everything that he or she has stated in the vow, as it says above. Some other verses related to paying vows are as follows:

Psalm 50:14 “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving and pay your vows to the Most High;”

Psalm 66:13 “I shall come into Your house with burnt offerings; I shall pay You my vows . . .”

Proverbs 7:14 “I was due to offer peace offerings; Today I have paid my vows.”

What Does A Vow do?

Because a vow is a legal agreement, it carries weight of authority behind it. If the vow is fulfilled, the person is released from it. If not, they reap the consequences of failing to fulfill the terms of the contract.

For this reason Deuteronomy 23:21-23 says, “When you make a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not delay to pay it, for it would be sin in you, and the LORD your God will surely require it of you. However, if you refrain from vowing, it would not be sin in you. You shall be careful to perform what goes out from your lips, just as you have voluntarily vowed to the LORD your God, what you have promised.”

It is important to follow through and keep the vows we make, as they are legally binding in the spirit realm and the laws of the universe are designed to enforce the vows we make. A vow essentially creates a covenant between you and the cosmos, and the spiritual laws of the universe expect you to fulfill that which you have vowed. It is a bit like how nature abhors a vacuum—a vow is a bit like creating a vacuum, and nature expects you to fill it.

Why We Shouldn’t Make Vows

Jesus was very clear when he spoke about vows, as was James.

Matthew 5:33-37 says, “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”

James 5:12 says, “Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned.”

The reason James exhorts people not to make vows is that when you fail to fulfill the vow, you bring yourself under condemnation because you have broken a spiritual agreement. Jesus explained that we are not to swear oaths or vows for any reason because we don’t have control over making anything happen no matter how hard we try. Thus, if we say something we should simply make an effort to keep our word without creating spiritually binding legal contracts. If we do, we are playing into the plans of the enemy, as they will attempt to prevent us from fulfilling the terms, placing us under condemnation and giving them an easy ability to attack us.

There are some other passages that give us wisdom in regards to vow-making, or rather not making them at all.
Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 says, When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.

Proverbs 20:25 – It is a trap for a man to say rashly, “It is holy!” And after the vows to make inquiry.

Malachi 1:14 “But cursed be the swindler who has a male in his flock and vows it, but sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord, for I am a great King,” says the LORD of hosts, “and My name is feared among the nations.”

These three verses show us that
1) it is better to not make a vow than to make it and fail it
2) It is foolish to make vows without knowing what you are getting into in advance
3) if you don’t follow through with your vow, you come under a curse.

Conclusion

When we understand that vows are a spiritual contract that legally binds us to either complete the vow or suffer under a curse which opens doors for the enemy to attack us via sin (the sin of breaking the vow), we will understand that making vows is foolishness. The mechanism of a vow is incredibly important. Consider the negative effects that can occur in one’s marriage if you make a vow that you end up breaking somewhere down the line. Will the judgments that the cosmos sends your way due to your actions help or hurt your marriage? How is making that vow actually going to help you be a good spouse if those things aren’t inside your heart already—and if they are inside your heart anyway, do you really need to make a vow?

Jesus and James both instructed people not to make vows for a reason. The simple solution is to not make them, no matter what tradition tells us we should do whether at a wedding or in any other situation. We must become people of integrity who are known for keeping our word. This is evidence of the fruit of the Spirit at work in our lives, and is our responsibility as sons and daughters of God.

 

How How To Get Free From Past Vows

Most people have already made vows sometime in the past, whether a “pledge” to a group or organization, even harmless ones like the Boy Scouts, or even to a nation.  While personally I support my country, I don’t believe in pledges because they are simply a vow by another name. If you have already made vows and want to get free, it is usually fairly simple, and can be done in four easy steps through prayer.

1.  Acknowledge that you made a vow

2. State that you repent (which means to change your thinking) from doing so.

3. Break agreement with the vow

4. Decree that the blood of Jesus makes it null and void and releases you from it.

In some cases, such as with Freemasonry, you may feel led by the Spirit to do more specific and in-depth prayer, but in most cases the above four steps should suffice.  As with all things, pray as you feel led by God in the moment, and pay attention to other prompts you may feel such as praying over an article of clothing related to that group, or even destroying documents you may have signed your name to in a pledge.  (Please note this does not apply to legal documents such as wills, mortgages, and such.  I am only referring to those pledges and vows that are to groups and organizations, not legal agreements which are the equivalent of you putting your “yes” down on paper, and which you will need at a later date.)

You might pray this prayer or something similar:

Heavenly Father, I acknowledge that I have made vows to (the group or person you vowed) saying (state the actual promises you made if you can remember. If not, skip this part).  I repent for making them, and choose according to your Word to no longer make vows, and let my “yes” stand alone.  I break agreement and come out of alignment with those vows, and apply the blood of Jesus to cover and protect me.  I decree that the blood of Jesus has already paid every penalty for breaking these vows, and I thank you Jesus for your shed blood that sets me free from every mistake.  I receive the forgiveness and freedom that comes from you right now.  Amen.

 

 

21 Comments

  1. D'Ann Martin

    Could you post your thoughts on the need to either take this to Court or to Repent of ungodly trades ?
    Your post bears witness with me & I would like to Redeem any & all mistakes made & put them under the Blood
    Blessings..

    Reply
    • Michael King

      Repenting seems wise to me—I was thinking about that a bit ago actually. As for how one does that, whether directly, court something-or-other, or another method entirely probably doesn’t matter. Do whatever works for you.

      Reply
  2. Deborah

    Michael – this needs to be a book. I’ve never heard of this subject before, and it seems extremely important for us to really grasp it. Thanks for this!!

    Reply
  3. Seeking Health Today

    I recently saw a YouTube video where people involved in a New Age deception have been making blood vows to some “extra terrestrial” deity of sorts who they feel will take them to a Utopia, that has it’s opening at the North Pole. As crazy as all that sounds, they are sincere in their beliefs and the fact that they are making blood vows really stood out to me, because “someone”, whomever they are really making them to, is going to require that payment.

    Reply
    • Michael King

      That sounds like a *horrible* idea!!

      Reply
    • Louis

      Reminds me of those hooligans who go around calling themselves the “Elohim” or “Ashtar Command.” They ironically adopt the Star of David as their symbol. They prey on certain people because mankind are so desperate and longing for Utopia because we’re from Heaven. If only they knew the ultimately blood sacrifice has already been made.

      Reply
    • karenspeaksblessings

      How awful and I feel sorry for those who are so lost and deceived like that. I’m so grateful for my salvation. God chose those of us who are His daughters and sons before the foundation of the world and I know that some or maybe all of the deceived ones may have been chosen also by God, but because of the hidden veil over their hearts and eyes they are just blind to it right now. There’s still hope for them though because God is good and He wants them saved. Praise God.

      Reply
  4. Saralou

    I once took vows in a church office. Before God. It was foolish. Until we are denied a thing we too often undervalue it–In this case, it was the priesthood of the believers. Ultimately I could not minister at the Golden Altar with my High Priest while forbidding the rest of His body that responsibility; shoot I didn’t even believe it. Everybody should take communion, proclaiming His death, burial, resurrection, ascension and invitation to “come up here” as often as they hear Him say to. I was ignorant and so stupid; that one seems to float in the Sea of Forgetfulness such that the Accuser thinks it has some ability to float. Nope.

    When we confess our sin, HE is faithful and just to forgive our sin and to cleanse from allllll unrighteousness. He bore the consequence of my sin at Calvary, therefore there is no condemnation for me.

    While I realize I am not subject to the law, out of respect I asked both the Husband who fulfilled the Law Jesus and my mortal husband to forgive my foolishness and fix it. Forthwith (after writing an anointed letter) the church officials not only released me from my vows but blessed me going forward.

    When at all possible it is good to be at peace with all men.

    Reply
    • karenspeaksblessings

      Saralou, I too believe all Christians should take communion, and often too because it blesses you in many ways. And it’s a time to search one’s heart during communion. It’s a wonderful blessing.

      Reply
  5. Louis

    What I don’t get is that if vows aren’t such a wise thing – which they obviously aren’t – how come the ability to make one still exists?

    Why does God still technically honor His part in your vow even if He has a distaste for them?

    Why do people make vows to God anyway? Why don’t people just ask Him for things?

    Reply
    • Michael King

      It has nothing to do with God honoring or not honoring them. It has to do with the laws He infused into the Universe upon creation. When we make vows, we set certain impassive spiritual laws into motion that give no regard to who is making it.

      Reply
  6. Dirt Road Cowboy

    Michael,

    How do you personally make a distinction between a vow, oath, promise or pledge? I don’t include covenant because to me a covenant is a win-win situation on both sides.

    It seems like vows, promises, pledges and oaths are more one-sided against the one making it.

    Reply
    • Michael King

      I see them all as different words for level of severity of the same thing. I don’t make covenants either, nor do I believe in them. If God wants to make one, that’s fine. I don’t believe the New Testament gives us room to do so. The same problems apply to breaking covenants as to breaking vows, as they are essentially the same.

      I don’t see how covenants make anyone win—can you elaborate?

      Reply
      • Dirt Road Cowboy

        I have always seen a covenant as a mutual agreement between both parties. (The greater always blesses the lesser though.)

        In many states, a real estate transaction is referred to as a covenant between the buyer and seller, and both parties benefit from the contract.

        God made covenant with Noah. The world wouldn’t be destroyed anymore (a plus for mankind), and He would have people to love and bless (a plus for Him).

        God made covenant with Abraham. Abraham was blessed, and God had a line to bring Jesus into the world through. They both received a large family through the covenant. Abraham tithed from the spoils of war, which gave God the right to judge Sodom and Gomorrah.

        I did personally make a covenant with God in 2009 when He asked me to give something to Him in covenant that I had wanted for most of my life. I agreed, and went before Him in communion with Jesus as our mediator, turning it over to Him completely. Within 2 months, He paid our house off completely (6 year mortgage instead of 30). I thought that was great, but He said that it was just a side benefit. Then He told me what the actual covenant exchange was, and what I would truly receive from making covenant with Him!

        He received something from me, but I received the greater blessing.

        Reply
        • Michael King

          In that case, it’s much the same as the last part I referenced in parentheses in the section on prayer (I added it in this morning) about a contract such as a mortgage not being the same thing. I could probably update the language to reflect that more clearly though.

          Reply
        • D'Ann Martin

          I am not sure Covenant is always the same as a vow although agreement…wow…Chewing..

          Reply
          • karenspeaksblessings

            Covenant can be in some instances the same as a vow, but you are right that it isn’t always.

        • karenspeaksblessings

          Wow, God paid your house off in your obedience to making that covenant? I’m curious to what it was that you had wanted all your life and gave to God but it sounds like it’s between you and Him, and I fully respect that.

          Reply
          • Dirt Road Cowboy

            I made the covenant with Him on 9/28/09, and at the time I was just trying to keep the house from getting foreclosed on. In October, the mortgage holder offered to sell out for less than half of what I owed, but I was struggling to just keep up with the regular payments and I didn’t even have any savings. They gave me until November 16th.

            I didn’t really think much about it because I couldn’t see any way to get the money, but on November 12th, I was unexpectedly given the money to pay the house off in full! I got the cashier’s check and sent it overnight by Fedex to them.

            As far as the other part of the covenant, I’d prefer not to post it because when I talked about it to others before, it brought all the trolls out of the woodwork!

            You know:
            Who do you think you are?
            God wouldn’t do that!
            What makes you so special?
            You’re arrogant!
            I looked you up online, and you’re not anyone special!
            And so on.

            Sound familiar? Who does He think He is? Isn’t He the son of a carpenter? Don’t we know His mother, brothers and sisters?

            I’m in good company! LOL!

            That’s why I don’t talk a lot about my trips to Heaven, too many unbelieving “believers” out there, but I have been visiting every day since January 19th of this year. I’ve had some great times, and hope to share about them sometime.

            If you really want to know about what God said to me, you can email me at:
            dsmphd at gmail dot com
            I can answer you privately that way.

            (Sorry for the hijack Michael.)

  7. karenspeaksblessings

    I’m rethinking my last comment, for instance, if I make a vow to a ministry to give a certain amount of money, would that also be making a covenant with them?

    Reply
  8. Don

    Michael, If you did not exchange marriage vows, what exactly did you ‘promise’ do each other, if anything? Also, I just discovered your website, it’s wonderful.

    Reply

Thoughts? Comments? Interpretive Dances?

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