Read Leviticus 27:1-34
I suppose there is a world of difference between the new leaf people sometimes turn over at the beginning of summer or a new year and the Old Testament vow described in Leviticus 27.
For most, resolutions are just targets, at which they aim. While hitting the bull’s-eye is desirable and admirable, missing it isn’t all that bad. If a person made a decent effort, that was what counted. Meanwhile, Old Testament vows were binding. A person was obligating himself/herself.
Secondly, those making resolutions often see the proposed commitment as purely personal. Sure, life might be better if he/she followed through, but there are often no spiritual overtones to the commitment made. A vow, on the other hand, was a sacred, spiritual commitment. The ones illustrated in this chapter of Leviticus were commitments made to God in which people, property, or possessions were dedicated to Him and His service.
As you begin this summer perhaps with new commitments, think about these two things:
- What commitments are you making that will stretch you spiritually? Over time, most of us settle into comfortable spiritual practices that may allow for moderate growth. Meanwhile, we read of people like the apostle Paul who were pressing the envelope of comfortable in order to do and to be what God wanted. Let me encourage you to consider a commitment that will push you towards the Lord and doing His will. It could be related to Bible reading. Maybe prayer. Perhaps sharing your faith.
- Once you identify a commitment to accelerate your growth and obedience to God, don’t give yourself an easy out. Make it somehow binding. Develop a plan and appropriate accountability that will help you to follow through as you passionately pursue the goal and even hit the bull’s-eye. Don’t allow this to be another commitment characterized by some good intentions and a few days of feeble attempts.
Here is how the apostle Paul described his pursuits:
“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14).
Press on . . . and upward!