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December 30, 1994

Under Authority

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I am under vows to you, O God; I will present my thank offerings to you. For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life. PSALM 56:12-13
When a soldier is “under orders,” he is obligated to follow those orders. It doesn’t matter if another person tells him to do something else; he answers to the one who gave him the orders, and his job is to carry them out completely.
This same idea is presented in this passage. To be “under vows” is similar to being under orders. Biblically, a vow is a pledge or promise that is elevated above any circumstances that would give someone an excuse not to fulfill it. When we are under vows to God, it means that ultimately, we are taking orders from Him and no one else. We owe our loyalty and attention to Him, as well as our thank offerings when we are successful. That doesn’t mean we can’t thank our bosses or express gratitude to our coworkers if something goes well at work, but it does mean that in the end, all the praise for what happens must go to God.
Regardless of our personality types, physical attributes, or family backgrounds, we all suffer from a reckless spirit of autonomy and independence. Inside every one of us is this notion that we don’t need anyone over us telling us what to do or keeping track of us. Like David, however, we must willingly place ourselves under orders of God if we want His direction and protection in our lives.
Private vows lead to public surrender. Has the pledge that you made to God when you met Christ resulted in a public demonstration that you are actively seeking to follow Him in all areas of your life?

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