Inner Vows

I’ve mentioned before that we are spirit, we possess a soul, and we live in a body. Understanding that is important, but I’ve just recently been thinking about it in a new way.

Who We Are

First of all, let me lay a little foundation, for those of you who enjoy that. You need to understand that your spirit is joined with God’s. Paul writes:

But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit (1 Cor 6:17, NIV).

Further, we are made completely new in Christ:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Cor 5:17, NIV).

If our spirit is one with God’s and if we are new creatures, why don’t we always act or think like new creatures? Peter writes:

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:8-9, NIV, emphasis mine)

You see, even though our spirit is made new, our soul needs to be saved. Our soul is made of our mind, our will, and our emotions. And the spirit of God within us must reshape the way that we think, we act, and we feel. Paul writes again:

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5, NIV)

That’s called sanctification–our soul coming under obedience to our spirit.

Getting Under the Influence

We are meant to be under the influence of the spirit of God, and the spirit of God wants to continually shape the way¬† we think, we act, and we feel. That’s what the salvation of souls is all about!

But sometimes, there are structures that we have set up within our soul that keeps our soul from yielding to the gentle work of the spirit of God. These are called strongholds; they are like a fortress that we’ve built for the enemy to dwell.

One of these structures is called an inner vow. Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve trusted someone else, only to be humiliated or hurt? It’s easy to walk away from that situation and say in your heart, “I will never let myself get hurt like that again!” This is called an inner vow. It’s a promise you make within yourself, and it always reinforces a lie that the enemy would have you believe. In this case, the lie may be that people cannot be trusted, or that you are not worth loving.

Inner vows are also often linked with unforgiveness. In the example I gave, you need to forgive the person who betrayed the trust. But it can also happen with ourselves. When I hurt someone who is close to me, I can tell myself, “I will never hurt anyone like that again!” Somehow, making an inner vow can feel like the right thing–we somehow feel better inflicting punishment on ourselves. However, in the same way that inner vows keep others in unforgiveness, they can also keep us in unforgiveness. Quite simply, we need to forgive ourselves, and we need to give ourselves the same mercy that we hand out to others!

As a personal testimony, God recently revealed some inner vows in my life, and as I repented of those vows, I felt a new freedom within me for God’s spirit to make huge changes to the way that I think, act, and feel. Thought patterns that I’ve held for a long time are being broken, habits that have plagued me are being changed, and certain emotions that I’ve felt for a long time are coming into alignment with the truth of God’s Word. That’s called the salvation of my soul!

As an aside, many times we take for granted the way that we think, we act, or we feel–but especially the way we feel. It’s true, perhaps, that we cannot control our emotions, but we can allow our souls to surrender to the spirit of God, and believe me–the spirit of God will change how you feel!

An inner vow has an incredible power within your soul to reinforce certain ways of thinking, of acting, and of feeling. Like Paul wrote, it “sets itself up against the knowledge of God.” Until you break that vow, it will be working¬† against you to keep you from receiving the knowledge of God. But when that inner vow is broken, it’s like knocking the steel frame out of a structure–there’s nothing to hold up that building any more, and the spirit of God is free to barge in there and to transform you from glory to glory!

God bless you good as you align yourself with God!

within me

One comment

  1. This I know… and it is an on-going process…

    “I will teach you the good and right way.” ~I Samuel 12:23

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