When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. —Ecclesiastes 5:4
Jacob made a vow to God: "If God will be with me ... and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear ... of all that you give me I will give you a tenth" (Gen. 28:20-22). Twenty years later, God turned up and said, "I am the God of Bethel. That was the spot where you made a vow to Me." The interesting thing is that when Jacob made a vow to tithe, he didn't have anything. But we read in Genesis 30:43 that he "grew exceedingly prosperous and came to own large flocks, and maidservants and menservants, and camels and donkeys." And now the Lord said, "I will remember your vow."
Jacob could have said, "Oh, I didn't think You took notice of that!" But I think as soon as Jacob heard the words, "I am the God of Bethel," he knew exactly what that meant.
Maybe, at this moment, God is taking your mind back to a vow you made to Him. Maybe you took a vow to pray, and He took care of you. But God remembers your vision. He is saying to you, "Come back to Me! Renew that vow!"
That is something God shouldn't have to do, because when you break a vow, that is a serious thing, and in so doing, you effectively release God from having to do anything for you. But God is so gracious, and He is saying to you, "Here I am again. Life is not over yet. There's still time, and if you will turn your life over to Me, I will restore the years the locusts have eaten. I will forgive all that has happened, all the mistakes you have made and the sins you have committed. And not only that, if you will begin now, I will cause everything that you have done in the past, everything that haunts you, that leaves you terrified, to work together for good."
I guarantee that if you return to Him, you will find out that there was a purpose in everything that happened. God has not deserted you. There was a reason He let certain things happen. God meant it for good.
Excerpted from All's Well That Ends Well (Authentic Media, 2005).