Will God Forgive Me If I Break a Vow?

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QUESTION: What happens if you make a vow to the Lord and later break that vow? Does God give second chances?

PAT ROBERTSON: Thank God He gives second chances. If He didn't, we would all be in trouble. If you made a vow to the Lord, get yourself right with Him. Go to Him and explain what happened. He knows your frame, the Bible says. He remembers that you are dust. He has compassion for you. The one thing He doesn't want you to do is try to tough it out and bluff it out and act like nothing happened. The fact that your heart is tender, to me, is a very important thing. So you come to the Lord and say, 'I promised to do something and I didn't do it and I ask You to give me a second chance.' How many people are alcoholics and drug addicts and other kinds of addicts and go off and come back and go off and come back and finally get straightened out and get on down the road? God is interested in redemption. He is interested in blessing; He is not interested in cursing. His desire is to make you whole in Him. By all means, come before Him and acknowledge what you have done and say, 'Give me a second chance,' and He will.

QUESTION: It's the beginning of the New Year and I would like to get in shape. I've heard about a form of body conditioning called Pilates. It uses the center abdominal region as a source of gravity and strength. I have friends who are against it because they think it has roots in yoga. My research says that there are no spiritual aspects involved. Do you think it's OK for a Christian to practice Pilates techniques?

PAT ROBERTSON: I see nothing wrong with doing Pilates. It has to do with stretching and very interesting exercises. Some of these yoga teachers come with their little chants and little bowls and towels and all of this stuff that goes along with yoga, including special spiritual breathing exercises. But as far as I can tell, Pilates is just good exercise -- if your body will take it. It is the hot thing in England and the hot thing in California, but it doesn't seem to have any spiritual connotations. The fact that you pick up something that is helpful from someone does not necessarily mean that the thing that you picked up is bad. For example, some of the shamans, the medicine men down in the jungles of the forest, came up with incredibly wonderful healing from plants. Well, from that if we get quinine or some drug that will help us get better, the fact that it came from somebody who supposedly is a medicine man to me doesn't diminish the effectiveness of what it is.

QUESTION: How much time each day should a Christian spend in devotions to God? I would like to start doing devotions, but I don't really know what to do. Would you give me some guidelines on how a Christian can grow closer to God? Thinks like what to do, where to do it, and how long.

PAT ROBERTSON: That is a good question. I am not sure I can answer all of it in a short length of time. I have made a practice over the years to have a quiet time with the Lord. The Bible says David the psalmist said, 'Early will I seek thee.' I think you need to get to the Lord before all of the hustle and bustle of the day begins. You don't turn on the television. You don't turn on the radio. You don't start thinking of your business. You don't check your computer and read your e-mail. You get before the Lord. I believe the most important thing first of all is just to worship Him. Just tell Him how much you love Him. Just talk to Him and think about how great He is. Just meditate on Him, and then worship Him. Just adore Him and thank Him. Thank Him for everything He has done. Review in your mind the good things He has done for you, so you are thankful to Him.

So you have worship, which is how great You are, how big, how wonderful, how powerful. Then you are thanking Him. Then you can begin a systematic study of the Bible, or else you can ask Him to lead you to a passage in the Bible. You begin to read the Bible and that begins to feed your soul as you read the Bible and meditate on what it means and let it sink down deep in your heart so that He gives you something you can go on. It is like food for the soul.

That length of time could be half an hour or an hour or two hours or whatever. I don't think this business about taking 5 minutes at 12 is very honoring to the Lord. You ought to spend at least 30 minutes in worship to the Lord.

If you want to sing a hymn, sing. If you want to speak in tongues and you have been filled with the Spirit, pray in tongues, pray in the understanding. But spend time praying and don't go through a whole rote list: 'God bless Mom and Grandmother and Aunt Susie.' Worship Him, and then if you have a prayer request, bring your prayer request to Him: 'Today, Lord, I have a big business meeting and I ask that You give me wisdom and help me.'

Bring before Him your petitions. With thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God, and the Bible says that the peace of God that passes all understanding will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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