Today’s Life Journal: The Vow

The following is an entry from Pastor Wayne Cordeiro’s Life Journal.



“Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchrea because of a vow he had taken” (Acts 18:18).


I wonder what the vow was that Paul had taken. In those days, a person would shave his head to remind him of the vow. This would be a daily reminder for as long as it would take for his hair to grow back. One month? Maybe two months? But daily, he’d rehearse that vow each time he would look into a mirror or scratched his head.

I wonder. I wonder what that vow was. I know that Paul was being persecuted in every town he’d come to. It began as soon as he landed on Grecian soil. The Thessalonians drove him to Berea, and from there, he’d be escorted to the coast to avoid the Jewish lynch mobs. No sooner did he reach the coast, he would flee to Athens, and then onto Corinth. It would be here that the Jews would turn abusive, and Paul would leave a last time. And just before embarking for Syria, he made a vow.What kind of vow? Why now? What was he so concerned about that needed a daily reminder?

It is never disclosed, I’d hazard to say it have been to stem his tendency (as would be any of ours) to call it quits. Maybe to remind him of God’s promise in the night: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent…” Was it to remind him to stand fast and not cave into the demands of the Jews? Was it a promise he made to stay faithful to his assignment even unto death?

I think I’d have that tendency to quit, anyway! To stop preaching for a season, to hide myself away. Didn’t Job feel like that? In Job 13:21. He asks God of only two things: to remove the sufferings he’d been experiencing and to stop the threats that have been barraging his life.

I wonder if the vow was an internal covenant he made to stay true to who he was and to keep pressing forward regardless of the setbacks, discouragements, and non-receptivity.

The vow. I wonder.


I need to hear God about my future and make vows too. There will be many down turns in the road where I would like to bail out, to quit, or just to be involved on a more cautious level. But it will need to be either all in, or all out for me. I cannot be lukewarm.

I don’t know if I will cut my hair or shave my head or anything like that. I’m sort of running low on those resources. But I want to write down what I sense the Lord asking of me in this season, and stick with it no matter what. I know the enemy would love to derail me, as he would anybody. But I will cut the covenant, make the vow, to remain true to His calling and assignment for me. I need to know what that is as stay true, whether it’s with hair … or no hair.


Dear Father, Thank you for the vow you made to me. I choose to do the same with you. I want to serve You with a whole heart and a completely sold out soul. Please help me to plot my next season out according to Your guidance and I will commit to following that while walking daily with You.

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