Vows

A vow is "a solemn promise made to God to perform some act, or make some gift or sacrifice, in return for some special favor, a solemn engagement, undertaking, or resolve, to achieve something or to act in a certain way, a solemn promise of fidelity, an earnest wish or desire, a prayer, a supplication, a votive offering."

Vows are laws of doing and initiations. Vows are promises you make to God and to yourself. They are dynamic declarations of intention to become some new state of being or to act in a new way. With every vow, you invite the universe to test your resolve until you have made your change complete.











Edna Lister's Sermons and Lectures on Vows
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Edna Lister on Vows

You can make no vows without taking stock of self. – Edna Lister, What Is Lent? February 7, 1937.

A vow is a contract, first with your own soul, second, a contract with God. You must fulfill the vows you make from pride. – Edna Lister, What Are Vows? January 2, 1938.

Our vow is loyalty to "Honor above all things." – Edna Lister, September 36, 1938.

The Way of the Seer and Prophet is, "I vow to ignore the truth of appearance and to accept, to surrender to and to declare the truth of reality." The first and fundamental law of expression for the Elect, the secret of all creation is to declare every creation "good and very good." – Edna Lister, A Design for Ascension, 1941.

For God to answer our prayers, we must receive the law, make our prayer and pay our vows. – Edna Lister, Flaming Desire, May 26, 1941.

Pay your vows word by word, and do not try to change them later to suit your convenience. – Edna Lister, July 10, 1945.

You gain the soul's powers by paying high vows, made under deep travail of soul, to serve only God forever. To use the soul powers for self is illegal, unlawful and contracts a great debt. – Edna Lister, July 19, 1945.

You advance and ascend only on fulfilled vows, and earth duties well performed in joy and in delight. Working from a sense of duty cannot ascend you. – Edna Lister, July 25, 1945.

Hypocrisy is making high vows then expecting another to keep them for you. – Edna Lister, June 17, 1947.

To progress, you must hold to your vows. – Edna Lister, January 8, 1948.

You may indulge in no imperfection, especially of personality, after you make high vows of ascension. – Edna Lister, April 19, 1948.

The law is to abstain from all appearance of evil, avoid using words that might cause you to break your vows. – Edna Lister, Rewards for Service, July 15, 1951.

We wrap a millstone around our neck when we take vows and then make mistakes. Under vows such as "Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect," our disposition may offend others. We must conquer our disposition, which is nothing more than letting self get off the mark emotionally. – Edna Lister, Forgiveness, the Path of Glory, October 21, 1951.

When you vow to become law and to follow Jesus the Christ, you are put on a golden Path of Destiny. – Edna Lister, Seven Angels and Vials of Wrath, December 16, 1952.

He who fails to keep his vows, cools off, and the first sign is letting the outer control your life. He may think he prays, but loses his fervent high point of consciousness, or worse, his sense of responsibility not to create greater soul debts. Finally, he forgets past revelations, because divine protection prevents him from charging greater debts than he can pay. Never blame another for failing to keep his vows. – Edna Lister, May 28, 1953.

God asks no more of you than your freely given vows. – Edna Lister, June 3, 1953.

Each time you make a high vow, someone challenges you within two days. – Edna Lister, Success Through Prayer, July 7, 1953.

From Easter to Ascension Day, you "sanctify" yourself to surrender. You are reborn, renewed, vitalized and quickened by the full descent of Christ Power at Pentecost. You consecrate yourself in new vows, and become "set apart" as you observe these days as holy, free from sin, which is disobedience. Consecration is full surrender and complete transformation. – Edna Lister, Your Life's Practice, May 23, 1954.

When you renew your vows, you move up in consciousness, into your own rate of vibration in the "stream of life." – Edna Lister, Your Life's Goal, May 30, 1954.

You die a little each time you fail to finish a project, keep our vows or promises. The mental body atoms deflate and collapse, causing stiffness, mental fuzziness, depression and paralysis in body or affairs. – Edna Lister, The Well of Living Waters, July 31, 1955.

"Those I love, I rebuke and chasten." – Revelation 3:19. Once you have signed the vows and covenants you make with your soul, the divine principle of justice shows you your faults and brings you back in line. – Edna Lister, The Open Door, November 20, 1955.

You go clear to the bottom when you flout any vow. – Edna Lister, April 14, 1956.

Easily made, repetitive vows that pacify the maker, mock God, for no intent to be responsible is behind them. – Edna Lister, April 14, 1956.

When you make a dynamic vow and say, "I will not do this anymore," you create a potentially devastating chain reaction in every cell and nerve of the body and in the subconscious. You may think you are conquering, but the subconscious "push" makes you awaken with the same habit. Cooperate with your habit. For instance, let I AM consciousness light the cigarette and say, "I AM going home! Here is your pacifier, baby. Enjoy it while you can, because soon I AM about to remove your diaper." Be dynamic but cooperative with no forcing. – Edna Lister, Nor Shadow of Turning, July 15, 1956.

God has long waited for us to ascend to equal our vows. Our practice and the ascent must equal them, and we must pay them. – Edna Lister, November 18, 1956.

A promise is an assurance given, a word-token expressing love, admiration, respect, and a desire to serve in some way. A promise should be a pledge of honor, even on the outer. On the inner, a promise is a vow made under honor. – Edna Lister, Promises Made, May 4, 1958.

What someone else vows is none of our business. – Edna Lister, September 16, 1958.

Too often, our difficulty is high vision and low living. Only high vows open the Gates of Light to become. – Edna Lister, September 17, 1958.

The minute you make vows to conquer, you'll begin initiations. – Edna Lister, A Charted Heaven, October 21, 1958.

You can open all brain cells by obedience to Neophyte vows. – Edna Lister, December 1, 1958.

The law is that you make your highest vow at your weakest point. – Edna Lister, Love Unquenchable, December 7, 1958.

The Seven Degrees each name a great universal principle, which is an actual law and vow of conquering. – Edna Lister, The Pioneering Mystic, May 5, 1959.

When you pour out love to all universally as law, you add credits to them according to the degree and kind of their vows. – Edna Lister, Jesus' Seven Last Words, June 7, 1959.

Justice includes faithfulness to all vows, promises and pledges. We assume vows as a duty with payment to law for disobedience. We are expected to apply discrimination. Don't vow to be patient then invite someone who won't agree with you. We pay debts to the law for disobedience to vows we make. – Edna Lister, The 33 Degrees of Soul Conquering, October 20, 1959.

Practice diligence and discipline in keeping your vows to earn the robe of purity. Do not make vows beyond what you can fulfill. If you make an unwise, foolish promise, do your best to keep it. – Edna Lister, Your Full Birthright, December 6, 1959.

Oversoul moves into the body in proportion to the heights our vows are registered, which is as high as we can keep those vows if we remain close to God. – Edna Lister, This One Thing I Decree, November 19, 1961.

Personal salvation is the deficiency of the world religions, since their vows obligate them to no universal responsibility. – Edna Lister, December 10, 1962.

You have vowed to live in the Light, and Light has registered your vows. You may not act or speak differently than your vows. – Edna Lister, Your Sacred Light, November 10, 1963.

Vows are only registered as high as the soul's ability to practice. Each vow we make is registered and we must practice it. – Edna Lister, Five Keys of the Kingdom, 1964.

"You will make your prayer to Him, and He will hear you; and you will pay your vows. You will also decree a thing, and it will be established for you; so light will shine on your ways." – Job 22:27-28. To pay our vows means doing something daily toward setting our house in order, finishing all projects we've started, and keeping promises we have put off or neglected entirely. – Edna Lister, Five Keys of the Kingdom, 1964.

No one pushes you to neglect your vows, no one. – Edna Lister, September 13, 1964.

God accepts no vows higher than a soul's ability to fulfill them. – Edna Lister, January 28, 1966.

Every contract you fulfill with yourself or to God, pays your vows. – Edna Lister, July 14, 1966.

From the moment we vow to live our life as the Christ lived on earth, we start the first day of our one thousand days of burnt offerings. – Edna Lister, Seven Life Ages of Man, from Birth to the Star's Descent, November 22, 1966.

You can make vows as high as your desire to be responsible. – Edna Lister, December 15, 1966.

Never make a vow that can hurt another. Jephthah vowed that he would offer whatever first came out of his house as a burnt offering in return for victory. His daughter, his only child, met him. – Edna Lister, May 26, 1969.

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The Vows of Ascension

"I vow to make my body a fitting dwelling place for my soul" is the Neophyte's vow.

"I vow to surrender completely to become the servant of all the Power" is the Disciple's vow.

"I vow to be selfless in my release of Power" is the Adept's vow.

"I vow to keep my silence shining and golden" is the Mystic's vow.

"I vow to be master in all responsibility" is the Master's vow.

"I vow to keep pure in heart, mind and purpose" is the Priest's vow.

"I vow to make my supreme vow of complete surrender of self" is the Christos vow.

– Edna Lister, Vows, January 7, 1940.

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The Original Pioneering Mystic Vows

"You will make your prayer to Him, He will hear you and you will pay your vows." – Job 22:27. Copy this verse and memorize it. Heed this.

You must pay your vows and remember that "Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled" (Matthew 5:18). The "all" includes all outer debts. Without this, you return to the first rung on the ladder of ascension. Until you have paid all outer debts, you remain only a Neophyte. You may earn everything again by prayer, sacrifice of self and earning your way daily in devotion.

When you flout any vow, you go clear to the bottom. Puny, futile puerile vows mean nothing. Vows deliberately broken in the next hour, are less than dust in content; their sum is a dark cloud forming a mighty hurricane entity of force buffeting the one who so flouts.

Each must face the question, "Do I want God more than self?" You occupy the place you have chosen and made. You may wallow in it, seeking someone to lean on, or choose and make your own place. God releases the Light upon which you may climb, yet one thought of self-pity and you lose contact.

You are alone with God, your vows, your choice and you may not petition for release from this until you satisfy every jot and tittle of law. You may have continued your dawdling for ten incarnations of the same foolishness. It is a matter of choice now, up or down into retrogression. No one will lift you. – Edna Lister, April 15, 1956.

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A Story That Illustrates a Rash Vow

Jephthah's Daughter: And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord's, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.

So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the Lord delivered them into his hands. And he smote them from Aroer, even till thou come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel.

And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter. And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the Lord, and I cannot go back.

And she said unto him, My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth unto the Lord, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth; forasmuch as the Lord hath taken vengeance for thee of thine enemies, even of the children of Ammon. And she said unto her father, Let this thing be done for me: let me alone two months, that I may go up and down upon the mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my fellows.

And he said, Go. And he sent her away for two months: and she went with her companions, and bewailed her virginity upon the mountains. And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed: and she knew no man. And it was a custom in Israel, that the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year. – Judges 11:30-40.

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New Testament on Vows

Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: but I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. – Matthew 5:33‑37.

When God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he swore by himself, saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. – Hebrews 6:13‑16.

Above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation. – James 5:12.

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Old Testament on Vows

Tithing, the vow of the tenth part: Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father's house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God. And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God's house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You." – Genesis 28:20-22.

If a soul swear, pronouncing with his lips to do evil, or to do good, whatsoever it be that a man shall pronounce with an oath, and it be hid from him; when he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty in one of these. And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing. – Leviticus 5:4-5.

Ye shall not swear by My name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God. – Leviticus 19:12.

If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth – Numbers 30:2.

Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve Him, and shalt swear by His name. – Deuteronomy 6:13.

When thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the Lord thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee. But if thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee. That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform; even a freewill offering, according as thou hast vowed unto the Lord thy God, which thou hast promised with thy mouth. – Deuteronomy 23:21-23.

Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High. – Psalm 50:14.

In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. hy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death. – Psalm 56:11‑13.

I sing praise unto Thy name forever, that I may daily perform my vows. – Psalm 61:8.

I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows, which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble. – Psalm 66:13-14.

Vow, and pay unto the Lord your God. – Psalm 76:11.

What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all his people. – Psalm 116:12-14.

When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. – Ecclesiastes 5:4-5.

Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows. Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways. – Job 22:27-28.

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Vows in Other Sacred Writings

Let nothing hinder thee to pay your vow in due time, and defer not until death to be justified. – Wisdom of Ben Sirach 18:22.

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Edna Miriam Lister
1884 –1971
The original Pioneering Mystic
minister, teacher, and author

Edna Lister


Etymology of vow: Middle English vou, from Old French, from Latin votum, "to vow."


Vows are law of doing.

Every vow names an initiation.


References

The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary: 2 volumes. E.S.C. Weiner, editor. Oxford University Press, 1971.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

The Nag Hammadi Library. James M. Robinson, editor. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1981.


Related Topic

See Twelfth Night Vows of Soul Consecration


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