Peter said to Him, "Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake."
Even while Peter was making this beautiful, heartfelt declaration of his devotion, Jesus knew that before the sun rose the following morning, Peter would deny Him three times.
It is so very easy to make a verbal commitment. But when it comes right down to where the rubber meets the road, we are not always faithful to those promises.
Words are cheap.
We make vows to God when we are trying to make a deal with Him, to get Him to acquiesce to our desires. "Lord, if You will do this for me, then I will do this for You." Or we make vows right after a failure. As we are getting up again, we say, "Lord, I will never do that again." Our words prove we are putting confidence right back in the flesh, but as long as we are still trusting ourselves, we are setting ourselves up for failure.
Only God knows whether or not we will keep our promises. As the psalmist said, "O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways" (Psalm 139:1-3).
Don't promise anything to God on the basis of your flesh, for your flesh will fail you. Promise only to do those things Jesus prompts you to do, and rely on Him for the strength to obey.
Father, let our every prayer reflect our complete dependence on You and our unfailing trust in Your sovereignty and wisdom. In Jesus' name, amen.