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December 18, 2012

As you may or may not know I am taking a Nazirite vow beginning on December 25, 2012 that will last until December 25, 2014.  I am sending this to you initially because either you said you were interested in following my journey, you asked about my lengthy and super stylish hair/ bandanna OR you are ingrained in my life deep enough that you couldn’t possibly escape this.  Good job.  Feel free to click away and ignore this if you like.  It won’t offend me in the slightest.  It actually feels weird writing about this and expecting people to benefit from it but Father said to blog about it so here I am.  So you have to enjoy it now, right? Right.  If I didn’t send this to you then you must have just happened to see it posted on my facebook wall.  In that case, thanks for reading!  I appreciate it!

I have gotten many different reactions to this spanning from one side of the spectrum to the other.  I certainly appreciate any encouragement as well as constructive criticism.  But, at the end of the day I can do nothing apart from the leading of my Father.  His will must come before yours… and mine.  I’ve had many of you question pretty much every aspect and I would like to explain some of these things more clearly.

First of all, some may not agree with calling it a full-blown Nazirite vow because I will not be following the description given in Numbers 6 verbatim.  I will, however, be following the principles in that passage.  I can certainly see their point but I will most likely continue to call it a Nazirite vow because that is the term that God used when He told me to do this.  I received much of my biblical teaching on this as well as some of my prophetic guidance in Lou Engle’s Nazirite DNA.  I highly encourage you to give it a read or listen.  You can find the free audiobook here: http://www.thecall.com/Groups/1000080325/TheCall/Free/Free.aspx.  Or you can buy the physical book here for $5: https://store.ihopkc.org/nazirite-dna-book/dp/2188

Why don’t I follow Numbers 6 exactly you ask?  What I’ve come to hear from God is that much of what is mentioned in Numbers 6 is culture-specific.  It has to do with Jewish/Torah law given by God through Moses to the Israelites in the book of Exodus.  I’m not Jewish nor am I apart of the old Jewish covenant with God.  I am apart of the new covenant brought by Jesus when He died on the cross.  Therefore, things like ceremonial cleanliness and not being near dead bodies, for example, will not be included in this.  I’ve decided to cut back on hanging out with dead folks anyway, so no worries there.  The whole concept of the Nazirite vow is to be separated from things of the world to grow closer to my Father and be “holy.”  I put that word in quotations because first, it is the word used in Numbers 6 and second, it is defined as “set apart.” I do not mean to say that I am better than anyone.  This isn’t holier-than-thou talk.  I’ll hopefully be more clear about this as I’m talking about the specific things I believe God has told me to give up.

To start with a big one for me, I will not eat any meat or sweets.  I’m not much of a sweets guy anyway but I’ve not had to go without it for a long period of time either.  I may find that I value it more than I think I do.  We’ll see.  Meat, however, is what makes up the vast majority of my diet.  And I don’t mean lean cuts or turkey burgers.  I mean the greasy red meats and processed lunchmeat… and well, pretty much anything that used to move.  I can’t explain it; it’s just what I enjoy.  This will be beneficial in a few aspects.  First, it’s VERY difficult for me to go without this so it means quite a lot for me to be willing to sacrifice it.  The harder something is to give up for God, the more you need to give it up, at least for a season.  If you find that you can’t, congratulations, you’ve found an idol in your life.  Argue if you want but it’s fact.  Your pharisaic logic can’t weave around it and neither can mine.  Trust me, I’ve tried.  Secondly, I believe God is going to change many of my habits during this time and I believe my diet is one of them.  My body is His temple and I really need to take better care of it ‘cause… dang.

Something that is of a similar field is that I will be drinking only water.  No sodas, coffee, or anything else that isn’t pure ole H2O or organic juice.  I normally use caffeine to get much of my schoolwork done at wee hours of the night.  I believe I am supposed to be more responsible and get things done before that time.  If I can do that then I won’t need anything else.  And as with much of what I am giving up I will need His strength to make up for the lack of my own.

Another big vice of mine is internet usage that just wastes time.  I will still use my computer for productive things such as work related activity and school needs but if it’s not productive to something I’m working on or for Jesus then it will not be used.  It just wastes time on things that don’t matter.  This is important for me because I will easily waste half a day on facebook or looking at humorous internet comics.  You will continue to see posts from this blog because when I post these articles it will go straight to my facebook as well.  That doesn’t mean that I will be on facebook so I won’t read any comments you write, sorry.  Feel free to email me if you want to say something.  As I said above I certainly appreciate encouragement and constructive criticism.

When He asked me to sell all of my movies, secular music and video games I almost backed out.  I evened reasoned with Him that some of my movies such as End of the Spear were good, godly movies.  He said that I found my identity in what movies I owned and that I was very proud of them.  They were a badge of honor.  He said that I have to have my badge of honor in only Him and nothing else.  As for my other movies, secular music and video games it is a concern of content.    I’ve gotten in a deep habit of feeding myself things that offend Him and allow evil spirits to have access in my life without my knowledge.  If you doubt me then spend time in His presence and truly allow Him to cleanse your spirit.  Then go watch something with anything ungodly in it and see how your inner-man greaves.  You will feel what I felt and you will know for yourself that we must fill ourselves with Him alone.   We don’t notice this, usually, because we are unaware of the condition of our inner-man on a regular basis.  Also, when evil spirits are allowed access we don’t notice it because well, it’s no different than the state of our spirit before we gave those evil spirits access.  To add to this I will also not be watching any TV, movies or videos of any kind for the entirety of the next two years.  Crazy?  Maybe.  But if He has lead you to do something and you obey, it will be worth it beyond what you can imagine, even if you can’t see immediate results.  I promise.

Along with my secular music, which will not return to my life at any point from now until my death, He asked me to abstain from listening to any music which didn’t worship Him during my Nazirite time period.  That includes any hardcore(screamo), rock , hip-hop, techno, or dubstep.  Are these things wrong if their lyrics are godly such as For Today, Lecrae, or Andy Hunter?  Of course not… unless they distract me from spending time resting in His presence and communicating with Him.  I often will turn on some Memphis May Fire to just rock out and ignore everything for a while.  I get deep fulfillment from that and for His purposes during these next two years that’s a problem.  He said I must get my fulfillment from only Him.  I could get into arguments with myself about what technically qualifies but He has been good enough to allow me to feel in my spirit what is acceptable and what is not.

So, any ladies want some of this guy?  Yeah?  That’s a bummer.  Dating is a distraction and this is a time of consecrating myself to Him.  It’s Him and I, alone in the wilderness.  This is symbolically similar to many in the Bible who spent time in the wilderness with no distractions.  It was them and God alone.  It’s not that dating is bad necessarily; it’s just that He has to have all of my attention.  Then, when He feels I have become the man He made me to be then He will guide me in that process from there.

And lastly (at least that I can think of at this time) there’s that shaggy hair.  What’s with that?  Why the fluffy mop, Brent?  This is one of the specifics of Numbers 6 that I will be abiding by.  The purpose of not cutting your hair during a Nazirite vow in those days was to be a public acknowledgement to those in your community that you had taken a Nazirite vow.  Basically, it was public accountability.  If you broke your vow then anyone in your community was qualified to call you out on it and that led to temple cleanliness ceremonies and other Jewish stuff.  But lots of guys have long hair.  How will you stand out as a Nazirite, Brent?  I’m not really concerned with standing out.  I do enough weird stuff as it is… or so I’m told.  I believe God has asked me, or rather given me permission, to grow out my hair as a symbol of my devotion to this vow.  Also, with my hair and beard growing out for two years it will be much more difficult to get a job.  It will definitely close doors in many places.  But, He has told me that while it will close doors in some places it will open doors in others.  I believe He has said that some will ask about it and I will be able to tell them my story and about why I am a Nazirite.  This in itself will open His doors for me and those are the doors I want to walk through.

Ultimately, I know some will think of me as a hypocrite or as someone trying to be holier-than-thou.  I’ve found that no matter what I do there will always be those people.  I think they like to follow me.  If that’s you, go away.  The Bible tells us to strive for holiness.  So if that gets me negative comments behind my back or even to my face, that’s fine.  Because after all is said and done I’m held accountable to only Him.  And so are you.  Please feel free to pray for me if you think about me.  I can’t imagine this is going to be all fun and games so I can certainly use all of the support I can get.  No money though.  Unless God just deeply moves you to do such… then please, be obedient.  I’d hate to rob you of your blessing, of course.

Because of Him,

Brent Hemphill

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