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January 13, 2013

Oh, where to start?  I am often being asked the question, “So how’s your Nazirite thing going?”  And my response has been that it’s difficult at times but it’s actually not been as bad as I thought that it would be.

First, it can be difficult when I’m in the presence of those eating foods that I really want to eat or when I know they are going to see a movie or watch a TV show that I want to be apart of.  I figured that would be the case and I’ve not been disappointed.  Please don’t adjust your behavior around me though.  That’s annoying and defeats the purpose of fasting.  It’s my vow that I agreed to undertake and I certainly don’t expect anyone else to have to suffer for it.  Also, I sometimes have a deep itch to turn on UnderØath or some other hardcore band, crank it up way too loud and just rock out.

But honestly?  I’ve been really caught off-guard by how much I don’t miss the things I’ve burned on the altar.  I desire them on occasion.  But I’m fine.  I thought I was going to be miserable without listening to hardcore music, eating meat or watching movies among the other things I’ve given up.  But what I’m finding is that His presence is truly the only thing that can sustain me.  It has been a gradual shift and I’m certainly not anywhere near where I want to be, but shift is happening.  My desires of the things of this world are waning more and more every day.  Those things that I wrestled with God for over and over are barely in my peripheral now.  Without those things distracting me from Him, I feel like I’m constantly in His presence.  Instead of having designated “Jesus-times” I am in worship of Him always.  When I drive my car I’m listening to worship music instead of something that just entertains me.  Instead of watching pointless media on my computer I’m getting homework done and reading things that bring me closer to Him.  I really don’t even know how to explain it.  It’s just incredible the way God is transforming my heart and bringing me back into His embrace again and again.  And it’s not even that I’m on some spiritual high all the time, though that certainly does happen.  It’s just so good to be reminded of His love for me on a constant basis in different ways.

Maybe I sound silly or childish to you, like I’m out of touch with real, dirty life.  But on the contrary, if that is in fact your thoughts, then you are the one who is blind.  You suffer in this world’s troubles, filling yourself with empty pleasures to mask the void inside while completely missing what life is really intended for.  If you’re not His, then what are you living for?  What’s the purpose?  For your own personal gain?  What will you do when that leaves you empty and crippled?  For you I will pray that your eyes will be opened and that you will come to know what His fire feels like.  What it means to be gripped with an intense desire of knowing Him.  When you’re entire world falls down around you and He holds you tight and says, “I know it hurts son, but I’ve got you now and I promise you’ll be alright because I love you so much and I’ll never let you go.  I have a plan and if you’ll trust me I promise you won’t be disappointed in the end.”  I can feel His intense love even now as I’m writing this.  If you can’t relate with me that’s ok!  Because He loves you too!  I don’t care who you are that’s reading this; He loves you and cares about you far beyond anything you can imagine.  We are both very dirty, very broken people that truly deserve the full extent of God’s wrath.  But He cared enough to suffer the agonies of hell for us.  And at the end of it, He looked us up and down and said, “Sincerely, it was worth it.”  That’s what Mattie Montgomery, leader singer of For Today, said when he told of the vision he had experienced of being swept up into the Heavenlies and walking with Jesus.  It was worth it?!  Oh, how can we walk away from that?  I know I’m well off the path of talking about my Nazirite vow but this is so much more important!  Forget about me, what about Him?  How long will we continue to pacify our pains and emptiness with mind-numbing entertainment?  We are meant to enjoy things, please don’t misunderstand me.  But do you even pay attention to what you fill your mind with or more importantly your spirit?  Sure there are plenty of legitimate pleasures we are created to enjoy like food, music, sex, and so on but what about when you let those legitimate pleasures slowly sweep you away from the ultimate pleasure of knowing Him?  If you were anywhere close to where I was, in the depth of sin and distraction that I lived in, then be comforted.  Because just like He has taken me from the deepest, most disgusting pits and brought me to sit at His table He will pick you up, dust you off and share His heart with you.  Simply surrender.  Decide right now that the things you hold near and dear aren’t worth missing Him for.  He told me once when I was wrestling with Him about some things I wanted to hold on to, “Brent, you can hold on to that thing you desire if you really want to but I am going to throw it overboard and if you’re holding on to it… you’ll go over with it.”

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to email me at watertrotter@hotmail.com.  I won’t debate with you if that’s what you’re looking for but I would love to clarify if you don’t understand something or just listen if you need to talk.

Because of Him,

Brent Hemphill

P.S.

If you’re just now joining my journey then please know that I will not be on facebook during my time of consecration so any messages or requests you may have sent will not be responded to for quite some time.  It’s not personal, it’s Jesus.

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