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May 2, 2013

This past week marks the conclusion of month #4 and the beginning of month #5.  Part of me feels like it’s hard to believe I’m already four months in and the other part of me says, “Only four? Oh boy…”

We can be honest with one another, right?  Good.  As I look back on this past month or two I can see that my perspective moved from viewing Him with awe to viewing Him with frustration.  Let me explain.

This semester has been especially lonely since most of the people who have made up my college family for the past three and a half years were suddenly gone on their internships.  I saw this as an opportunity to grow closer to God and during the first two months or so it was wonderful.  Just God and I, everyday, together and so close.

But somewhere along the way I began to feel this void.  I would come home at night and there would be a gap that just wasn’t getting filled anymore.  I would spend time with friends as well as I began to make some new friends through different opportunities that I took advantage of.  I was around a community of people often enough.  But still, when I wasn’t with them I was empty.

What God came to reveal to me was that I had let my focus shift from Him to myself again.  I allowed other things to crowd in and distract me from Him.  I became lazy and didn’t spend time with Him like I was used to doing.  It was easier to read something for entertainment to pass the time rather than spend that time in prayer and scripture, resting in His arms as I had done in the past.  I had become self-reliant and depended on other shallow fillers that I found pleasure in.

As I said in my previous posts there is nothing wrong with enjoying some things for pleasure.  The problem is when they overrun their borders in your life and start to take over.  Anything that takes time and attention away from Him is idolatry, plain and simple.

It becomes increasingly clear to me that as we go deeper in Him the gap between His desires and our desires grows wider and wider.  It becomes very difficult to straddle that fence and pursue both.

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I don’t believe we have to live like the Amish and completely abandon the culture we live in.  We must learn how to live in our culture but do it in a godly way with Him dwelling in us as one and to do this not as a catchy slogan but as a lifestyle.  God is using this season to develop my heart and cause it to coalesce with His heart outside of this culture.  Then when I finish I will be far more prepared to live my life, as one with my Father, in this world rather than of it.  I am being trained in the safety of His barracks before I am sent out.

This means that I have to set my eyes back on Him, fixed and firm, and not lose focus.  As a twenty-two year old man I am easily distracted by the ambitions, pleasures, and comforts of this life.  But as a Nazirite, committed to the heart of God, I cannot let myself to those things.  As Lou Engle so truthfully puts it, “Others can, but I cannot.”

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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