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January 10, 2014

One year down.  To sound very cliché, and perhaps repetitive, it has gone very quickly and yet very slowly.  I can still say with utmost honesty that some of the things I thought would be difficult to sacrifice have been less of a struggle, while other, less likely opponents, have given me a run for my money.

One of these opponents has been, believe it or not, distraction.  This really caught me off guard because a huge part of this whole thing is about ridding myself of distractions.  I feel really dumb, to be honest.

Yet, even still, I have allowed my attention to flounce from place to place, entertaining itself with whatever it finds.

On December 29, 2013 I moved into my room at Mission 615 in Nashville, Tennessee.  When I arrived, my friend and overseer, Cody, told me that the focus this year was going to be getting closer to Jesus.  He went on and on about how we need to strive above all else to know Him more and be intimate with Him.

My first reaction was that pursuing Jesus should be a given.  “Well, duh,” was one of a few attitudes that came to mind.  That is, until the Spirit revealed my heart to me; I had not truly pursued Jesus in some time.

I talked about Him a lot.  I discussed Him with friends, read about Him, prayed, and even found pride in Him, feeling quite pompous at times, as I am accustomed to doing when I am far from Him.  Which, if you think about it, is not only ironic but should have also been an instant red flag.

I’ve come to discover that I seem to find comfort in the study and discussion of theological mumbo-jumbo.  But it’s in the midst of this that I sometimes find myself forgetting to study Him with my heart as well.

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Again, I pray fairly consistently and feel as though I am living my life with Him, for the most part, but I rarely made time for just the two of us to talk, alone, which grows intimacy and love.  Sometimes, admittedly, I refrained from listening too much because I began to not like some of the things He wanted to tell me.

But, if I don’t make time for Him, apart from my day-to-day, minute-to-minute banter with Him, I begin to decay unknowingly.  I feel ok, but I’m not.  Deception is the weapon of the enemy and he has finely crafted his practice.  He had deceived me to think that as long as I was studying Him and discussing Him that I was growing in Him.

Looking at the prime example of intimacy that God has given us, marriage, we can clearly see that this won’t work.  Not only should we know about Him, we must know Him.  We must make time to be with Him.  We must make time to talk about things and whisper sweet nothings to one another.

I know that sounds somewhat contrary to some ideas I’ve expressed in the past but what I’m learning is that I need both.  I can’t survive with only my closet-time nor can I keep living by only praying throughout my day as things come my way.  I need to have private, intimate time with Him and I need to include Him in the rest of my day.

God is turning my heart back to Him and I’m very excited to see what He will teach me.  I feel like a completely different man than I was a year ago when I started and knowing that I have another year to go makes me curious, to say the very least.  Thank you for your patience with me as my humanity is pressed against the grinding wheel of His divinity.

Because of Him,

Brent Hemphill

P.S.

As an update on my whereabouts, I am now working with Mission 615 in Nashville, Tennessee.  Mission 615 is a ministry to the inner city and homeless people of Nashville.  I am currently working as an intern for two months where I will then be evaluated.  Given that we agree that I should stay with Mission 615, I will then work as either in-house volunteer staff, or I will fill a full-time paid position if the opportunity arises.  I’m currently looking for work so that I can help pay some bills and save for my student loans that are coming due this summer.  Thank you for the prayers and love!

Also, 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.

You can purchase Nazirite DNA here: https://store.ihopkc.org/nazirite-dna-book/dp/2188.

You can also get the free audiobook here: http://www.thecall.com/Groups/1000080325/TheCall/Free/Free.aspx

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