Sunday, December 13, 2009

a radical consecration; a holy desperation

Desperate. What does it mean to be desperate? Desperate can be defined as having an urgent need or desire, or “making a final, ultimate effort; giving all.” It can even mean “reckless or dangerous because of despair or urgency.” But what does that really mean? More specifically, what does it mean to be desperate for the Lord? It’s common phraseology in Christian circles—it’s even worked its way into our popular worship songs. “Breathe,” which for years was (and still is) very popular, sings “And I, I’m desperate for You…” But again, I ask: What does this mean?

I’ve been so busy this semester I’ve had little time to ponder or contemplate questions like this, and so many remain unanswered in my mind—in my heart. But I want to know what it means to be really, truly, thirstily desperate to know and love and see and experience my Lord. Sometimes it feels as though if I could just get a grasp on what it really means to be desperate to know Him—intimately, as a Lover—then maybe, just maybe I could shoot for that goal and have some hope of attaining it.

I love my Lord. I’m sure of that. But do I LOVE Him? Am I truly at a place where I willingly surrender each moment of every day to His direction, to His keeping? Do I truly, really trust that He has my best interests at heart? Is there anything within me, any traitorous thought that keeps me from trusting Him implicitly the way I long to? Sure, I’ve surrendered my life and my hopes and my heart and my dreams to Him. Sure, I submit them to His will. But I’m just as quick to take them back and hold on tight, foolishly thinking that somehow, maybe I can make things come to pass in a better way than He can. Silly me! Being in that broken place of complete surrender, of total submission is such a beautiful, marvelous thing—but I’m so quick to step out of it! It’s painful and hard and challenging and tough and I just don’t want to stay there, even though I do! If you’ve ever been there, you know exactly what I mean!

Consecrate. To declare or to set apart as holy. Holy. To be holy is to be set apart or devoted to the Lord’s purposes. The International House of Prayer (which has recently been experiencing an incredible move of the Holy Spirit!) places a good deal of emphasis on the vow of the Nazirite—a serious vow of consecration and holiness to the Lord, marked by the shaving of the head and the abstention from all things produced from grapes and avoidance of being around the dead—desiring to raise up men and women whose hearts are fully devoted to the Lord and His purposes. I have never had an inclination to take a Nazirite vow, but the root word of Nazirite is “naw-zar,” which means “to hold aloof, to abstain, to set apart (to sacred purposes), to devote: -consecrate, separate.”

Those of you who knew me back in the Xanga and Myspace days may remember that my username for both was “consecratedworship.” Consecration is a huge, abiding theme in my life; it is written into my life mission statement and is one of three words that made it into the condensed version of my life mission statement [[love.revolution.consecration]]. The Lord called me nearly three months ago into a season of intense consecration to Him, and the time since has been rather excruciatingly painful on the inside because so much uprooting and dross-skimming has been going on. That combined with the workload of my classes made for a very interesting semester I’m ever-so-glad I don’t have to repeat (basically the worst semester of my life), and I am moving now into a place I’ve never been. A place of greater purity, of greater holiness, of greater consecration to Him. He has marked me and set me apart for His purposes, and though I don’t by any means know the full extent of what they are, I do know that they will be beautiful, and that lives will be changed. Hallelujah!