“A life totally committed to God has nothing to fear, nothing to lose, nothing to regret.” – Pandita Ramabai
“Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.” – 1 Kings 8:61
At almost every youth camp I have ever attended, there have been teens who have made a decision to “dedicate” their live to the Lord. This terminology may take on different forms in different circles, but it is basically the idea that they have decided to surrender to God and use their life fully for God’s purposes. It is not always a call into full time service, but is a willingness to go if God calls. As a child of God, I hope you have matured enough in your faith to have come to this place of surrender. You might not have walked the aisle with tears streaming down your face, but it is essential that you allow God to have His will in your life. Be willing to surrender to Him, and dedicate your life to whatever He wants you to do.
As a teen, I can distinctly remember some key times God dealt with my heart about surrender and dedication to Him. Usually, these times were accompanied with fasting and much prayer. To be honest, my physical body doesn’t like to fast. I like food, and I don’t enjoy the uncomfortable feeling that accompanies missing meal after meal. Spiritually, there has never been an exercise that has helped me grow more spiritually! The denial of self in pursuit of God is rich and rewarding. Yet, many Christians go their entire life without fasting once! I want to encourage you in this devotion, if you have never fasted before; you need to (health permitting). Fasting is abstaining from food for a set period of time. There are variation of fasting (only giving up some foods, giving up something other than food, or even going without food and water for a short time), but the truest practice of fasting is no food. You will be amazed to see what God can do in your life spiritually while you fast. If you have never done it before, maybe decide to go one day (24 hours) with no food. When pains of hunger come on you, pray and focus on the goodness of God.
In our text, we have a practice similar to fasting called the Nazarite Vow. There is a lot of confusion surrounding this vow and a lot of misplaced stigmas from it. Basically, a normal Nazarite Vow would be a commitment to go about 30 days following specific and strict rules: no cutting hair, no products with grapes, and no being near dead people were some of the major points. This was voluntarily done by an individual so that they might be completely devoted to God. There are a few rare exceptions where the Nazarite Vow was administered for life, but by in large this was a temporary commitment. The Jew following the Nazarite Vow would do so to “separate themselves unto the LORD” (Num. 6:2).
Today we don’t practice the Nazarite vow, but the principle and practice applies so beautifully to fasting and prayer. Fating, the willful subjugation to temporary discomfort to draw closer to God.
Will you commit to spend some time fasting? If you have never done it before, why not? If it has been some time since you fasted, why not give it another go? Be willing to dedicate your life to the Lord, but be willing to dedicate your days and hours to Him as well. Maybe what you need to refocus and get rededicated is a modern day Nazarite Vow, a time of focused attention on the Holiness of the LORD.
Daily Scripture Reading
Numbers 5 - 6
“All the days of his separation he is holy unto the LORD.”