Numbers chapter 6 talks about a Nazarite vow. This is a vow in which a person separates themselves to God by separating themselves from certain things like: drinking wine or strong drink, having their hair cut, and being near a dead body…even if it’s a family member.
A Nazarite vow?! Who would do that, and what’s that got to do with me?
Not only is the ritual of a Nazarite vow foreign to us, the concept of a Nazarite vow is antithetical to the culture in which we live.
The idea of devotion through denial is not appealing to us. We are much more familiar with devotion through indulgence. Even in the Christian life, it’s so easy to assume that being devoted to Christ is about getting all of His goodness and resources we can get.
We have lost the idea that being devoted to Christ also involves denying ourselves…whether that denial is related to the pleasures of life we think we need, or the rights of life we think we deserve.
Even as I type this, my flesh cries out in opposition to denying myself pleasures or rights. But maybe that resistance itself highlights the importance of self-denial.
You can only be devoted to one thing at a time. (Matthew 6:24) At times, devotion to Christ requires denial of self, just as Jesus’ devotion to His Father required His own denial of self. (Matt. 4:1-11) (Phil. 2:6-8)
Perhaps we all need our own little Nazarite vow once in a while. Where is it you need to practice self-denial to better follow Christ?