Shaving My Head
In 2002 I was a junior in high school and 16 years old reading through the Bible for the first time. I felt God challenging me into a deeper relationship with Him when I read the words of Numbers 6 that spoke about a vow of great sacrifice unto the Lord. Following the Nazarite Vow was a constant daily reminder of my complete submission to the Lord.
So, what is this Nazarite Vow?
Numbers 6 lays out the guidelines for the Nazarite Vow. The word Nazarite comes from “nawzeer”, the Hebrew word for separation. This separation has two parts: to separate from the things of this world, and to separate oneself unto God. In Romans, Paul references a separation unto God, or consecration.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers,by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
When Paul says this is our reasonable service he is saying it makes good sense. God has redeemed us not that we might now live to please ourselves, but that we might live to please Him. Fasting is something that we should all think about doing. For a week, for a month, or for life.
Regulations for the Nazarite Vow
Diet: No wine or strong drink. No grapes, or any product of grapes.
Appearance: Do not cut hair until the vow has ended. At the end of the vow, the hair must be shaved.
Purity: Do not touch a dead body. Throughout the Old Testament this law existed as a reminder that death is the effect of sin. We want to always maintain purity, separating ourselves from sin.
Ending the Vow: The Nazarite Vow was not something to be entered into lightly. The vow ended with a public ceremony and extensive sacrifice was brought by the person ending the vow. Even in a time of a fast or vow of holiness, even the best of people sin. However, we do not need to bring burnt offerings, and all the other offerings because Jesus Christ made the atoning sacrifice for all.
To take the vow of the Nazarite was a complete dedication, and was a commitment to fully and totally consecrate his life to God.
The Time Has Come
I took the vow 11 years ago now and the vow has come to an end. I did not make the vow with an end date in mind, but heard God telling me that the vow would end with the conclusion of my formal education, and as I grew to understand, that also meant my education in preparation for Lebanon. God allowing us to raise the funds for Lebanon is my sign and blessing from God to end the vow, knowing that I will continue to live a life consecrated solely to God.
What Did I Learn?
- My flesh truly does desire the joys and conveniences of this world.
- In evangelical outreach it would have been far easier to share an alcoholic beverage with non-Christian friends or to have short hair to avoid preconceived notions. But I learned that God does not rely on appearances or methods but only on the will of His Spirit to reach the lost.
- What surprised me the most was that, no matter what I looked like, I was able to preach the gospel across denominations, nationalities, and continents.
It has only been a couple weeks since I truly began to process the conclusion of my vow. It has been part of who I am for so long, that it is easy to misunderstand this step in my life as losing a piece of who I am. Also, I am dreading the wild inconvenience of explaining it to every person I run across, forgetting that it will give me many more opportunities to share the gospel as everyone asks questions. I pray that our lives could be continuously focused on giving God all of the glory and praise. Let this be our prayer:
Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.