THIS PICTURE IS worth a thousand words. To me, at least. No one knows what this photo means to me. Embedded within this moment are countless words that stretch back years, words unspoken as I toiled in obscurity. Obscurity is good when the heart is in a place of joyful surrender. However when such surrender is absent, hell on earth rages within the heart of the man (or woman).
I was such a man.
On November 7, 2014 I wrapped up an extended fast that changed everything. Why? Because in the midst of the doldrums of an extended fast, my heart encountered the Holy One of Israel. One day as my strength waned due to the fast, I mustered the necessary determination to cry out to God as I hit rock bottom. Instead of experiencing the thick presence of His glory, I was fuming with anger as to where I was in life. In just a few weeks I was due to turn forty. As I stared at that despised milestone, it represented everything that I was not. It accentuated the reality of who I had not become; and what I had not attained in life.
Instead fury raged on within my heart.
I was nowhere near where I thought I’d be when I turned forty. As my fist pounded the tiled floor of my office, vile thoughts flooded my mind: “I’d be better off dead than simply wasting away in my bane existence.” Self-hatred spewed within. Darkness descended upon me as suicidal thoughts swirled maliciously within my fragile mind. I could taste blood.
The pointed thoughts shook me.
Thankfully I recognized the author of that insidious voice—as I took authority over the diabolical induced thoughts, I also began to cry out fervently to the Lord for His touch. I could not continue as is. In my weakness, I cried out to the Father for His strength to overcome. I had to have breakthrough in my life. Holy desperation welled up from deep within as I cried out to the Lord.
In that moment I surrendered. I could not do life as is anymore. I could not continue on the path that I’d been for the previous five years. I needed Him to consume me like never before. And I needed to surrender my need to be heard (significant) and seen (successful).
It became the day I refer reverentially as the day that Brian Francis Hume died. Everything changed that day. Everything.
As my fast ended, the Lord spoke clearly to me on what I was to do. He was calling me to simple obedience. It was an opportunity to learn joyful surrender.
He instructed me to hand off my Christian publishing house, Burning Lamp Media & Publishing to Jon and Jolene Hamill; and to lay down my leadership consultant work which I had done since ’06 after earning a M.A. in Organizational Leadership. Then He gave me three things to focus on: intercession; prophetic ministry; and writing. I was not to pursue any open doors to minister until He opened the door.
On Facebook that day, I posted:
I was honored to share a message titled Changing of the Garb at Northern Virginia House of Prayer (NovaHOP). It is a word that’s pertinent in this hour as we prepare for what the Lord is about to do. After sharing this word today, I have two more invites to preach this message elsewhere. Praise God. It is burning in my heart. A significant work of His Spirit is underway in the lives of many. Prepare your heart!
The dominoes started to fall after that day. And here I am three years later walking in the fullness of His purpose for my life. One thing became evident to me after the day that Brian Francis Hume died, which was a defining moment in my life. For a whole year in obscurity I truly delighted in the Lord first and foremost as a son. It was no longer the need for success or significance that drove me to be seen or heard. Instead, I found my greatest joy in the secret place as a son of the Lord. I learned the secret of sonship: the deepest longings of the human heart is fulfilled through the Cross as we revel in the Father’s delight in us as sons and daughters. As a son in the Lord, the Father delighted in me just as I was even though I had based my identity previously on how successful or significant I was in my vocational pursuit. For forty years I had never experienced this firsthand in the Lord. I could have spouted off this truth from the Scriptures (head knowledge), but it was not a reality in my own life (heart knowledge).
It is time for your defining moment as you embrace the truth of Galatians 2:20: I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.