From the very first time I heard Jeremy Camp’s song Slow Fade, I knew it was one hundred percent true. At the same time, in the back of my mind, deep down, I also thought, “That will never happen to me; I am too aware, too present.” As cliché as it sounds, I couldn’t have been more wrong. The song’s chorus goes like this:
It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
People never crumble in a day
It’s a slow fade
Seek counsel. As I continue to awaken, I have been encouraged and challenged by the counsel of others. Likewise, through seeking counsel, my denial has been confronted which has helped open my eyes to self-deception and the deception from the enemy.
Worship. As I return from fading, the Holy Spirit prompts me to worship. I am not only talking about outward expressions of worship such as singing, dancing, taking a nature walk, although valid and important, I am talking about the inner worship of praise. The inner worship of lingering over my Savior’s sacrifice, of sitting silently before God, of crying out in desperate need of Him—of waiting on Him. The Holy Spirit has brought me to worship many times during this awakening period.
Take thoughts captive. Ultimately I am a spirit being, but my thinking, my emotions and my will (something I call the “mind”) often get in my way of living out my spiritual identity. The Holy Spirit has reminded me over and over to take my thoughts captive. Additionally, the Holy Spirit has encouraged me to take it a step further and ask for Godly thoughts, Godly desires, and a Godly will. This has been the most exhausting part of my journey thus far. At times the incessant acknowledgment of a thought, the prayer for God to transform it, the replacement of it with truth, has worn me out.
Grace and Mercy. As my brothers have been faithful to point out over and over again, I cannot forget God’s grace and his mercy. If you ever find yourself on a return trip from growing dim and fading, don’t forget God’s grace and mercy.
Admonish and Love the Church. In retrospect, a part of my slow fade was judging the church, but not loving the church. Despite the fact that I am hyper-aware about the Church’s response to issues of sexuality and gender, and its minimization of more pervasive issues like gossip and obesity, the Holy Spirit calls me to love and admonish the church—both universally and locally. I am called to disarm and love. I have learned it is of utmost importance that I refuse to let my judgments of the church or its responses to hot-button moral issues get in my way of loving and worshipping Jesus.
Boundaries. Sometimes you have to walk away from something that has aided in your falling asleep. I know for me, I had to. The hardest part was getting past the denial that something was hurting me as much as it was.
Give. In Henri Nouwen’s book Life of the Beloved, he writes about how our lives as Christians parallel the taking of bread, the blessing of bread, the breaking of bread and the giving of bread. He writes: “As a Christian, I am called to become bread for the world: bread that is taken, blessed, broken and given.” I believe an aspect of what he is referring to is what my faith tradition calls “sharing your testimony.” Thus, I give, albeit feebly, a recent testimony of fading and my awakening.
I pray God uses something in this for your benefit. I pray that you, dear reader, might ask the question: Am I fading? If you are fading, I encourage you to arise from your slumber and seek Jehovah God. If you are wide awake and seeking Jehovah God, I encourage you to be vigilant and keep alert.