05 July 2015

Independence Day

(by Amy Lien)

Freedom: 1. the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants
2. The state of not being imprisoned or enslaved

The Lord has a way. Since He IS the way He talks about desisting from ones own ways, or speaking your own word or seeking our own pleasure. (verse 13) Doesn't that sound different than the definition above?

Isaiah 58  (NASB)

Observances of Fasts

58 “Cry loudly, do not hold back;
Raise your voice like a trumpet,
And declare to My people their transgression
And to the house of Jacob their sins.
“Yet they seek Me day by day and delight to know My ways,
As a nation that has done righteousness
And has not forsaken the ordinance of their God.
They ask Me for just decisions,
They delight in the nearness of God.
‘Why have we fasted and You do not see?
Why have we humbled ourselves and You do not notice?’
Behold, on the day of your fast you find your desire,
And drive hard all your workers.
“Behold, you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist.
You do not fast like you do today to make your voice heard on high.
“Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it for bowing one’s head like a reed
And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed?
Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the Lord?
“Is this not the fast which I choose,
To loosen the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the bands of the yoke,
And to let the oppressed go free
And break every yoke?
“Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry
And bring the homeless poor into the house;
When you see the naked, to cover him;
And not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
“Then your light will break out like the dawn,
And your recovery will speedily spring forth;
And your righteousness will go before you;
The glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
“Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you remove the yoke from your midst,
The pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness,
10 And if you give yourself to the hungry
And satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
Then your light will rise in darkness
And your gloom will become like midday.
11 “And the Lord will continually guide you,
And satisfy your desire in scorched places,
And give strength to your bones;
And you will be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.
12 “Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins;
You will raise up the age-old foundations;
And you will be called the repairer of the breach,
The restorer of the streets in which to dwell.

Keeping the Sabbath

13 “If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot
From doing your own pleasure on My holy day,
And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable,
And honor it, desisting from your own ways,
From seeking your own pleasure
And speaking your own word,
14 Then you will take delight in the Lord,
And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Celebrating the 4th of July here in Scotland made me think upon what freedom actually looks like. We were given a pretty amazing day going to Stirling Castle with Graeme Watt. Graeme is Stuart's best friend. I had no idea what the day would hold and as it unfolded I feel like we were all given unexpected gifts along the way. At the castle we all got separated and Graeme and myself walked along the castle wall and we looked out upon the William Wallace Memorial. It struck me how many people died and bled in the spot I looked upon. And for what? What is our hearts cry? Why do we desire freedom so much?
 Since being here in Scotland I have felt pretty open to whatever/whomever/however the Lord will unfold. I literally feel agenda free. Free from forming anything or creating anything or giving anything or taking anything. He has given us a freedom to do what is right. To proclaim freedom to the Captives (Isaiah 61) and exchanging things with what already IS. As we abide He IS these things for us all. The whole body is tended to and fed.

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