freedom stories – Dublin

tozer quote

When real Freedom Comes.

I’m learning to walk in a freedom that the Bible talks about endlessly. I only really discovered this particular freedom myself several years ago. It took me a while to learn how to walk in it and I’ve a long way to go. What is this freedom that I’m talking about? I’m going to call it “Kingdom Freedom”. In the Lords Prayer there’s a mention of “God’s Kingdom coming and His will being carried out on earth just as it is in Heaven”. Can you picture that? Heaven on earth – now that’s freedom right there. Several years ago I began to grasp this reality and ever since I’ve tried to apply pulling the kingdom of heaven down on earth just as the Lord’s prayer mentions. When we live in this mindset a freedom is released to ourselves and others while ALL glory is given to God.

AW Tozer wrote “Let a man set his heart only on doing the will of God and he is instantly free.

There are many times when we set our hearts on doing something for someone else that in principal is a thoughtful idea and seems good to do but it may not necessarily be the will of God. We can know if it’s the will of God by testing our motive! When we set our hearts to do something for someone else do we want others to know we’re doing it and enjoy the praise we get for doing it? If this is the case this unfortunately isn’t the will of God because is doesn’t give him an ounce of glory and it doesn’t enable pulling the kingdom of heaven down on earth. It is in fact “good works based Christianity” and leaves no room for God to truly work. When we take on an act of love we should always check our motives. Is it God’s will? Will it glorify him? Will it impact the receivers life? Does it unleash heaven on earth? Unfortunately many times we can have the best of intentions to bless, give or walk with a kingdom mindset but the enemy will always come along and try to stop heaven coming to earth and he will do anything in his power to stop God from receiving glory.

Allow me to give you an example of this.

Matthew chapter 6 verse 3

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 

I recently came across a man that was to have a minor medical procedure. This man loves to help others – He spends many weekends serving in his local church, giving to those who haven’t much and reaching the poor and needy. This man also works extremely hard to earn his keep. He cannot claim social welfare when he goes to have this procedure because he is self employed. So God put it on some hearts to anonymously bless this man. God made it clear it would need to be done in secret because this man would find it hard to be blessed if he knew who was blessing him. In other words this man needed God to bless him and not man! A typed envelope and a bankers draft so that the man couldn’t work out who it could be from became the vision. The idea was put to 3 groups of people that knew and loved this man. The response was very disheartening. You see the first group of people couldn’t apply the verse above. They had a need for praise. They felt if they gave in the secret they wouldn’t get any praise. So they came up with their own plan instead. They decided to present him openly with a donation. The man was overwhelmed and felt indebted to them. The second group of people was the church in which this man has faithfully served in for years. When the idea was put to the pastor the pastor interpreted the vision and idea as a financial request and burden for the church. A long explanation about all the unemployed this church provides for was given. Again this group missed the point and decided they would present this man with a small donation but the man would need to join them on a walk in order for this donation to be made. They too wanted to see his reaction and take the praise away from God.

The third group of people were used to practicing walking in Kingdom freedom. They grasped the concept and understood the impact. They had spent many times randomly and anonymously blessing others. Honouring, blessing, providing and reaching others in the secret brought glory to God and allowed the kingdom of heaven to touch the receivers life so much more than a public and open act such as the ones that took place above. A public and open act rarely brings glory to God but will always give man short lived praise. Sadly there is no real freedom in this. Real freedom comes when motives are right. Real freedom comes when God is glorified. Real freedom comes when heaven gets pulled down onto earth. Real freedom comes when it’s done in the secret place.

Anonymous, Dublin

citizenship anniversary – 1 year!

September 6th rolled around and I felt a new sense of freedom, a lightness to my step. My immigration was up for renewal but for the first time I was going to ignore it and just not go into the GNIB to request another year in Ireland. It was surreal to drive through the city with the knowledge that I would never have to again!

I will remember the week that bears scars that are more like character now. If there was one week that I would have preferred to leave Ireland and never come back, it was the first week of July last year. But in the very middle of it I was given a very clear indication that it was not time to leave.

I received citizenship!

It’s time to remember what that day meant. (Originally posted on my previous blog on 4 July, 2013)

I have lived in Europe a combined total of nine and a half years since I was 19. For the last five of them I have been looking over my shoulder wondering if Ireland would let me stay another year. They kept saying that they would kick me out. We are only legally allowed to stay three years on a “missionary/volunteer visa”. The regulations around that have changed so many times that immigration workers don’t even know what that is half the time and nearly turn our volunteers away at the airport when they arrive. Meanwhile, I knew that this is where I belonged. One of the mams in the community, who is also a friend, gave me an Ireland necklace one year and said it was so I wouldn’t forget where I come from. I don’t have a drop of Irish blood in me.

Today I stood in a long queue with over 1000 other people from over 110 nationalities. We were all waiting to be let through the doors to receive citizenship in Ireland. I didn’t even have to take a test to see if I would pass. In the Conference Centre we were welcomed into Ireland after we pledged loyalty and fidelity to the country and it’s laws. They told us that they welcomed the diversity that we brought. They told us that Ireland’s history is now our history. They told us that we now have the same rights as any Irish person born here. They told us to get our passports and travel as Irish citizens.

Canada is a great country to come from. If you want to pick a country that will care for its citizens, Canada is it. It has been so good to me. Other people that stood with me today don’t come from a country like Canada. They come from war torn countries where they won’t find a future. For them, Ireland is a place of refuge. For me, it is a place where I know I belong.

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household … ~ Ephesians 2:19

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ … ~ Philippians 3:20

Created in the Image of God, my soul cries out, “don’t forget where you come from”. I wasn’t born a citizen of heaven. I haven’t a drop of perfect or holy blood in me. I haven’t come from a home or environment that was bad. I’m sure I could have made it just fine in the world without being a citizen of heaven. But I know that it is where I belong. When I experience life the way that God intended it to be with him as King and Lord I know that citizenship is important. All I needed to do was pledge loyalty and fidelity to the Kingdom of Heaven and its laws. In return, I am given a new history marked with forgiveness and grace. I have the same rights as Jesus has (The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ … ~ Romans 8:16-17). I can travel in the name of Jesus Christ. God is my protector and my refuge no matter where I go. This citizenship is more than I could have ever imagined! The benefits are out of this world! I didn’t even have to take a test first.

I have learned so much through the citizenship process and am a little overwhelmed. Becoming a citizen of Ireland was meaningful but what it taught me about what it means to be a citizen of heaven is so much more than I can begin to describe. I never even dreamed that I would see the day or feel the weight lift off because I was an Irish citizen. I don’t just feel like I should belong here – those who have the authority in the country have now declared me a daughter of Ireland and co-creator of her future. Wow!

If it is possible, I love Ireland more than I ever have before and am looking forward to actively participating in her future!

Kilmainham Gaol in June (37)