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Committed Sustained Informed - Intercession
A New Season
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"A New Season"

"Identity" (Relational Truth: part 3)

          The eleventh chapter of The Book of the Prophet Hosea begins with these words: "Thus says the LORD: When Israel was a child I loved him, out of Egypt I called my son" (Hos. 11:1). Again, one notes the presence of the first three foundational elements in the formation of a contemplative intercessor that were mentioned in the previous teaching: "I loved him" (love); "my son" (relationship); and "a child" (identity). The Father "calls" me out of "Egypt"--the place that is associated biblically with slavery and captivity. The Father calls me out of the 'Egyptian fleshpots' of a false identity--the slavery to worldly attitudes, values and fears-- and "calls" me into the truth of my identity as child and as son or daughter: "I have called you by name: you are mine" (Is. 43:1). In John 8:32 Jesus states, "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." In calling me into my true identity, the Father calls me into freedom.

          In the gospel story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:1-32), a wayward son is reunited with his father and in being so, he is restored to the truth of his relationship with his father and even "reclaimed" by his father: "This son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found" (Luke 15:24). The son's previous choices were made based upon his own false sense of identity and, hence, were based upon an erroneous understanding of freedom which resulted in his becoming "lost" and spiritually "dead": "He squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation" (Luke 15:13).  Being 'found' and 'coming to life again' are associated with the grace of the son's return ("coming to his senses"--[verse 17]; "so he got up and went back to the father"--[verse 20]), his being embraced and kissed by his father and reset in relational truth to the father: "This son of mine" (verse 24). Only a son can truly "be at home"--not a slave:

"So, you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God" (Gal.4:7). 

           The Father calls forth my true identity. It is up to me to respond. When I do respond my true identity can come forth:

"When Israel came forth from Egypt, the house of Jacob from an alien people, Judah became God's holy place, Israel God's domain" (Psalm 114:1-2).

The word, alien, can mean 'foreign; outsider'. Not only is a false identity 'foreign' to the truth of my being son or daughter of the Father, but a false identity also imprisons me as an 'outsider'--one who lives outside of a personal, loving relationship with the Father. Again, towards the beginning of the story of the prodigal son we are told that the son "set off to a distant country" (Luke 15:13) - "distant" meaning, 'separate, far removed, or far apart in relationship'. Rather, each of us has been re-created to live now 'inside' the Father's embrace, 'at home' in an intense relational intimacy with the Father!

Questions:

1)   How do I experience my freedom as a true son or daughter of the Father?

2)   Can I recall my own personal journey back to the Father?

Scriptures:

Any scripture from the text; Psalm 103:13; 2Cr.6:18; Gal. 5:1

"TWO-ZERO-ONE-EIGHT, TIME TO EXPIATE"

PLEASE VISIT "THIS WEEK'S BURNING ISSUES" ON THE "EVENTS" PAGE

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