As I think about what the 4th day of July means to most Americans I am reminded of what the founding fathers may have been thinking about when they penned this.
Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is what I think about. Fair representation and proper taxation, being a subject of a tyrannical leader and his son, forcing brothers to fight with brother and friend against friend are just a few of the things that our forefathers wanted to get out from under when they were writing this.
While this was a noble undertaking, and there is much discussion as to whether this is what a Christian should do, this is what formed the foundation of our nation and sets the freedom in motion that we enjoy today as Americans.
There was a cost to this freedom. Many lives were lost, many families split forever and the battle for American freedom still rages today, but with a different look. We are taxing ourselves to the max, we are sending our own sons, and now daughters, to fight for those freedoms, our government may be as corrupt as the one our forefathers fled from, but now we can decide who we will fight with and who and how we will pay for it.
But what about the true freedom that we have today and what of the dependence we have as Christians? We were once slaves to sin with the master tyrant, Satan, whose sole aim was to inflict pain and abuse onto his subjects. We could not get out of sin’s hold on us without a Deliverer. We could not do anything we wanted to do in this state except what the tyrant master called us to do, we were powerless. We were slaves.
Unlike the prince our forefathers were under, The King of King’s Son is the Prince of Life. The Father would devise a plan to bring us, who were once His enemies and slaves to sin, back into perfect fellowship with Him. But how would He do that; how could He pay the price for our redemption and yet still be just and righteous; only by giving His perfect Son to be our payment. What a cost for our freedom!!
So on the day when we celebrate our national independence I can’t help but think of my spiritual dependence. I am so dependent on Him for all that I am and have. I can only love Him because He first loved me. I can only love others because He permits me to love. I can only forgive because He first forgave me and showed me what that might look like. He who was perfect gave His life for the sinful. I can’t imagine being independent of His strength and sovereignty. I need Him for every breath I take and each heart beat that beats in me. He is my all in all and He holds all things together. I want to celebrate this 4th day of July by giving my Declaration of Dependence to the Son and the Father Who sent Him. I have no boast but Him. I exist for His glory only. May I remember the cost of this freedom from sin and to Whom I am dependent. May I be quick to tell others of His kindness and grace toward me. May I live in such a way that others are compelled to ask me of the Hope that is in me. I fall so short of this calling and yet He gives grace and continued opportunity.
God has blessed America and yet that blessing pales in comparison to how He has blessed His children. May I be truly thankful of this blessing today and everyday.