Just over a month ago, Memorial Day acknowledged the contributions of individuals who have fought for or are fighting to preserve 0ur freedoms here in the United States. Fourth of July is a celebration of our independence as a nation. It is a reminder of the freedoms that were established at the onset of our country.
The definition of independence, according to one dictionary, is freedom from control, influence, support, aid, or the likes of others. In some ways, it feels like we have become rather dependent on other nations – politically, industrially, economically, and socially. Freedom is defined as exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc. Listening to what is happening around us it would seem our freedom is being threatened.
To remain free as a nation requires being united as “We the People”, both for and against things that could threaten our Constitution and Bill of Rights. United means standing together, upholding truth, banning cruelty, upholding justice, and caring for one another with respect and honor.
Adolph Hitler’s reign is a classic historical example of what transpires when fear and denial yield to brutality. A united goal and effort to gain freedom from the control of one man would have changed history. National destruction and crushed lives were the results of hate, misuse of power, and self-aggrandizement. Accomplishing the greater good for all happens when united we stand. Divided we fall is the outcome of looking out for self above all others.
We gave up a life of independence for interdependence as followers of Christ. We are dependent on him for our salvation allowing for personal freedom from sin. The Bible reminds us that we need relationships - first with God and then with people. So, we are to interact and count on one another and work together in the Body of Christ. Our declaration of rights is based on the law of love as found throughout scripture. Because of who He is, we need Him to comply with what He says is loving. Looking at His name throughout the Bible, in Hebrew and Greek, we find He supplies our needs through His character as we call upon Him. For example:
· He is Elohim - supreme God, strong One, creator who makes all things from the universe down to the new in our lives as believers, and He and rule sovereignly. (Genesis 14:20; 2 Corinthians 5:17)
· He is El Roi – the God who is all seeing, Who sees me in the good and in the bad times He is ever watching us. (Genesis 16:3; Matthew 6:3-4)
· He is Jehovah Jireh – provider of all things whether it is a job, food, clothing, strength, friends, or more. (Genesis 22:14; Philippians 4:19)
· Jehovah Rapha – He is the Lord that heals from the Old Testament into the New Testament through Jesus. (Exodus 15:26; Luke 6:17-19)
God gives people to walk alongside us, and He wants us to depend on Him to guide us in those relationships. According to Ephesians 3:20-21, He is able to do much much more than we could ever ask or hope for. As we lean upon and trust in Him He faithfully helps us through all kinds of situations. And what are our freedoms?
We are free from sin and it’s guilt, legalism, and power. We have freedom to enjoy God (3 in 1), know Him, belong to Him, and own Him as our Lord and King. We have been given freedom with others to serve, give attention to needs, and commune. And because of His love given freely to us, we can freely love others out of this gift. For believers in Christ freedom is eternal.
While focused on independence remember the freedoms you richly enjoy first as a believer in Christ and then as one who dwells in this nation.
Galatians 5:13 (AMP)
For you, my brothers, were called to freedom; only do not let your freedom become an opportunity for the sinful nature (worldliness, selfishness), but through love serve and seek the best for one another.
by Joy Pedersen