Independence Day is just days away for the people of our country. We celebrate the 4th of July as the day our nation officially became a free land, governing ourselves with independent sovereignty. The Boston Tea Party, The Declaration of Independence, “the shot heard round the world” at Concord, and the whole Revolutionary War were all outward expressions of a shared determination to make our own choices for ourselves and no longer be ruled by a tyrant king. “Give me liberty, or give me death!,” as Patrick Henry so powerfully stated the sentiment.
We started out so strong and proud and noble. Look at us now – still strong and great in some very significant ways, but in many ways not living out the American Dream as envisioned by our forefathers (or so I would strongly suspect). I’m not writing this post to be anti-patriotic, or to jump on our nation. I’m writing about human nature. Isn’t it such an ingrained part of our nature to take our freedom, put it in the hands of our sinful (“selfish) nature, and begin to destroy ourselves in the pursuit of happiness? Maybe it’s just me, as I know this is a continual struggle for me, but this seems to be a fairly universal dynamic.
So this year for Independence Day, I am inviting you to join me in an important declaration of independence. Let’s take a long, honest look at ourselves and determine to set ourselves free from the self-destructive, relationship-destructive attitudes and actions that may seem so right or justified when we are only focused on immediate gratification and not on the bigger picture. I don’t know what your internal laundry list looks like, but I am learning to see my own more clearly. Maybe it’s your role in your marriage, that nasty habit, some parenting practices, your spirit while driving, how you spend your money, how you spend your time, or any of a zillion other things. Whatever it is, you cling to it, knowing it is only making your life worse, because somewhere down deep you just believe you deserve it. And it really has you enslaved by your own embracing of it. Name it clearly for what it is, maybe even write it down and/or share it with a trusted someone, and then…
Surrender it to God. Turn it over to your Father who really does want the very best for you. Cultivate a willingness and desire to live as Christ in this area of your life. Daily invite His Holy Spirit to guide you and empower you to be released from this voluntary prison and live in the true freedom that only comes through surrender.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery…You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather serve one another in love.” – Galatians 5:1, 13
With Hope of Freedom through Him,