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Reflections on Independence Day

July 4, 2024


It’s the 4th of July, Independence Day, and I always get sentimental thinking about this country and the patriots who fought for the freedom I enjoy today.  I even love the patriotic music that has been created through the years with the rousing marches and inspirational tones.  This morning, I was meditating upon the scene of these early settlers, who made the pilgrimage to an unknown land, risking their very lives, in search of religious freedom.  I’m sure the rulers in England were not too worried about these wandering seekers, knowing most of them would die on the journey, and even if they survived, they would be small in numbers and weakened in resolve.

However, much to their surprise, this small band of Christians were quite resolute and began to grow in numbers and get organized, forming the beginnings of an actual country.  They got a taste of freedom, and they wanted more.  Soon, they wanted to be set free from England’s tyranny, and a revolutionary war broke out.  These patriots, most of them farmers and tradesmen, not military-trained men, stood ground to fight for their freedom and for the values they believed this new country should protect.  It was a bloody battle, against great odds, but these courageous, strong forefathers would rather die fighting than to be satisfied with a life of bondage.

This morning, I saw a great similarity in the Christian journey.  Many a soul has grown tired of the tyranny and chains of living under the rule of the Prince of this world, the Devil.  One day, they find the resolve to leave his “protection” and his values in search of a New World.  At first, he lets them go, feeling certain that even if they make some progress, they will still be allegiant to the prince’s law of the land.  After all, they still come from his world.  But once a person becomes a Christian and gets a taste of the freedom offered in the New World, the quickly grow weary of the old world and the old ways.  They no longer want to submit to the prince’s wishes.

Once the Prince realizes things are getting out of hand, he intervenes.  He sends his armada of evil to go after these patriots to bring them back into line.  He first tries some persuasion and temptation, and if that doesn’t work, he resorts to intimidation.  When the patriots refuse to be persuaded or intimidated, then, he goes for destruction.  Then, the Christian, the one who has been called by Christ to a New World, a new order, must decide if he will die fighting or live back in bondage.

It will take a battle to survive.  The Christian must be brave and strong, and he must band together with other patriots and just like this country’s forefathers, who rallied under the banner of the American flag, these Christians must rally under the banner of The Cross, the symbol of their freedom and their new life.

This battle will go on for the rest of our lives, but the secret to winning the battle is death.  We must die to the old world, the old man, the old ways.  Once we are dead to these things, our enemy cannot tempt us, intimidate us or destroy us.  It is then that we patriots become new citizens of Heaven, disciples of our new King, Jesus Christ.  He temporarily leaves us in the old world as “aliens and strangers” but to be missionaries, to help set others free from its tyranny and illusion of power.

So, as you think about the freedom we celebrate on this Independence Day, think even deeper about the freedom in Christ we can celebrate, knowing that our King paid for our freedom with His very blood.  As long as we must live in this temporary world, we will be Patriots, for we will stand for values which come from another world, our New World.  We will be counter-cultural and will feel at odds with this world.

However, the One who created all of this has written a map on the hearts of every individual which points them toward the New World.  They just don’t know it’s there.  They need us to show them the way and help set them free.  Let us renew our resolve, our courage, our faith to never grow weary of fighting for Truth and Freedom and for our new King, the Prince of Peace, whose kingdom endures forever.