On this day, 237 years ago, 56 men comprising the Continental Congress, announced to the world that the 13 American colonies would no longer be subject to the British Crown. In turn, they determined that this union would become a new nation. Now, I know it’s up for debate regarding the true spirituality of certain “founding fathers” and our true Christian heritage, but what can’t be denied was the appeal to a supreme being. So, in essence, they were transferring subjugation to God not King George I.
While we celebrate our freedom as a nation, I can’t help but think of our amazing relationship with the Creator. As Christians, we have decided to throw off our chains from the devil’s tyrannical rule in our lives. Due to Christ’s sacrifice for us, we have truly been set free. We used to embrace Independence, living for ourselves, the world, and its corruptive ways. But at the point we follow Christ, we are surrendering to Him and declaring our Dependence on God: this alone brings us true freedom.
Freedom from the past
“I alone will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again” (Isaiah 43:25).
- Sins. If you’re anything like me, this is quite a list: the very ways we’ve grieved God, making us fit for eternal punishment. But God asks, “What sin?” (Psalm 103:10-12).
- Mistakes and Failures – We’ve done a lot of dumb things. They plague us and the consequences forever hold us back. But God says “It’s gone” (Psalm 103:12).
- Shame is an intense feeling of angst that makes us wish we could evaporate; extreme humiliation and remorse; a despairing of life from abject embarrassment. Our deepest darkest secrets. The things that would absolutely mortify us if anyone ever found out. God reminds us, “I give you a reason to be confident again” (Isaiah 54:4).
- Guilt is the weight of knowing we’ve done something wrong. We despise ourselves and our weakness. But God reassures us, “I’m giving you a second chance.” (Romans 5:1-2).
- Self-Condemnation is holding onto the sentence of guilt even though we’ve been acquitted. God tells us, “Quit it” (Romans 5:17, 8:1). Note: when we entertain self-condemnation, we’re saying, “Jesus, your sacrifice wasn’t enough.”
Freedom from the present
“No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
- Ongoing struggles. We will still have temptation, trials, and yes, even struggle with sin. The enemy might try to distract us, even convince us that God has abandoned us. But God reminds us , “I’m here.” (Romans 12:1-2)
- Strength to live for Him. It’s time to grow from spiritual infancy to maturity. This requires change and transformation and at times we’ll feel like we can’t go on. God stresses, “I am your source” (John 15:1-17, Galatians 5:22).
- Strength to serve Him and His people. It’s so easy to get caught up in ourselves. It’s not about us. It’s about Him and what He’s called us to. God emphasizes, “It’s your turn” (Acts 1:8, 1 Corinthians 12:5-7).
Freedom from the future
“From the very beginning telling you what the ending will be, all along letting you in on what is going to happen, assuring you, ‘I’m in this for the long haul, I’ll do exactly what I set out to do'” (Isaiah 46:10).
- Foolish dreams. While we have dreams and aspirations, God might change the itinerary. But, He never takes something away from us without giving us something better in return, saying “I know what I’m doing” (Jeremiah 29:11).
- Challenges. Times will get worse, people will start to lose hope, and we’ll be tempted to join them. God tells us, “I’m still in charge” (Psalm 46:1-3,7, 2 Timothy 1:7).
- Punishment. We can’t deny it…we deserve to be completely destroyed. There’s nothing we can do to avoid it. But God declares, “You’re mine” (1 John 4:17, Revelation 22).
So, as we follow Christ, it’s a team effort. We surrender, He takes charge. We decrease, He increases. He speaks, we obey. We sow, He reaps. While we try to come up with our own schemes and devices, we fail. When we trust Him, submit to Him, and let Him be God, His favor is poured out.
Let us make a renewed declaration of dependence on God with a renewed passion.
How do I apply this?
- What am I holding onto that He wants me to let go of?
- In what ways am I not trusting Him today?
- What about the future causes me stress?