Tomorrow is the Fourth of July, and yes, they DO have the fourth of July in Britain… In America we celebrate the day when our founding fathers rightly declared:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
As inspirational as those words are, our generation may be more familiar with the words of Bill Pullman who played the president in the 1996 blockbuster Independence Day. I still get chills.
And then there are the words of Paul in Galatians 5:
1For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
13For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Sure, we are living in a free country. We enjoy freedom and independence far beyond what most of the world could even imagine. But how are we using that freedom?
So often we use our freedom as an opportunity for the flesh. We buy into this “American Dream” which is driven by free market / capitalism. We begin to believe the lies that we are only as good as the stuff we own. We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like – all under the guise of “the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
So are we really free? Or are we shackled by our greed, desire, and lust?
That song I posted last really says it all. True freedom comes when we surrender our rights, break past our comfort zones, and love our fellow humans. Christ came to set us free from the sin that so easily ensnares us.
Paul told us not to be conformed to this world but be transformed. Peter told us not to be conformed to the passions of this world. John told us that the world and everything in it is passing away. The writer of Ecclesiastes told us that everything under the sun is nothing but a vapor.
We may be free politically and religiously, but are we truly spiritually free?
We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We are going to live on. Today is our independence day!