Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Independence or Dependence Day?

When Americans fought for their independence over 200 years ago, it was to be freed from tyranny and dependence on a monarchy that was ruling from afar. As a result, they rebelled and gained their independence from that rule and became a nation that ruled herself. 

As Americans, we value our pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness--our independence. This is good.

When Moses heard from God, through a burning bush, Israel was not quite a nation as they were enslaved by an oppressive ruler king in Egypt. They cried out to God for freedom and he set them free from oppressive slavery and dependence on a foreign ruler.

God gave them their independence. Independence from oppressive, tyrannical rule. 

Yet, God never intended to communicate the myth that total independence was a good thing. God set Israel free to become a nation under God. A nation that depends on the Lord for everything. 

America was founded on similar ideals. We were established with a sense of calling to live independent from oppressive rulers (like Great Britain) while dependent on a holy, gracious God. These sentiments are found in our Declaration of Independence and US Constitution.

“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.” -Declaration of Independence

When Christ-followers are enslaved by sin and death, they are ruled by an oppressive, tyrannical enemy, Satan himself. When we repent of our sin and turn fully to Christ, we're freed from that rule and become independent of that rule. (Depending on God is faith in action)

Freed to do what? Freed to voluntarily become dependent on a new ruler--Christ our king. To serve at his pleasure as we forsake our own American rights. Delighted to gladly submit and serve at the pleasure of our king.

New Americans voluntarily chose to become dependent on their own, newly established US government based on the US Constitution, Declaration and Bill of Rights. We consider ourselves free even though we’re dependent on our government. 

Of course, many choose to remain independent from any rule. They see that as true freedom. Anarchists think this way. But it is not. It is slavery to our selfish passions and idols. It is seeing yourself as god.

This Independence Day my hope is that you will resolve to gladly become dependent again. Not dependent on a self-serving prince of darkness but on a self-sacrificing King. Not even fully dependent on our US government, although some is appropriate and good. Dependent on our Lord Jesus Christ.

On this day--this Independence Day--let us willingly surrender our rights as Americans and as freed people to a great, good, gracious and glorious king. King Jesus