Tomorrow is the Fourth of July – Independence Day – America’s Birthday! All of us will be celebrating, but do you, my Reader, and I really think about what the day actually means? As we watch displays of fireworks, do we truly see these spectacular shows as being reminiscent of battles fought for our country to be free? After looking online at various entries for freedom descriptions, I have joined and condensed comments to refine my definition of freedom relating to what I want to say today. Freedom is the state of being free rather than confined under physical restraint. It is a release from external control or undue restriction. It is liberty. Freedom can be political or personal.
For Americans politically and historically, July 4, 1776, is the date that the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence that claimed freedom for the thirteen original colonies from the rule of Great Britain. Democracy was born. America became known as the land of the free and the home of the brave. This is the primary reason for the holiday we are celebrating tomorrow. Rightfully, it is a national and federal holiday.
For Americans personally, we each now have the gift of freedom that people of many nations have never experienced. However, God also offers each of us a spiritual freedom that can be gained whether we live in a land of democracy or not. In John 5, Jesus talks about the freedom from sin that He offers us. He says in verses 31-32, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” He goes on to say in verses 34-36, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave to sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”
Our right to freedom in America did not just happen on the day the Declaration of Independence was signed. The American Revolutionary War or the American War of Independence was fought between the years of 1775 and 1783. Our political freedom from Great Britain was something for which we needed to fight and it took a significant length of time for battles to be fought and victory won. The same is true for our spiritual freedom. Christ has set us free, but we continue to have spiritual battles to fight. However, these battles are not fought in the same way the military battles were fought for our freedom as a nation. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the spiritual forces powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (You might like to dust off an old history book or check online for history information to refresh your memory with the details of this war. You also might like to search some scriptures regarding spiritual warfare. In Ephesians 6:12-18 Paul describes the pieces of armor to be worn for spiritual battles. These include the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit . Also II Chronicles 20:14-30 is a good example of how God instructed Jehoshaphat to fight a specific battle through praise.)
My Reader, do you and I realize the cost paid by our forefathers in order for us to have political freedom today? Do we realize the cost paid by Jesus in order for us to have spiritual freedom today? Let us not forget the price of freedom, but also let us celebrate and value what has been done for us.
Happy Fourth of July! Happy Independence Day!