Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Corinthians 3:17
Today is Independence Day, 2016. For starters, I reread the Declaration of Independence (click to read) and familiarized myself with the reasons we separated ourself from England in 1776. One word . . .
Our forefathers found life under tyrannical rule absolutely unacceptable. Politically, I wonder how many of us have forgotten? How many of us take for granted the freedoms we now seem so willing to abdicate, the bondage we seem so willing to slide right back into?
Alexander Tytler (1748-1813) described the progress of democratic societies in “The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic”:
“From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back to bondage.”
There’s an arc of truth here. We rise. We fall. And in all, we fail to learn our lesson before suffering great pain.
Today, on Independence Day, I wonder how long we’ll keep claiming independence from our Maker?
We wave our flags of defiance in His face, staking our own ground, breaking the ties that bind.
Because we believe Him a tyrant? Because we believe Him a black cloud coming, raining on our self-planned parades, sucking joy straight out of our lives?
Or do we defy simply because we can and we will until we become so sick of ourselves and one another that we finally submit and admit there might be a better way to live?
These days, when the world spins faster and crazier than ever before, perhaps we would be wise to raise our banner and declare our dependence on the One void of ego, stripped because of ours, skin-striped with red to pay our ransom, to set us free.
There is only One who will never become a tyrant, who will forever raise to the highest positions those who will assume the lowest positions, serving Him by serving another, with liberty and justice for all.
Again today, I confess the independent bent of my prone-to-wander soul. I profess my dependence on the only One who can set us free and keep us free, especially from the “I” in the middle of every “sIn” (Max Lucado, Fearless).
Lord, have mercy!
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9