Happy Independence Day, Dear Ones!
Tomorrow, we celebrate the birth of our country. I always get giddy when I imagine beginnings. If you’ve ever been in the planning stages of something wonderful, you understand. There are all of those dreams– unrealized, imagined– to look forward to and occupy one’s mind. There is the excitement of likemindedness; the comraderie of working side by side towards one goal. Frequently, there is also fear involved, as I can imagine our founding fathersfelt very intently on that fourth of July so long ago. Our Pastor told us on Sunday that the signers of the Declaration of Independence penned their names on the fourth of July, and then quickly left town. He said that they made sure the document was not published until the fifth of July, knowing that their very lives were at risk in partaking of such a daring declaration.
Wow! Doesn’t it thrill you to imagine how they felt on that very first Independence Day? This new thing; this Independence they were willing to die for, how it must have filled up thier hearts for them to take such a risk! Can you imagine letting something take hold of you like that? To make you set out on an untrodden path, perilous at that?
Every morning I feel a small piece of what they must have felt. Every morning I meet with my Lord, and He fills me with excitement at the new thing he has done in me. He tells me of the adventures we will face together, and I feel my heart fill up. There are days when I let the fear of the new thing reign. These are not good days. But always, always He comes to comfort me. He reminds me that He leads me through the unknown to bless me, not stress me. To set me free, as He tells me in 2 Cor. 3:17 “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (Niv)
Or perhaps the version from the Message will make it more clear: 2 Cor. 3:16-18 “Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.”
Is that an amazing scripture, or what?! We should not be afraid to show God’s glory, Dear Ones. Our faces are unveiled. Our lives are a beautiful picture of the freedom that living for Him brings.
This Independence Day I not only celebrate the birth of our country. I not only laud the great men and women who fought for the freedoms that I so wantonly partake. I celebrate the freedom that is mine in living for Jesus.
This liberty cannot be taken by man. That, Dear Ones, is true freedom.