True Freedom on the Fourth

I’ve become fascinated about the Revolutionary War these past few months. It amazes me how the colonies banded together to fight against all odds. There were many failures and defeats for our founding fathers along that road. The British were the biggest army in the world and America wasn’t even considered a nation, but still they won and earned their freedom and independence.

I don’t know how many of those patriots were Christians, but I suspect that a few were and God may have lended them a hand during the war. It reminds me of Psalm 144:1, “Blessed be the Lord, my Rock and my keen and firm Strength, Who teaches my hands to war and my fingers to fight.” I wonder if George Washington read and prayed this verse before a battle. I like to think he did.

Our world has changed a lot since 1776, though. There are a lot more people in this world to be governed. As a result, governments change and we lose any type of personal connection with the politicians that make decisions for us. I think sometimes all of us watch the news and become afraid from all the nonsense we see governments getting into. It could be war, health care, taxes, or the economy. We get tricked into a state or fear and don’t even realize it.

I’m not speaking of being tricked by politicians, either. They are tricky and I’ll even say many of them are liars, but that goes for more people than just politicians. The person that tricks us into fear in the devil. He’s the one that wants you to believe in a government that can fix things, but the last time I checked governments were man-made and nothing mad-made can be perfect.

ELECTION YEAR

When this country was set up the people elected a President. That President was George Washington and every president after that was elected by the people, but as the population grows the election becomes more and more of a gray area. There are subtle manipulations of classes and many people vote on instinct, taking events at surface value.

The bottom line is that we should be aware of our government. It is very important that we participate and vote. I feel it is an important part of belonging to the community that is America, but in reality we don’t elect people. In many ways we cast the votes, but according to scripture God is the one setting up governments. In Daniel 2:21, “He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding!”

That means God in the ultimate decider of how we are governed. So, if we end up in a bad government with poor leadership, what should be do? Paul says in Romans 13:1, “Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.” Seems pretty precise to me. We are commanded to submit to our government because God is the one in true authority. Ultimately, it is another area where God wants us to trust him.

THE REVOLUTION

So, it may seem I have backed myself into a corner, though. What about the Sons of Liberty? Weren’t they rebels? I can’t and won’t defend their actions, but I will say there are obvious times were the authority in question is corrupt. Hitler was an authority, but no one should have submitted to him. 

I believe that anytime the word of God is contradicted by our government is a time for revolution. God is our only true authority. The reason we submit to governing authorities in because we trust that God is in control. If there is a time for revolution, I am sure God will make that path clear for us. God sent men to war many times in the Bible, so it is no surprise to me when he sends us into battle.

The Israelites fought for their land over and over again. David was sent to kill Goliath. Samson was anointed to kill Philistines. The list goes on and on. The best example is the second coming of Christ. That will be the final and definite moment that places Christ as the righteous King of Kings for eternity.

THEY COME AND GO

Governments come and go. Leaders die. Nations crumble. Rome fell. Russia failed as communists. America continues in mediocrity with no definite direction.

At least, that’s how I see America. It seems very directionless, but it would in comparison to God’s kingdom. In Isaiah 41:17 it says, “All the nations are as nothing before Him; they are regarded by Him as less than nothing and emptiness (waste, futility, and worthlessness)”. God is the true ruler of all nations at all times.

I think about the early Americans and why they fought. It was for freedom. Basically, they wanted to be left alone to make their own decisions. That is how God designed us, too. He made us as beings with free will. We make the decision to follow Christ. God does not make decisions for us. He may guide us, but never make choices for us.

I think the failure of any government is when they choose how people should live. When choices are made for people they lose they very thing that makes them human. Adam and Even chose to bite the apple. Moses chose to listen to the burning bush. Paul chose to follow Christ after he spoke to him, but every one of these people could have chosen the opposite. God doesn’t decide for us, but is involved in every moment of our lives. He is not our decision maker, though.

I think government leaders need to let people be people a little more often and give them the freedom to choose like God intended.

THE FOURTH OF JULY

The Fourth of July is quickly approaching. It is the day we celebrate a group of men that declared their independence from another ruler. Like I said, I am fascinated by colonial times and the Revolutionary War and I enjoy the Fourth of July because its history. 

Also, I really like big fireworks. Somehow fireworks are extremely beautiful to me. I like to remind myself of how much more beautiful is God’s love for us when I watch them. Fireworks on the Fourth remind of the freedom I have through Christ. That is the true freedom I want to be celebrating.

We have the ability to be free. We can choose not to be free, though. That’s the complicated thing about free will. Many people would like to have someone else making their decisions for them. I think that would be a very sad state to live in, though. I can’t imagine being able to live like Christ if someone was telling me what to do.

Some would argue that God tells us what to do, but I don’t agree. He asks and guides us. We have the choice to follow him and let him guide us or live in control of the world.

In Mathew 10:20-22 it says, “Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.” Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” At this the man was appalled, and he went away offended, for he had many possessions.”

We choose. This man could have told a different story and become a great disciple. Now, we don’t even know his name. Christ didn’t force him to do what he said, but he gave the man the option. Unfortunately, he chose this world instead of Christ.

On the Fourth of July I like to remind myself that my choices are my own. They aren’t made by a government. The government doesn’t provide for me because Christ provides for me. The government can make laws and raise taxes, but at the end of the day those things don’t matter. Christ is the only true ruler.

So, when you celebrate your freedom this week, celebrate your freedom in Christ because he is the one that has set you free.

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2 thoughts on “True Freedom on the Fourth

  1. Rod Arters says:

    Good blog! Thanks for writing it!

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