The day was July 4, 1776 when our nation won its independence. What a glorious day that must have been when all of a sudden she was on her own to govern and do as she saw fit. One of the main tenets of her law was to keep herself governed by the Highest Authority, Jehovah God, live as free men and honor Him.
It seems that the further we get away from 1776 the further we get away from those principles. Much of our law was founded in the truths of Scripture. Men and women have steadily worked to undermine those principles and root God out of the picture.
Two or three years ago I had an agent from the Treasury Department contact our office and wanted to speak to me about some important issues. The department wanted to open communications with every main line church group in the United States. They were looking for the “head” of each group and could not seem to find our head. Because of our high volume of web traffic, he contacted us. He was looking for a “conventional” leader who could pass down information to the respective congregations across the nation. When he asked who the head of our movement was I had no choice but to point him directly to Jesus Christ. He was a bit stunned. After understanding our autonomy somewhat, he finally stated his purpose. Our government wants to open communications with the churches in the nation to assist the government in a moral reform and they were choosing to do it through the Treasury Department. I told him I would be glad to pass along information as far as I could reach out, but I had one request. He asked what it was. I said, “If you want churches to help you get your communications up and running about a stronger moral America, it would be best if you would quit trying to take God off of our money.” He acted as though he were stunned.
We love freedom and the rights to express ourselves, but it seems like we want it without responsibility to the very one who gives the highest freedom. The major issue in our nation is not social reform. It is spiritual awareness.
Those of us who are covenant believers often reflect the spirit of many in our nation. We love the idea of salvation and all the things that God promises, but often want to leave Him out of our lives. Some of us come, as if to visit God a little while on Sundays. Some get their visit in around Easter and Christmas. But God did not come among us to visit. He came to live within us. And, that life, true life, within us brings us responsibility. When we walk around on this earth the footprints we leave behind are the footprints of God. He lives inside us and goes with us everywhere we go. We carry a huge responsibility with every word we speak and every step we make.
God has given us freedom. But, our freedom is not without responsibility. We are free, but not free to do as we please. We are under a covenant which constrains us to follow Him and reflect Him in our everyday lives. As a nation, we are not free to do as we please. We are independent and free, but we are free only as long as we live and reflect His principles.
This week as we consider our Independence Day, while the food is in abundance and the family gathers, while the fireworks flash and bang and the flag waves high and strong, perhaps we should think about our responsibility in our freedom. I am free… yes, free indeed. But, my freedom was purchased through death to make me free to be a light in this world of darkness.