Tomorrow is the 4th of July, our nation's celebration of its declaration and victory of independence from the British. Stinkin' redcoats! Just kidding. (I'm actually an Anglophile. For Queen and Empire! Okay, maybe not that much of an Anglophile...)
However, I just wanted to briefly suggest that as Christians we should think of the day (perhaps as we think of all our days, so that we'd gain a heart of wisdom) as our Dependence Day. Our dependence upon the Lord God -- the one, true, and living God, who revealed himself to us in the Holy Scriptures and ultimately in His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ himself.
We're dependent upon God for everything. From life itself, for every breath we breathe. For who we are as individuals, our personalities and the circumstances we were born into. For which families we were born into as well. For the time and place in which we were born. For our climate -- physical and moral. For our culture and background. For our friends and neighbors. For our physical needs like food, clothing, and shelter. For our jobs. For our communities. For the wonderful (and, yes, not-so-wonderful) people we've met in our lives. For our gifts and talents and opportunities. For the church, who is Christ's Bride and witness of himself in this fallen world. For our pastors and teachers who strive to hold out the Word of God to us, day by day. For our society, insomuch as the truths of God and Christians have been its salt and light -- and for not being as depraved as it could be by God's grace. For our government and laws and leaders. For the soldiers who serve in our military and protect our nation. For the relative peace and security of our society, which allows for the gospel to advance. And for so much more.
In all things we are dependent upon the Lord God.
Of course, at any time, these blessings could be taken away. We could lose our jobs. Our friends or loved ones could leave us. We ourselves could die at any moment. Our community or state or nation could suffer a major catastrophe. And that is why we are to be always humble and thankful for the blessings we do have as believers, and to continue to pray to the Lord that he would do what best glorifies himself and is for our good as his people.
Let us pray that no matter what, even if it means our liberties and freedoms and rights are taken away from us as Christians, even if it means all our goods and kindreds are taken away from us, we would nevertheless continue to live lives which honor and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. (Although I'm not at all suggesting we shouldn't fight to maintain these freedoms and rights.) How so? By always seeking intimate communion with our precious Lord and Savior in his Word and in prayer so that we would know him all the more, know his love for us, and thus by his grace working in us to love him with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, and our neighbors. By seeking God and his kingdom first and foremost in our lives, that his kingdom would expand in our hearts and the hearts of others. By preaching the gospel with our lives and our lips. By humbly and joyfully doing good to our neighbors, from wherever they might come, and whoever they might be, even if they are our enemies (I'm speaking on an individual, personal, relational level here). And by trusting and seeking to continue trusting, by repenting and seeking to continue repenting, by knowing and seeking to continue knowing, by loving and seeking to continue loving our thrice holy God, our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, and others.
In all things we trust in God from whom all blessings flow. In all things we thank and praise him -- not just for the blessings he has given to our nation but also for its difficulties and trials which we pray would turn hearts and lives in repentance and faith towards him. In all things we trust and know God is sovereign, and that he is so very good to us as his people, infinitely far more than we deserve. In all things we humbly trust and thank him, and ask that he might glorify himself in and through us, as he best sees fit, for we are ever dependent upon him.
Happy Dependence Day!
P.S. And let's hope we're not invaded by hostile space aliens. In case we are, though, I've updated my Blogger profile to meet the challenge.