Is there any other word in the English language so sweet?
That’s what the Founding Fathers of The United States of America believed anyway. They loved the word, and perhaps even more, the idea of freedom so much that they pledged “their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor” to help achieve it for this nation. The 56 signers of The Declaration of Independence suffered through threats, imprisonment, and even torture for freedom – all because they found a cause for which it was worth sacrificing their lives.
The cause in their day was gaining liberty from the tyranny of King George III. He had set up our colonies with multiple restrictions on our rights and governance, so our founders decided to break free. I’m sure glad that they did – aren’t you?
As we celebrate Independence Day this year, it would be good for us to remember (and celebrate) our spiritual journey to freedom, as well. Before we trusted in Jesus Christ as our only hope of salvation, we were under the rule of a tyrant infinitely more oppressive than King George III. Our spiritual oppressor, Satan, is described as a lion who “prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
He devoured our freedom, didn’t he? He enslaved us to habits and attitudes that destroyed our peace and joy in life. He deceived us into thinking that we knew best with our lives, when in reality we were just puppets on his string.
But do you remember your personal “Independence Day”? The Bible describes it this way:
“For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins” (Colossians 1:13-14).
Much like the American Revolution for independence, Jesus Christ came to our rescue and set us free from our oppressor. He pledged His life, and paid the ultimate price for our release from captivity!
But sometimes we tend to forget what it was like to live under the tyranny of our sin nature under the dominating dominion of the devil. We take our freedom for granted, and therein lies the grave danger of forgetting this life-altering promise from God’s Word:
“Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you” (Galatians 5:1, The Message).
Can you imagine how pathetic it would be if we as a nation turned our backs on independence and asked the British to once again be our rulers? What shame and dishonor that would be to the ones who sacrificed everything for us over 200 years ago.
But we are even more pathetic when we voluntarily relinquish the freedom granted to us through the blood of Jesus over 2000 years ago, by letting Satan have control of ANY area of our life – big or small!
So here are are a few thoughts to seriously ponder as you celebrate your Independence Day:
He came to free me from superstition.
He came to free me from fear.
He came to free me from deception.
He came to free me from depression.
He came to free me from addiction.
He came to free me from bitterness.
He came to free me from guilt.
And praise the Most High God – He came to free me from the penalty and power of death, so that I can walk freely in the grace and truth of Jesus Christ!
Friends, we live in a nation that allows more freedom than any other on earth, and as Christ followers, we are the freest people on earth. Don’t waste this incredible opportunity to pledge your lives, your fortunes, and your sacred honor for something even bigger than the founding of a new nation. Jesus Christ has granted you independence so you could be free to serve Him and THE Cause of making disciples.
If you want to really celebrate this 4th of July, let the long weekend remind you of the spiritual rest we have in Jesus. Let the picnics remind you of how our Savior meets every hunger and thirst. Let the fireworks celebrate the freedom you have been given through faith in Christ, and let your relationship with Him be the flag that flies over the castle of your heart every day of the year!
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
Don’t waste the opportunity of using our nation’s Independence Day to celebrate your own personal Independence Day. And don’t keep the message of your freedom to yourself! We have many opportunities on this day to purposefully guide our conversations toward the truth that Jesus set us free, so look for a chance and step into the opening.
Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause
Pray: Jesus, we thank You on this Independence Day for granting us freedom from the tyranny of Satan. We remember Your sacrifice, and celebrate the opportunity to lead others to salvation by trusting in You.
Read: John 8:36. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.
Get: Life in 6 Words Outreach Book. Help introduce your friends to the freedom found in Jesus using the Life in 6 Words outreach book. Youth leaders, speaking of FREE, get your 100 free copies of this book for your students to use at share6campaign.com.
Discussion Guide for Leaders
Big Idea: The 4th of July celebrations should remind us of the freedom and independence we have in Jesus, and motivate us to lead THE Cause of Christ.
Key Scripture: Galatians 5:1
- How would America be different without the 4th of July?
- How do you celebrate the 4th of July?
- How can we best honor the sacrifice Jesus made for our “independence”?
- How can you apply this Soul Fuel to THE Cause?