This is the first year I will not watch fireworks over the Pacific Ocean, which is still crazy for me, as I find myself across the country with the nearest body of water being Falls Lake. And yet inside myself, I feel a sense of celebration... but, why?
The reason: gratitude. I am grateful to God for freedom in these United States of America. For the most part, we have been able to worship God freely in America . . . until last year when fear of a disease emboldened governors to shutter our churches. Last year was the first time Americans got a glimpse of how quickly we could lose our freedom. Not only staggering, but so frightening. Various 7:14 campaigns sprung up and rightfully so! From 2 Chronicles 7, verse 14: if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Pictured above is Concord's Old North Bridge. (Massachusetts) It is awe inspiring to stand there and think of what happened at this sight.
On April 19, 1775, American "Minutemen" fired the "shot heard round the world" by confronting the British on Lexington Green and on this bridge. But look at this--the same day, April 19, 1775, Connecticut Governor Jonathan Trumbull proclaimed a Day of Fasting, that "God would graciously pour out His Holy Spirit on us to bring us to a thorough repentance and effectual reformation that our iniquities may not be our ruin; that He would restore, preserve and secure the liberties of this and all the other British American colonies, and make the land a mountain of Holiness, and habitation of righteousness forever."
O, that our governors would declare a fast today!
Less than two months after the Battles of Lexington and Concord, on June 12, 1775, the Continental Congress, under President John Hancock, declared: "Congress...considering the present critical, alarming and calamitous state ... do earnestly recommend, that Thursday, the 12th of July next, be observed by the inhabitants of all the English Colonies on this Continent, as a Day of Public Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer,
that we may with united hearts and voices, unfeignedly confess and deplore our many sins
and offer up our joint supplications to the All-wise, Omnipotent and merciful Disposer of all Events, humbly beseeching Him to forgive our iniquities..
It is recommended to Christians of all denominations to assemble for public worship and to abstain from servile labor and recreations of said day."1
These were just two of many 'fasts' proclaimed in those harsh, demanding years when our freedom was hard fought and won from England. Our country has many forces vying to destroy her from within--chaos at our borders, marxist Critical Race Theory being put forth at every turn, the media stoking the flames of racial division and strife, the government writing checks it cannot cash. We must examine our hearts, seek to live as God would have us, and unite in prayer for revival, so that we can remain free and independent.
Why do we have a day set aside to celebrate our independence ... from what, and for what? Originally, Europeans made their way to our shores to escape religious persecution and tyranny. I love what John Adams said to Abigail, his wife, about the day:
“It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”2 Yes, President Adams!
True freedom has always been God's best idea for mankind. I think of what Jesus said, ‘If the Son has set you free, you will be free indeed!’3 Picture the scene when Jesus stood up in the synagogue in Nazareth, rolled out the parchment from Isaiah, and read, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has sent me . . . to set the oppressed free ...Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’4 The Freedom Maker had come!
He still comes to you and me—offering us freedom . . . freedom from what binds us, freedom FROM ourselves, not to be self-reliant, but God-reliant, God dependent.
Instead of listening to the naysayers and doomsday prognosticators, let us pray.
Along with John Hancock, I propose that we pray for people to turn their hearts toward God--that two times a day, 7.14 am and 7.14 pm, we pray. Join me?
Happy Independence Day . . . may we never take our freedom for granted, and may we never let anyone steal our freedoms again.
Watch this: God Bless the U.S.A. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwEcz9nABNg
1 William Federer, Miracles in American History: 32 amazing stories of answered prayer.
2 - Massachusetts Historical Society – Adams Family Papers, http://www.masshist.org/digitaladams/archive/doc?id=L17760703jasecond
3 John 8.36
4 - Luke 4.18-21