I love Independence Day, and not just for the fireworks and the food, but for the God-centered history behind it. A young John Hancock’s hope for his country was its independence from Great Britain. His desire as President of the Continental Congress was finally realized on July 2, 1776, when the colonies voted on a resolution declaring their independence. Two days later, the Declaration of Independence was officially ratified by the Continental Congress, and the United Colonies of America became the United “States” of America.
Yet here’s the great part! Prayer to God paved the way for independence. More than a year before this great event, Hancock’s Congress called for a “Day of Public Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer” on July 20, 1775, urging citizens to “confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and by a sincere repentance and amendment of life, appease [God’s] righteous displeasure, and…obtain His pardon and forgiveness.”
I can’t help wondering what would happen in America today if the Congress and its citizens truly dedicated themselves to prayer for our nation. We may never know, but we can turn our attention today, before the food and fireworks, to a celebration of these four freedoms we enjoy as believers in Jesus Christ!
- Freedom to speak our convictions. Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.
- Freedom to worship as we choose. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe. Worship is both a privilege and a command from Scripture.
- Freedom to pray to our God. We should boldly pray, for He desires it. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
- Freedom to live for our God. You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. Our life as Christians starts with loving God and extends into loving others on His behalf.
Discover how to embrace your freedoms in Christ and live for Him passionately. If you’d like more on this real freedom, check out Our Intentional Founding Fathers show here.
Of these four great freedoms, which do you cherish the most and why? We’d love to hear your stories. Post your comments below.