The Declaration of Independence is a document that has stirred much conversation and debate since its inception in 1776. This separated the thirteen American colonies from the British Empire, and established them as independent sovereign states more than a year after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War.
Once independence had been announced, references to the text were few until Abraham Lincoln made it central to his platform. The second sentence of the Declaration of Independence became the foundation for America’s position on human rights:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
The freedoms we enjoy in this country have been provided through men and women who believe so deeply in the opportunity to be free that they are willing to give their lives for it. I am thankful. And while I don’t enjoy the arena of politics, I do recognize and understand the importance of protecting the freedoms afforded to us, freedoms I believe to have been orchestrated by the hand of God.
Yet, I would suggest to you today that as Christians we must be careful that we are not taking the same position before God – declaring independence. To be a follower of Christ is to declare absolute dependence on God.
“I am able to do nothing from Myself – independently, of My own accord – but only as I am taught by God and as I get His orders. Even as I hear I judge – I decide as I am bidden to decide. As the voice comes to Me, so I give a decision, and My judgment is right, because I do not see or consult My own will, I have no desire to do what is pleasing to Myself, My own aim, My own purpose, but only the will and pleasure of the Father Who sent Me.” John 5:30
Do we really see ourselves as able to do nothing without Him? Are we surrendering ourselves to His lordship continually, seeking to hear Him and do only those things He instructs us to do? Jesus lived His life only saying what the Father told Him to say and only doing what the Father told Him to do. He did nothing on His own.
God gives us the choice to live independently from Him if we want. He doesn’t force His will on us, even though the freedom He offers was purchased for us with His life. But because the spiritual life we live is not limited by the ways of this world, we can become bond servants of God and be free at the same time!
Let’s make a Declaration of Dependence on God and discover how to be truly free!