I love the celebration of the 4th of July. This year we had an ongoing, evolving party and celebration throughout the day. First, a group of young moms, their children, spouses, and extended families joined us for a playdate and picnic in the backyard: replete with tents, toys, water bouncy castle, inflatable pool, slip and slide, water guns, and playground. The squeals of delightful play by the children filled our ears and hearts with their abandoned freedom at playing.
Later that afternoon, the yard was transformed, yet again, for a large family and friends' gathering and cookout for a 4th of July celebration. After dinner, the children once again played in the splash castle. Then as dusk set in, we advanced across the street to the country club with our chairs and blankets to enjoy the annual fireworks display. It was probably the best fireworks show I’d ever seen the country club put on: as the gasps of delight filled the air along with the lights.
Freedom is a beautiful gift. The 4th of July was but a reminder that freedom in our nation came at a costly price. It’s a reminder of all the sacrifices made so that we enjoy the liberties purchased for us in the sacrifices of the lives laid down for our nation to even exist and continue existing.
I can’t help but draw the spiritual parallels. At a very high cost, One life was laid down for us to walk in the life and freedom that God planned for us, for you. He knew that tyranny and an evil dictator ruled our lives. God knew we could not fight the war for freedom on our own. So instead, Jesus stepped into flesh, came and fought the spiritual war to earn our eternal freedom. He died so that we might have life and that more abundantly. Freedom is never cheap: it cost One His life and many others their lives for our nation.
But like any democracy, freedom is precarious. And if we’re not careful, all those men and women that sacrificed their lives and fought wars to win our nation’s freedoms can be quickly eroded and indeed, lost. It takes work to maintain our liberty as a nation. In the same way, if we’re not careful, our freedoms that Christ purchased for us can also be quickly lost if we give ground to the enemies of our soul: enemies like addiction, rebellion, sin, complacency, fear, unbelief, and more.
And I’m reminded again how much I love this country and how much I love the Lord. Both came at a very high cost that demands my utmost respect and devotion.
Just like you celebrated the 4th of July, know that you can celebrate your life in Me. Yes, the freedoms that were purchased for you came at a very high cost indeed. Never take those freedoms for granted. It takes work to walk in that liberty, but you’re worth it. Keep yielding to Me and following My Spirit and you will walk in that abundant life. You are My beloved worth the sacrifice.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” (Galatians 5:13)
“If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)