So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” Galatians 5:1 (NLT)

Happy Fourth of July! And praise God for America! One of my most memorable Independence Day celebrations happened a soon after Shellie and I got married. I was a teacher’s assistant for one of my favorite professors in seminary. We were invited to come over to their place for a barbecue and then to go to Santa Monica Pier to watch the fireworks. As evening arrived, the skies became overcast. The later it got, the lower the clouds came. Finally, when the firework show began they had to change the trajectory of the fiery show to shoot them under the low clouds. Well, several yachts had parked themselves near shore to watch. Because the low clouds, the fireworks were exploding not far above these expensive boats. From where we stood on the cliffs above the beach, it appeared that these ships were being fired upon! Not exactly what everyone was expecting! But it was dramatic!

So many veterans today, and ones who are no longer with us (such as my father), say this is not what they fought for. Indeed, they fought for our freedom, and today it is being dissolved right before our eyes. The world today is not what they were expecting it to look like.

Today our freedom is on the brink of extinction. Ronald Reagan once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”

Today we celebrate our independence as a nation, no longer under the tyranny of British rule or any other foreign entity. The early patriots sacrificed their everything for the freedom we know today. Had they lost the Revolutionary War people like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other authors of our Declaration of Independence would have been executed as traitors. In the Revolutionary War, pastors and church members went out to fight the British Red Coats! Today what are you willing to do to defend your freedom?

“For this cause we give up our rights, our lives and our sacred honor…” God blessed us with freedom to accomplish His purposes. Our freedom is a gift that must be defended and passed on to the next generation. Our Savior and only King, Jesus Christ, is returning soon. How are we using our freedom to prepare this generation to stand before Christ?

The Apostle Paul urged us to use our freedom wisely, for godly purposes. He said, “It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows.” Galatians 5:13 (MSG)

Today as you eat your BBQ, ice cream and apple pie (or whatever you enjoy), thank the Lord for those men who penned the Declaration of Independence and laid their lives down for it. Thank the Lord for the warriors who have fought for our freedom! Today as you watch the fireworks, thank the Lord for the flag that still stood after a night of fierce bombing. Today as you enjoy the fellowship of friends and family, thank the Lord for the fact that we do have a free nation. We are “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all!” Our freedom in Christ and as a nation is meant to be a blessing to others and other nations! Cry out that today that the spirit of freedom, the Holy Spirit, would move across our nation, exposing and removing every enemy, foreign and domestic, who oppose our freedom! Ask God to raise up spiritual patriots, who would use their freedom to set the captives free! Declare, America will fulfill her destiny!