July 4th is Independence Day! How do you celebrate this patriotic holiday? Many of us get together with family and enjoy summer by the backyard grill, at the cabin, or camping at our favorite spot. All of us love the fireworks … except for Jack (and other furry family members). Some of us remember our military service and our oath to the Constitution, others honor loved ones who have served in war or are on active duty.

But really, how many of us recall the struggle of the Revolutionary War and ponder our independence from Great Britain? The thirteen American colonies of British America rallied behind the slogan “No taxation without representation” and fought to throw off British rule from April 19, 1775, to September 3, 1783. That’s more than eight years of life and death battle over taxes and government representation on what is now the sovereign soil of the United States of America.

Our forefathers were determined to abandon their dependence and submission to British rule and forge ahead independently. Holding the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness endowed by our Creator to be self-evident, they signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. They organized and developed our system of government; they framed the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and established a tripartite balance of powers shared by the executive, congressional, and judicial branches. They determined that the colonies would become states and retain powers, rights, and responsibilities within the framework of a republic. They spent their lives, land, and livelihoods to form a more perfect union under law. Being of like mind, they formed an admirable, though imperfect, system of government ratified in ink and blood in the throes of war.

Consider this – were these men independent or dependent? In fact, they were both. In the words of the Declaration they believed it was “necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which had connected them with another.” They turned away from Britain severing their allegiance to it and then entered into a mutual pledge with firm reliance on divine Providence to become the United States of America.

It is a perfect time to refresh our memory with how this land we love was formed and established, and these historical facts about the 4th of July also reflect truths about our life in Christ Jesus.

Our Heavenly Father is calling and commanding us to fight for our independence from earthly pursuits and fleshly passions. Through faith in Jesus Christ, we have been set free from the bondage of sin and death, and this freedom has been ratified in His blood. The one who has been set free in Christ is free indeed, praise be to God! We are also called to daily dependence on God and interdependent unity with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Thank God for the privilege of living a life of faith, of independence and dependence, that is made possible through our Savior and Lord!

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body! (2 Corinthians 6:19ESV)

May God bless and keep you during the 4th of July Holiday and in all of your summer events and celebrations!

by Sue DeSha

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