It’s Independence Day in America. Of course, for followers of Christ, the real Independence Day was the day they committed their lives wholly to Jesus. Real freedom, real independence, is found only in Jesus. Only He can set you free.
No Nation, government, or authority can make you truly free. True freedom is found when you are no longer a slave to anything or anyone other than Jesus. Until your life is fully given over to Him, you will always be beholden to something or someone.
We spend too much of our finite time looking for freedom in places other than Christ. We lament the loss of this liberty or that, groan at the intrusion of government into our lives, and bristle against heavy-handed laws that infringe on our personal liberty. Still, none of these things can take away freedom. Freedom is held within the heart where you are either a slave to Jesus or a slave to the world. Slaves of Jesus have complete freedom because they are compelled to act out of love for their Savior, while slaves of this world are forced to conform – often against their will – to the whims of society and authorities.
We live in an age where too many Christians identify with their nationality and too few identify with being citizens of the Kingdom of God. How do we expect to ever bring God’s Kingdom to fruition on earth if we spend all our time trying to transform earthly kingdoms into heavenly ones? We’ve got it backwards. We as the people of God need to be demonstrating transformative love in order to reveal the Kingdom of God instead of trying to dress up the kingdoms of this world to look like distorted and poor imitations of Heaven.
The mission of Jesus, the one He started and left for us to continue, is to bring the Kingdom of God to earth. When He returns, He will complete the mission. In the interim, we are to spend our days manifesting the love and beauty of the Kingdom. Instead, we live our lives in selfish pursuits and concerned with the policies of our own governmental kingdom. This is never more apparent than in an election year when “Christians” are far more disposed to discuss their favorite candidate than to talk about the love of Jesus.
My prayer for each of us this Independence Day is we not forget our mission. I pray we let go of our affections for the things of this world and focus only on Jesus. Who is in the White House doesn’t matter to a disciple of Jesus. All we need concern ourselves with is how well we are serving Christ and others. Anything else is nothing more than a distraction. There’s no such thing as a Christian nation. There is the Kingdom of God and there are the kingdoms of the world. We can only serve one. On this Independence Day, and on every other day, let us choose to serve our beautiful Savior and continue His mission of building His Kingdom here on earth.