America just celebrated its 239th year of Independence as a nation! Every year on July 4th we celebrate the year that American established official separation from the Kingdom of Great Britain. After many years of arguing, protesting, and fighting the people of American could began their own free nation. It was this spirit of freedom that has carried over into the culture of America today. We are a nation of many personal freedoms and the drive to dream big. So, on July 4th we also celebrate the spirit of the “Land of the Free, and the home of the brave.”

freedom imageOur nationalistic culture with it’s freedoms are beneficial for religion, enterprise, invention, and individuality. Being independent is the coveted goal. The idea of the original settlers was to avoid oppressive tyranny. During those days rulers were far from benevolent. Even in our present day it is difficult to fully trust the civic authorities.

No matter how nice it is when others take care of us we sure don’t want them to tell us what to do. We’re fine being dependent on others when they give us what we want. However, we like independence when others cross our will. But this type of thinking and attitude on freedom should not so carelessly translate into our spiritual life.

You will find in your reading of God’s Word, the Bible, that the message is: Freedom comes from Dependance not Independence. Now, we are not talking about political or social freedom but spiritual freedom. The freedom from the powers of sin and death.

“If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.” (Matt. 10:39 NLT)

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Matt. 16:24 NIV)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Prov. 3:5-6 NIV)

trust meThese few passages help us to see precisely this “foreign” way of thinking. It isn’t through the independent efforts of our own that we gain freedom. It is rather through the dependent submission to a God of power, purity, and compassion that we are set free.

In God we find that dependance is the answer to not only eternal life but peace with the present struggles of this world. The battles we have tried to fight and often lost, the walls we’ve tried to climb only to fall back down, and the success we’ve tried to achieve only to fail are better of placed under a dependance in God.

Independence is quite honestly a lonely place.

Do you remember reading this line above: “and He will make your paths straight”? What an incredible promise! You don’t have to make this path straight all alone if you submit to God. If you will but “lean” on Him you can trust that He won’t let you fall.

Can you stop being so independent? Rest. Trust. And find peace in dependance.

-Josh