By Gary Miller
While Americans are fixed on our own Independence Day; the truth is many different countries take one day each year and celebrate their freedom from another country or empire. I find it odd that even countries that are not known for freedom (like Syria) celebrate it each year. What is forgotten in many places is the desire to be free does not come down as an edict from a president, king or governor, but it comes intrinsically from individuals. Some person at some time had to start a conversation saying “You know, we need to be free.” Others then joined the chorus and eventually freedom became something to be pursued as a group.
Our constitution states correctly that liberty is endowed by our Creator as an unalienable right. The founders of our country believed that because liberty was an unalienable right endowed by God, they should not hinder this right to those who are, and become, Americans – that it ought to be a part of the fabric of the country.
Again, this was based on what they believed about God and His desire for people based on the Bible. There are no doubt the freedoms we enjoy are much more than say the people of Syria. They want to be a free country and yet keep individual’s freedoms at bay. North Korea would be another example. What we must remember is this. A nation becoming free from another nation only to enslave its own people is not a free nation. It is a nation whose leadership of bondage has simply changed hands. But in truth that is what all freedom is about. It is not about doing anything we want. It is about changing the leadership of the one we serve. It is about replacing who once had authority over us to something or someone else.
The ultimate freedom giver was God when he gave His Son Jesus to die for our sins. The Apostle Paul explained it this way. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” (Gal 5:1NIV) What does that mean you ask? It means Christ has set people free so they can be free! But what does being free do for someone? It allows us to make our own choices. In other words we are free to decide. Being free to decide, however, doesn’t mean that we can jump from a high building and decide if we will land safely or not. Freedom always has limits imposed by whomever or whatever we are now serving. This is why we must be able to trust the one we serve. And this is why I choose to trust God. His character and his desire for my life are greater than anyone or anything else I could submit to. Will you choose Him as well?
Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.