Dependence on God for our Independence as a Nation
This month we have the privilege and opportunity as a nation to celebrate our sovereign independence from the British Empire. Since our founding, we have been seen by the rest of the world as a unique place. We, as a nation, have stood out because we are willing to stand up, lend our aid, and promote freedom around the world. We have lived in a nation that has experienced the blessings of God in commerce, worship, and governance because of our dependence on him.
It might seem strange to talk about our dependence on the day we celebrate our independence, but it is important to keep in mind. For even as we are independent from being ruled by another nation, we still need to be dependent on God.
Our dependence on God is like that of the branches of a tree and the outshoots of the vine. He is our strength, and it is from him that our help, our mercy, and our grace is found. John 15:4-5 reads,
"Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you produce fruit without me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
Jesus is calling us to remember that in order to thrive and be fruitful, we have to remain in him. We have to depend on him for life, for peace, for justice, for mercy and for grace. God has given us this nation. For centuries, we recognize him and give thanks for his provision. But in the last number of years that recognition has been forgotten by many in our land, and our fruitfulness has suffered for it.
The weeds of sin at times seem to be taking over the fertile garden of our land. Yet, it is in these moments of celebrating independence that we must repent and pray for Jesus, the master gardener, to weed our nation of its sins.
We need to once again remember the classic words of our Pledge of Allegiance, that we are "one nation under God." We need to recognize that we are dependent on God for our strength, our health and vitality, personally, and as a nation. Though independent in the eyes of the world, our dependence on God, as our true vine, must always remain strong and true.
We are one nation under God. We should celebrate this fact and marvel at all that God has done for the people of this nation to be a beacon of light and hope to the world.
So, celebrate our nation's independence this month - fly the American flag, attend the parades, and enjoy barbecues and fireworks. Celebrate and give thanks for what we have been given as a nation, giving thanks to God for our independence provided through dependence on him.