The 4th of July. A day we celebrate our independence. If I had a dollar for each post today that quoted scripture about freedom and one nation under God, well, let’s just say that would be pretty OK. Tonight as I was sitting and watching some terrific fireworks, after a great day of swimming and a potluck with some great friends, I was struck with this heaviness.
One nation, under God. Home of the free. I’m free to pray and to worship him, and yet, what was the focus on my day? Was my focus the God that I should be so excited to have the freedom to worship? Did I build my day around spending time with him? Was he first priority in my plans? (Gulp, big swallow!) As a nation we boasted today about our freedom and celebrated the blessing our forefathers bestowed on us as a nation devoted to God. But how many of us were truly intentional today about spending time with God and rejoicing in his mighty spirit moving in our fore fathers so that we could tout our freedom? As I work at the final chapters of my book on being Christian in the workplace, I’m struck by how quickly some of this freedom is going away, yet we seem passive in exercising it while we have it.
I recently finished the book the Harbinger (if you haven’t read it, you really should!) It is what snuck into my thoughts as we watched the fireworks. And so tonight, as I spend time with the Lord, I am repenting for my sins, and the sins of our people and our nation. I’m saying “God, I’m sorry that we continue to make decisions and laws and rules that are not honoring you. Strip us of our pride father, Forgive our nation and lead us back to you, Holy Spirit we need you to move us to a place of dependence on our God, Lord, may we truly be one nation under God. Let’s those not be just nice words to focus on from time to time, but may that be who we are in truth.”
We have a son in the Marines who is currently deployed to Spain. We get the real sacrifice of what it takes to keep our nation safe and ensure our freedom. These men and women sacrifice. Today we took a photo of us and the Little’s in our Americana swim suits and towels. (The bigs thought it was a bit too “griswold” for them, but I’m guessing they smiled when they saw it posted) Even as we were taking it, I found myself utter silent prayers that were reflections of not wanting the “flag” to take the place of our “God.” We certainly respect the flag, but at the end of the day, are we excited because that flag stands for freedom in the Lord, or just because we feel nostalgia?
As we head into the rest of the July 4th weekend, I really want to be intentional about putting my eyes on God. I want to build my weekend plans around when I have scheduled to spend time with God, instead of trying to fit him around when I have BBQ’s and sun tanning on my agenda. My heart is heavy and my spirit telling me that we need to be humble before the Lord. So tonight I throw out this challenge. Find some God time this weekend. Not church on Sunday kinda God time (But please, do that too!) I mean some time to just sit with the Lord and make him your priority. And when you’re there in that quiet place, exercise the freedom that so many have given their lives to earn for you as an American!