The Declaration of Dependence

The Declaration of Dependence

Tomorrow the United States is celebrating a crucial moment in the history of our nation - the signing of the Declaration of Independence. This event made us different from all the other nations of the world. Here are a few ways we are different than other nations. Only in America do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight. Only in America do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions, while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front. Only in America do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our junk in the garage.

Seriously, as we look back at July 4, 1776, little do we realize that it was a very dangerous decision for each man who dared to sign that Declaration. England considered them traitors, and if caught, they would be hanged as such. In fact, as John Adams signed it he said, "Whether we live or die, sink or swim, succeed or fail, I stand behind this Declaration of Independence. And if God wills it, I am ready to die in order that this country might experience freedom."

It was that kind of patriotism which led men, armed with little more than hunting rifles, to engage in battle with what was the most powerful nation in the world. Many of our forefathers paid a terrible price in the Revolutionary War, but finally they won the victory so that you and I might be citizens of this "land of the free." But what we often forget is that in declaring their independence from England, our forefathers made an equally strong “Declaration of Dependence” upon Almighty God. 

The second paragraph of the Declaration begins with these words: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." Again, the closing words of the Declaration states: "With a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor." 

It is vital that we remember this very clear declaration of dependence upon God, for strong efforts are being made not only to ignore, but to eliminate any recognition of the deep and abiding faith of our forefathers, and of God, who gave this nation its birth and its greatness. The basic framework of our country grew out of this concept of God-given rights. But take God out, as so many judges and leaders are trying to do, and we are left with a nation whose freedoms stem from nothing more than the whims of those in power. That is why many of them say the constitution is out of date, or in their way. Therefore, they ignore it.

We also need to be reminded of the solemn warning that God gave to another nation which was experiencing the thrill of independence after centuries of slavery in Egypt. Although it was written over 3,500 years ago, this warning could very well apply to the United States today. 

Deuteronomy 8:6-20 So you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him. For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. “Take care lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock, who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end. Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. And if you forget the LORD your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish. Like the nations that the LORD makes to perish before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the LORD your God.

History has made it abundantly clear that not only nations, but also individuals, need to heed that warning. The greatness of a nation is not measured by its military power, technological advancements, or national wealth. Righteousness and justice are the determining factors. The nation that survives will be the nation whose God is the Lord and who walks accordingly.

Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.

As a nation, we are walking in the wrong direction. Righteousness no longer exalts us. Sin abounds. To a great extent, our modern objectives have become success, status, and security. These are followed closely by self-indulgence, comfort, and pleasure.

To remind us how far this country has gotten away from God, the Supreme Court ruled that it was illegal to even show the Ten Commandments on government property. And they did this while the Ten Commandments are engraved in the walls their courtroom! Can anyone besides me see a rebellious attitude towards God in those judges? Can anyone but me see how they have done their best to make America fall by forsaking God?

Consider the rebellion around this nation in states who have recently made it legal for homosexuals to get married. Homosexuality is an abomination to God Almighty! God instituted marriage for one man and one woman. This new ruling is an “in-your-face” insult to God!

Leviticus 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

For the last two generations, we have failed to teach our children that with every freedom, with every liberty, with every blessing, comes an accountability to be responsible for our freedoms. When we ignore personal responsibility, we encourage disorder and chaos. Look at chaos in our streets and the mass killings perpetrated by young people today!

Someone wrote: What in the world is happening with our kids today? Let’s see…I think it started when Madalyn Murray O’Hair complained that she didn’t want any prayer in our schools, and our Supreme Court said “Okay.” 

Then someone said “You had better not read the Bible in school” – the Bible that says, “Thou shall not kill, thou shall not steal,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” And our nation said, “Okay.”

Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem. So we said, “Okay, we won’t spank them.”

Then someone said that teachers and principals better not discipline our children when they misbehave. And our administrators said, “No one in this school is to touch a student when he misbehaves because we don’t want to be sued.”

Then someone said, “Let’s provide our children with condoms so they can have all the sex they desire.” And our nation said, “That’s a great idea.” Someone else said, “Let’s provide abortions for underage girls, and they won’t even have to tell their parents.” And our nation said, “That’s another great idea.” 

So now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill. 

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. It has a great deal to do with Galatians 6:7-8 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

Americans have sung, "I've gotta be free," but our proclaimed freedom has become the very thing that enslaves us. People, who are caught up in sin, think they are free, but in reality they are enslaved to demons and are suffering sin’s consequences.

For example, the prodigal son came to his father and said, "I want to be free. Give me what is mine." It was given to him. Thinking he was free, he went about the country doing anything he wanted. But his “freedom” was brief. His friends left him when his money ran out, and he found himself enslaved to a Gentile taskmaster and to a group of hogs in the hog wallow. It was not until he went home and submitted to his father that he really found freedom. 

So when we stand back and look at this land of the free, we begin to wonder, "Can’t people see what they are doing to themselves and this country?" Sadly, they can’t. They think freedom is no rules, no laws, no God. They have forgotten that we are only free because we have been dependent on God, not independent. With God, we have a greater freedom than any declaration or constitution can grant us. We have the freedom that is offered in Christ Jesus. 

2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

The freedom we have in Christ is called "redemption." Redemption means "to be set free." It means that we have been bought with a price, that we have been freed of our bondage to sin and the devil. Now we are really free. The Holy Spirit trains us how to live in freedom responsibly.

Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

If you really are a patriot; if you are truly concerned about America; if you earnestly want God to bless her - then live a life in harmony with the will of God. Be filled with the Holy Spirit. Become dependent upon Him. If each person did that, our country would change.

Furthermore, pray that our country might have grace to repent so we can have a new birth of freedom; not a freedom from God, which always leads to slavery, but rather a freedom built upon dependence on God and obedience to His commandments. Then, as did the founding Fathers of our country, we will find in the LORD our life, liberty, and true happiness. 

Job 5:17 Blessed is the one whom God corrects. So do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.

 Perhaps it will take God’s hand of discipline to get us to repent. As much as we may not like being corrected, we must receive it in order to be blessed by God. Our nation must make Jesus Christ God of this country again. Unfortunately, we forget God unless there is a catastrophe.

Americans put far too much faith in ourselves, as a nation. Again, we need to repent of this independent attitude and become dependent upon God, for we are utterly helpless without God’s help. He alone can bring blessing on our lives and our nation. He alone is the One who can lift America out of her selfish and sinful ways.

Psalm 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance!

Salvation is the free gift of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, but His blessing on our lives comes at an expense—the expense of allowing God to correct our lives, making Him Lord of our lives, and trusting Him explicitly.

America didn’t get the way she is now overnight. It has been a gradual degradation over decades. America will not become dependent on God overnight neither, for salvation happens one heart at a time. This calls for sustained prayer and standing for Christ, by Christians every day, for as long as it takes. We are not battling flesh and blood, but the satanic spirit of the anti-Christ.

Psalm 40:1 I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. We Americans are always in a hurry. When we pray, we want answers right now. For this, we also need to repent. Then, pray diligently that the demonic spirits ruining this nation will be bound and that the Holy Spirit will bring revival to our land and make us one nation under God again.

For instance, during the first Constitutional Convention, the delegates were in a hurry to develop this new nation’s precepts. These men were so frustrated at not being able to agree on a Constitution that they were all but ready to throw the whole idea out and forget it. But, it was during this gridlock that Benjamin Franklin stood up, calm and deliberate, and said, “Gentlemen, if it is true that not one sparrow falls to the ground without escaping God’s attention, will the distress of this nation go unnoticed by Him? Let us therefore determine to seek His face.”

These men did something that would continue every time they met. They immediately put down their pens and all got on their knees in prayer. Out of that prayer meeting came the motto, “E Pluribus Unum”, out of many one.

Do you want America to get back to God? Do you want it to turn away from the liberal and satanic direction it is now headed? If you do, vote accordingly; but more importantly, pray. Pray like you have never prayed before. For if you don’t think it is important enough to devote time to praying for America, God won’t think America is important enough to us to heal her. Let’s not wait for God to discipline us to begin praying. Begin walking by the Spirit today.

2 Chronicles 7:13-14 When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

God does not say that everyone has to pray, just His people who are called by His name. That would be us. He calls us to humble ourselves. He calls us to repent. Therefore, if Christians would seek God’s face, turn from their wickedness, walk in His ways, and offer up a persistent prayer, then God will hear and He will heal our land. Americans must declare their dependence upon God again.

What is true for a nation is also true for individuals. If you want God’s blessings, if you want God to hear your prayers, you must become His dependent child through faith in Jesus Christ and His redemptive work on the cross. You must repent of your sin and give your life to Jesus by dying to yourself in baptism. Then you will be born again of the Holy Spirit, making you a child of God who will receive an eternal inheritance.