On July 4th, Americans like me celebrate “Independence Day” and the freedom hard-won by the brave soldiers of the Revolutionary War. It’s a worthy celebration. But have you ever found yourself pursuing happiness by making your own personal declaration of independence? This month, I’ve decided to make a declaration of dependence. Here’s why you should, too.
Most of us love the idea of doing it all on our own. We want to start from the bottom and make it to the top without help from anyone else. In fact, we wrongly believe it’s better if we never have to ask anyone for help.
Independence, for the most part, is a good thing. My parents are glad I became independent as an adult and moved out of their house. But not all independence is good. When we declare our independence, we need to ask ourselves this question: “What are we declaring independence from?”
America’s revolutionaries knew why they had to become an independent nation. They were being denied rights to life, liberty, and pursuing happiness, and the only way out was to separate themselves.
These revolutionaries understood an important aspect of dependence. Actually, it’s right there in the Declaration of Independence! The freedom for life, liberty, and pursuing happiness was “endowed by the Creator.” They acknowledged where their power came from. They didn’t earn it—they were dependent on God for it.
So this month, I’m declaring my dependence on God. There is a tyrannical force threatening life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and its name is sin. If we want to declare ourselves independent of sin, we must declare ourselves dependent on God.
We need to recognize that declaring our own independence just to prove we can live without anyone’s help is really declaring independence from God. We’re separating ourselves from His power in favor of our own and turning independence into an idol. God never asked us to live like islands. In fact, He commands the opposite. There are many battles ahead that threaten our freedom from sin, and I plan to fight with the strength of the One who created heaven and earth.
How about you? Are you declaring dependence today?