I love the 4th of July - spending time with family and friends, having cookouts, watching fireworks, having a day off, celebrating our country. It represents everything we love about summer so well. But as you're scarfing down your hamburger, laughing with friends, basking in the sun, waving your flags, and admiring the sparkling colors bursting in the sky, remember to take time to pray for our country.
Jordan and I have been talking about how this is something we definitely don't do enough. And that's not because we think that we're a Christian nation and that it's better to pray for other countries to become more like us. Really, it's the opposite. We sometimes think that the US is beyond the point of no return when it comes to selfishness, materialism, a twisted worldview, and pure evil. Although those attributes are definitely true of our country, we are never past the point of no return as we may think. God can change anyone and anything at any time.
There is a lot of talk about "freedom" this time of year. Freedom to be whatever we want to be, to live the way we want to, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and so on. Yes, I am immensely thankful for these freedoms. I often wonder why I was chosen to be born here and not somewhere else in the world without these freedoms. But do we really take advantage of them for Christ? There are people in other countries who meet in secret to worship God, risking their jobs, families, and lives. They are putting their lives on the line to spread the gospel when they don't have the freedom to. Are we doing it at all when we DO have the freedom to? We are in this country for a reason. God gave us divine appointments here. But the devil uses good things such as freedom and comfort to lure us into selfishness rather than thankfulness. We get caught up in the benefits of being an American instead of using them to glorify Christ.
"Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people." - Proverbs 14:34
I'm not bashing our country, but we are far from a "Christian nation". I do not want to be like most of the American "Christians" who live just like the world. I want to be different. Which means I'm not saying that I am different, I want to be different. So that change needs to start with me and how I act, and it also means I need to pray. What I'm going to be praying is that we will see our need for Christ, that we will turn from our selfishness and sin, that we will stop thinking that we can do it all ourselves, and seek righteousness. That we will stop relying on our leaders who we hold up as great and then have a field day with them when they fall. That we will make a change as individuals and stop waiting on others to do it.
Will you join me in praying for this on our nation's birthday? Happy 4th of July.