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Celebrating Our Independence and Dependence
July 2, 2018
This week, many Americans will gather with friends and family to honor and remember the pivotal date of July 4, 1776, when the 13 colonies declared their independence from British rule. The writing, signing, and adoption of the Declaration of Independence founded the United States government, establishing that every person has inherent rights. As Americans, we cherish the 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.”
From birth, it seems that we are conditioned to seek independence. When children are small, they celebrate developmental milestones that mark greater independence, such as feeding and clothing themselves. Teenagers, no doubt, feel a surge of independence when they get the car keys for the first time or head off to college. Adults sometimes wonder what it would be like to be “independently wealthy,” while senior citizens often want to hold on to independent living for as long as possible.
But, have you ever considered the importance of dependence on others and our Heavenly Father? As a society, we’re learning more and more about the importance of connection and support when it comes to functioning well mentally and emotionally. This is true for people from all walks of life – from teens to working professionals to senior citizens.
Likewise, it is hard to function well in isolation from God, and dependence is certainly necessary in our relationship with Him. Instead of leaning on our own strength and understanding, He wants us to trust Him and acknowledge our reliance on Him and Him alone (Proverbs 3:5-6). Writer Bill Crowder
says, “What we need instead is a recognition and acceptance of our deep spiritual dependence. Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5).
As we observe Independence Day, we know that we are truly fortunate to live in a land that fosters self-determination. But, what we choose to do with those freedoms and how well we are able to use them to bless others, requires a complete dependency on God and His plan for our lives. Let us trust Him to bring fruit to our branches!
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
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