Most of us love to celebrate Independence Day, a day that Americans remember their freedom from British oppression by gathering with family and friends for picnics, pool parties, and relaxing times at the lake. It’s a day that typically ends gazing into the night sky and oohing and awing over the majesty and splendor of a fireworks show.
As I reflected over our independence earlier this month, it occurred to me that more significant than what we are free from is what we’re free to. As Americans broke free from the tyranny of England they were choosing self-determination and self-governance over a tyrannical monarchy. As Israel broke free from Egyptian bondage, they committed to total dependence on God as they ventured into a wilderness of unknown danger and destiny. A break from one dependence is a choosing of another. Freedom is a trade from one ruler to another.
As we consider our freedom from sin, Satan, self, and the world, we are choosing a new dependency, a dependency on Christ and the Spirit. The only true freedom from the domination of drugs and alcohol is not self-will which is what created the problem in the first place, but a surrendering of our will to the one who created us. So that freedom comes through a dependency on God’s Son, Jesus Christ.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” II Corinthians 3:17
A declaration of independence is a commitment upon a new dependence.