Even though I’m an adult, I love fireworks, and today, for the first time, I’ll be watching fireworks at our nation’s capital. I always wanted to see them there, as it seems the most fitting place for fireworks and all they represent to me. Rocket’s red glare … bombs bursting in air … mystery, drama, wonder … and celebration. To let your mind swim back through the years to those courageous days of our forefathers. The lights, colors and sound on the outside; all the feelings and goose bumps on the inside. Just a really cool experience.
All over America today, we celebrate our country’s birthday with festivities, and commemorate winning our freedom from England. Freedom is a wonderful feeling … a state (like Maine or Virginia) of mind, and privilege. I taught in Kenya after the bombing of the U.S. embassy, in Uganda while civil war and the Lord’s Army were active, and in Iraq during our present war there in 2007. Until I visited and lived with people in oppressed areas, I really didn’t understand the magnitude and insidious ramifications of persecution and the meaning of freedom.
The bad news, the sobering reality, is we aren’t really free. It’s just a trick. We will always be serving a master. One choice is God, whose orders, commands, wishes, desires, authority, agenda, policies, and rules are perfect. God is the real, ideal, loving King of the Kingdom we call the universe. The other option is Satan, leader of the rebel party, trying to overthrow God’s benevolent all-caring regime, feeding our fleshly agendas, vying for our loyalty by tricking us into believing we don’t need God, and getting us to believe that destructive ways and me-centered intentions are actually in our best interest. That we can rule ourselves.
Now the good news, we are free in this most important aspect: we are free to choose which master we will follow and obey. With freedom comes grave responsibility. You see, if you aren’t actively choosing God, moment by moment, your passive, natural inclination is rejecting God, letting your flesh rule your mind and decisions, thus voting Satan and his policies into office. Satan lets us do the ‘get pleasure now’ activities we crave.
Today, enjoy the festivities, but above all else, exercise your freedom to choose your master. Your daily growth and fulfillment, and your eternal destiny depend on it. Only one master genuinely cares for you, is willing to die for you (He actually did), and wants to let you live in His royal palace forever to inherit eternal riches beyond your most fantastic imaginings! My life changed when I chose Jesus to be not just my Savior, but also the Lord of my life. Now it’s Your decision, so choose well.
Dear King of Kings, Thanks for being a king who gave it all for the lowest serf in Your kingdom, me. Help me choose You. Help me to be a faithful ambassador for You in this fallen world, so others will see You in me. Thanks for the blessings I have in the U.S. including the freedom to worship you. I pray your protection and comfort for my brothers and sisters in Christ who are being harmed because of their commitment to You. Give me a humble spirit to yield to Your rule every minute, because You provide all I need way better than any other master can. I pray in the name of the one who died for my freedom, Jesus Christ – and all God’s children say, AMEN!
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.
And Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing beside him on his right hand and on his left;
1 Kings 22:19
And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world–he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.