Greetings In The Name of the Lord:
2 Chronicles 7:14-15 (NLT)
14 Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 15 My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place.
As we approach the celebration of our country’s independence from Great Britain, known as July 4th, I have been thinking about this idea of independence. What is independence, and what are we independent from? Well the dictionary defines independence as “freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like of others” (Dictionary.com). So this begs the question are we truly independent, or can we ever be truly independent? In my mind the answer to that question is no, we will never be totally independent. At the moment we are dependent upon foreign oil, foreign money, and a host of others things that we receive from others. Moreover, we are and always will be dependent upon a loving a gracious God. This is confirmed by the words of our greatest President, Abraham Lincoln, who said, “It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord. We know that by His divine law, nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world. May we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people? We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand, which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us” (Abraham Lincoln, Oct 1863). Not only have we forgotten God, but we have forgotten the words of this great leader from our country’s history. Furthermore, we have abandoned God by our actions, words, and deeds. Perhaps rather than celebrating this July 4th we need to humble ourselves, repent of our sins, and return to the God who made us the great nation we are today.