It's always kind of been my impression we’re celebrating the birthday of the United States when we celebrate Independence Day.
We’re not, I mean, we are in a sense, but it's just the day that they declared independence.
It's not the day they gained independence. It's just the day they declared it. Really the birth of the United States would be when the revolutionary war ended, when England finally said, yes, fine, you can be your own country. You're not a colony of England anymore.
We celebrate the declaration because without making that declaration, that firm resolve, we would never have had independence. They resolved - We're sure this is what God is calling us to. We are sure He is with us in this. We are committing, our lives, our fortunes, our honor. We're giving everything to this. We're declaring this is what we believe and we are giving everything.
The spiritual truth in that is that we can take scripture, just like they did, and make a declaration. It can be about how God sees us or any promise in scripture. We can say, “This is what God has for me and I am giving it all my life, my fortune, my attention, all for that.”
Maybe declaring, “I am the righteousness of Christ. I am free from my sin.” Or "The Lord is my shepherd. I don't lack anything I need."
Whatever declarations you need, as long as they're based in scripture, you can start celebrating once you've declared them if you declare it with a firm resolve. If we're declaring in agreement with God's word we don't have to wait until we arrive to celebrate. We shouldn't because we're never going to arrive. We're not going to be perfected this side of eternity.
We can have the declaration be so firm and the vision of what we're declaring so clear that we can put aside the distractions. We can invest the time, invest the money, invest the changes in relationships, whatever it is that we need to, to do our part to make that declaration come to pass. The United States didn't gain their freedom from England because they made a declaration. They gained their freedom from England because they're willing to fight for it. They paid a high price for it.
In our case, Jesus paid the high price, but we have to pay what can seem like a high price too. He told us that we need to take up our cross. We need to count the cost. We don't need to pay for things He already paid for, but we do have to pay the price of setting aside our will, of setting aside our agenda, giving up revenge, giving up bitterness, unforgiveness, things that are hard. We will go through things that we don't understand and still must have faith, still believe the goodness of God even when things don't make sense.
That's a battle we have to fight, but He's given us the power, the authority, and all the tools we need to do that. We have to learn to use them.