“The Day of Salvation is our Independence Day.”
What does that even mean?
A bit on the nose, is it not? Clickbait? Am I trying to sucker you in with a relevant topic?
The truthful answer is yes. And no.
How can my answer be polar opposites and still be correct? In the same way our Lord is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.
Still confused? Then you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to Christian Sanity, a column overseen by a man trying to walk that particular fine line to varying degrees of success.
Strap in because here we go.
What is Independence Day?
Without delving into any politically charged waters, July 4th is commonly celebrated as Independence Day. Often considered the day the U.S.A. created and signed the document, the Declaration of Independence; we history buffs know the title and date of signatures do not precisely line up with factual reality. Still, we celebrate the 4th of July as Independence Day.
But what is it?
In essence, it was a declaration, a statement, of unanimous decision to sunder ties from a tyrannical governing rulership that applied injury, injustice, and insufferable evil… The Founding Fathers paraphrased words, not mine.
Yet most of the inhabitants of the American colonies traced their pedigrees to the British, either through being born there or their parents/grandparents.
So, how does salvation correlate to Independence Day?
We knew things were no longer acceptable. Lost and alone, we searched for something never before possessed. We saw firsthand that the wages of sin were death. We experienced oppression from an unseen entity who refused to give us freedom from a life of sin. The knowledge we could not overcome the power over us haunted our days and lived in our nightmares. A simple truth that we cannot attain freedom alone.
But the gift of God is eternal life through our Lord, Christ Jesus.
Likened to Faustian imagery, Satan owned the contract to our souls. Born in a sinful world, we lived in sin until we found the only one who could remove our sins and our names from the eternal deed in the devil’s grasp.
The momentous day we chose to alter our future, we picked a new government over our life and afterlife. Our lives, livelihood, family, possessions, and home cast off all former claims. We elected a new ruler for our lives with a singular vote required to enter an era of ‘new management.’
The day of Salvation is our spiritual Independence Day. The day we chose to stand for God, we sent the enemy a Declaration of Intent.
Why do We Celebrate Independence Day?
Why do we celebrate any day? Because it is an essential date in our lives!
Parents know that we can never forget a child’s birthday. For one, it’s the day our precious little ones arrive. Secondly, they will never forget or forgive if their special day slips our minds, and one day in the far future, when we need to be spoon-fed our applesauce, they will force-feed us a horrifying organic lumpy sauce that tastes abysmal.
Okay, maybe that last one is just a fear of mine …
What about anniversaries? Aren’t they important?
Yes, yes, yes, they are the love of your life. You could never imagine life without them. But what about that day when (guys, I’m talking to you) we forget to lift the toilet seat? For five years, they held onto that memory of a wet seat and the fateful day you called from the restroom needing a roll of toilet paper … they never answered … and all you hear is an evil cackle …
Okay, I’ll stop projecting my fears onto all of you.
Days like the births of children or the unions of couples are dates we hold in great esteem. Celebratory milestones remind us why we like that child or the person we wake up next to. Our choices are vindicated by our love on those days. Isn’t Salvation a celebratory moment? A day of remembrance for a choice that completely changed our lives for the better, forever.
Why is Remembering Independence Day Necessary?
Besides the fireworks, barbeque, water activities, family get-togethers, colorful festivities, car shows, and mandatory parades, we Americans are meant to remember the whole point of the day (or multiple-day weekend). It is about a group of like-minded individuals standing against what was perceived as the greatest threat to their lives and generation.
Men and women of varying backgrounds, ethnicities, and religious creeds decided to stand for change and, in doing so, enacted a change that created a nation free from those who were their lord and ruler.
If we ever needed a reason to celebrate our spiritual independence day, we only need to apply the previous sentence to our spiritual life.
We are the men and women of many nations. Just as when Israel was scattered abroad but united by their Faith, so do we as Christians stand in solidarity and consolidation as joint heirs with Christ, our Savior.
We are the ones who stand for change.
First, in our lives. We rebel against the ruler of this world. The wages of this world, from the authority that holds dominion with principalities and powers, is death. Our individual stance of defiance and rejection of Satan and his realm of authority begins our official independence day. The verdict of death we carry is removed by the precious blood of the Lamb and the gift of Salvation. A change in our spiritual nationality from lost to a found child of the King is what we attain on our fateful day.
And thus, we join the movement for independence. As members of the rebellion against the god (lower ‘g’) of this world and royal ambassadors for the Kingdom of Heaven, we stand in the gap for our brothers and sisters, we intercede for those still lost, and we go to war in the spirit to cast down enemies of darkness.
As blood-bought prayer warriors who have chosen the Lord God as our deliverer from the shackles of sin, we cannot forget our Independence Day. Because we need to remember where we came from to maintain sight of where we are going. Remembering what God has done for us opens us to thankfulness. And if we can’t, or won’t, remember what our Heavenly Father freed us from, how can we be thankful?
As a redeemed son of God, I must remember that once I was lost in a world bereft of God’s blessings, protection, and callings. His love reached for me, but until I was willing and wanting, I denied Him, continued living in sin, and was subjected to the rule of sin.
Remembering and celebrating our spiritual Independence Day doesn’t glorify our past. It glorifies the Lord. This isn’t a walk down the dark alleys of memory lane but a praise to God, who brought us out of darkness and into His marvelous light of our future. Christians should embrace the day of remembrance that reminds us we were pulled from the flames of eternal damnation to be fire walkers. We walk the fire and pull others free because we remember that once, we were lost, but now, we are found.
This Independence Day, while remembering what occurred on (or around) July the 4th, spend a few moments remembering your spiritual Independence Day when you declared God to be your Lord.