Independence Day Musings: Choice of two freedoms: Self-determination versus Self Surrender


Celebrate your In Dependence

Celebrate In Dependence

Today is July 4th. It is the day those of us who are citizens of the United States celebrate the creation of the country. It is the day which the Declaration of Independence was signed. The founding fathers sough to establish a government that represented the will of the people and valued the freedom of self-determination. The country known as the United States grew and thrived as each individual was free to set their course and pursue goals. The freedoms provided in this country have allowed the country to flourish. Yet the freedoms provided in this country are freedoms built on a false foundation.

The freedoms in the United States really are centered on the freedom of self. We can do what we choose to do without excessive restriction. Government is viewed as a contract and the laws we submit to we agree to abide by and if don’t like the laws, we vote in new representatives to negotiate changes to the laws. It is ultimately about each of us doing as we wish so that it does not interfere with others. In this country everyone is free to be independent to the point where don’t interfere with others. In other words we are free do what we want. Now many will argue that the course of freedom in the country was established on Biblical concepts. Yet, if you examine the concept further the freedom of independence is not really the Biblical concept of freedom.

Rather, the Biblical concept of freedom is that of in dependence. We are only free when we surrender self to Jesus. The Bible states in Matthew 10:39 (ESV)
“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
” This involves a surrender of self, a giving up of our independence for dependence on Jesus. Only in such surrender is their true freedom. According to Jesus as recorded in John 8:32 (ESV) “and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” and again in John 8:36 (ESV) “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” True freedom is not the independence of self and the right of self-determination. Rather, true freedom is surrender of self. It is turning from self to the King of Kings and living in daily dependence upon him.

It is not an easy choice. We readily accept and value our independence. We seek to grow the kingdom of self. We fall into the trap easily. We go about our lives, filling it with our wants, needs, and desires. Building our families, careers, and lives to that of our liking. We seek to avoid and diminish the suffering. Find ways to entertain self. We build quite a kingdom around us in our independence.

Living in surrender and dependence is quite difficult. We prefer to live our lives accordance to self. We don’t want to be told what to do and how to live our lives, for generally we feel we can manage on our own, until something happens. We turn to God often to meet our own agendas rather than listen and follow what God leads. A life of total surrender is difficult. Our own wants, desires, and agenda easily come to the forefront. Yet, every step of self leads to less true freedom, for all that is of self leads to destruction. We are blinded by our own agendas, desires, knowledge, and plans. We easily substitute what we want for what God wants. We often think that God does not have our best interests at heart. Even if God has promised to grant our desire, we easily lose focus and lose faith. The Bible is filled with people putting their own way of trying to bring about God’s will. Each such step resulted in consequences that still impact us today.

So today, on this day of celebrating Independence take time to examine yourself. Are you walking steps self-directed or God-directed? How is self getting in the way? Have you surrendered your life to Jesus so that you are truly free? Are you willing to pursue a life of being In Dependence rather than independent? Would you rather be free to what you want, do what is right in your own eyes or are you willing to give up self and depend on God and live in accordance with His will? The bible is clear. If you seek to hold onto that which is self, you will be lost. If you surrender self, you gain. The choice is there for each of us, every day, every moment; walk the path of self-determination or self-surrender.

Dependence on Jesus breaks the chain of slavery to self.

Dependence on Jesus breaks the chain of slavery to self.

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