Happy Independence Day!

It's time to celebrate our country's birthday again. There'll be camping, cookouts, fireworks, and family gatherings throughout the land. As we celebrate our country's birthday, let us not forget the freedom for which our country was founded. Our forefathers sought a land where they could worship God in freedom and in truth. Unfortunately, the liberty that so many fought and died for has been abandoned as we have sought to gain freedom and independence.
 
The word independence has some very telling definitions. Along with liberty and freedom, it also means self-rule and self-determination. These last two are the very things that got Israel into so much trouble in the Old Testament. Over and over again they strayed from the path of God's law and inevitably found themselves in lots of trouble every single time!
 
Jesus said that the only way to be free is to know the Truth (John 8:32). Since He is the way, the truth and the life, I've just got to figure that the only way we can have real freedom is to seek His ways first (Matt. 6:33). Sadly, people who don't know Jesus are struggling with an independent spirit that wants everything now and refuses to submit to anyone!
 
In James 4 we find the reason for a lot of our struggles. He asks: Why do you struggle? Why do you war with yourself and others? It's because you lust and want things. You have not because you ask not; and even when you ask, you ask only to get what you want! (Cinde's paraphrase) He goes on to say that God resists (opposes and stands against) the proud and gives grace to the humble. So submit (humble) yourself before God, resist (oppose and stand against) satan and he will flee!
 
Now I don't know about you, but I don't want to live my life with God opposing and standing against me! But like it or not, when I choose to follow my own selfish desires and allow my actions to be influenced by the enemy, I am allowing that independent spirit to rise up and take charge. And when I do, scripture is very clear: GOD OPPOSES THE PROUD! Yuck, yuck, and double yuck!
 
True freedom comes as we submit ourselves to living our lives in accordance with God's ways. Jesus said that the only way to follow Him was to take up our cross daily and follow Him For me, taking up the cross of Christ means putting aside my agenda and asking the Holy Spirit to help me follow where Jesus is leading. Some days that may mean that I don't get to do exactly what I had planned. God is not looking to take our freedom away; He is asking us to allow Him to lead us on right paths so that our lives can fulfill His purposes. God gives grace to the humble and remember grace and joy both come from the same root word. So if you want more joy in your life, submit all that you are and all that you're not to God and the true freedom that you long for will rule in your life!
 
Prayer: Dear Lord, Forgive me for allowing myself to live independently from You. I choose this day to submit my life to You. Lead me in right paths and help me to live a life that is pleasing to You. Fill me with Your Spirit so that I might know You more and truly be free! In Jesus Name, Amen

Cinde Lucas is an ordinary person, who happens to LOVE to encourage and motivate people! She has a passion to share the Love of God with people and to let them know that God is GOOD and He has an AWESOME plan for their lives! Cinde truly desires to lead people into a closer relationship with God through music; her prayer is that the ministry we share will uplift and encourage people to be all that God created them to be. Visit Overflow Ministries at www.CindeLucas.com.