Independence Day – I love it! It’s the celebration of our beloved nation’s birth!
The flags! The parades! The fireworks! The BBQs! The Family Gatherings!
My mind goes back to studying about the colonization of the east coast by the English, the west coast by the Spanish, and the south by the French. America – the Melting Pot! People came from all over the world to the new promise land that we lovingly call the USA! And what a blessed nation we are!
Yet, as believers, we also are citizens of heaven along with people all over the world from every tribe and nation! So, our focus is much broader than our own borders. We are,
“ … a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you (we) may declare the praises of him who called you (us) out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
I’m patriotic. But as much as I value my US citizenship, my 1st commitment is to my King! If, God forbid, the freedom I have as a US citizen was taken from me, I’d still be FREE, because,
“… if the Son makes you (me) free, you (I) will be (am) free indeed!” (John 8:36)
The first readers of John’s Revelation had to know where their loyalty belonged. To worship anything or anyone other than the emperor could get someone killed. Some One could be crucified by claiming He was the Son of God. Our temptation to the “worship of empire” is much more subtle. Patriotism and love for God are intertwined so much that at times we have to remind ourselves where our citizenship really is.
So, what are we citizens of heaven here for? As children of our King, is it not to colonize earth for heaven? Is it not to declare the praises of God and bring others out of darkness into His/our Kingdom of Light?
Even as I celebrate America on July 4th, I’m going to be looking for opportunities to colonize earth for heaven, just like I do every day. But on Independence Day we may have more opportunities than usual. As we gather with family and friends, perhaps our King will open a door to tell someone how they can be REALLY FREE – FREE INDEED!
Friends, I encourage you to be on the lookout for those God-moments. Be ready to practice the privilege and responsibility of your forever Citizenship!