Independence is something we strive for when we are young. When children are learning healthy boundaries and navigating through the social and emotional difficulties of adolescence, it is common for rebellion to take root. They are “asserting their independence.” They have concluded they have certain “rights,” and they are willing to fight for them.
If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.
─ Mark 8:35 NLT
When our country was young and not yet formed, we took a similar stand. This is from the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Our spiritual independence requires a Savior.
From a political and governmental perspective, this statement is spot on. But from a spiritual perspective, it can be quite misleading. You see, what we are called to as we grow in our spiritual maturity is not to gain, but to lose. It is not to attain life, liberty and happiness by governmental means, but by dying to self (Galatians 2:20, Luke 9:23, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Mark 8:35).
How do we do this? Well, let’s review this in the Declaration of Independence. If our God given rights are trampled on, we overthrow the government and replace it with a better one. This is exactly what Jesus did for us. He established the Church, the ekklesia, to govern this world with spiritual authority. To abolish the works of the enemy and establish the government of heaven on earth.
Don’t limit the opus of your life to “happiness.” The sum of your life should be so much more. It should be full of purpose and joy. Happiness is fleeting, but fulfillment, given by an infinite God, will sustain you for all of your days.
They say youth is wasted on the young, but sometimes spiritual maturity is wasted on the old. Neither truly matters when the Kingdom of God is at hand. Both must assert their independence from the control of the enemy and walk in the anointing of the King to establish something new in our relationships, jobs and families for generations to come. Our spiritual independence didn’t require a letter. It just required a Savior.
Today’s One Thing
Write down ways you can trust God today or where you think He is calling you to step out in faith.