It has been almost a month since the 4th of July. Did you realize that? Do you even really remember what that day was like or what you did in the following days and weeks? I bet it has slipped most everyone’s mind by now, pushed away by the business of life. For us, the 4th of July is pretty much contained to a day, or a weekend. We celebrate American freedom, and then we go back to our lives as if nothing had happened. The events on July 4, 2016 probably didn’t affect much of what was going on July 24, 2016. But what do you think it was like in 1776?
The American Colonists on July 4, 1776 took a big step forward. They had been under the oppression of a ruler who was manipulating and hurting them, but on that day they said, “No more. We are free.” That wasn’t the end of it, though. No, that was just the beginning. Following that declaration came days and months of war and bloodshed.
The Americans claimed their freedom on July 4th, but three weeks later they were not able to go on with life as if nothing had happened. They could not forget what they said that day; they could not deny the affects of this choice on their lives. There was major resistance that came against their declaration and their step forward. They were at war! They had to stand firm against it and fight back to keep what was rightfully theirs.
Now let’s look at our personal lives, our spiritual walk, our struggle with these sins that keep popping up again and again. These sins feel binding and defeating. Satan is a cruel oppressor; he loves manipulating us with his lies, both of temptation and then guilt. It is a cycle we can easily get trapped in that hurts us.
If that is where you feel like you are today, I am telling you: you don’t have to stay there! Today you can declare your freedom from the patterns and lies that have held you back. But understand that this is not a one time statement. Claim your freedom today, yes! And then come back the next day, and the next day, every hour if you must and reclaim it. Fight for it. Because this is war! Our enemy isn’t going to just watch as you walk away; he will try to stop you, but you have what you need to win the battle.
“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.” – Ephesians 6:12-13
To the soldier who is weary from fighting or who feels like they always fail again, don’t give up! The war is not over. Remember you are fighting on the winning side.
I bet there were days for the American army that they felt defeated and discouraged, days where they wondered if they would actually win the war. But they didn’t give up. They stood their ground, and they kept fighting until they were victorious. If they could stand firm in the battle, even when they were faced with uncertainty about the result, then how much more can we stand firm in our battle, having the assurance of victory through the blood of Jesus Christ!
“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” – 1 Corinthians 15:56-58
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” – Galatians 5:1