As the celebrations continue during this Fourth of July holiday, ponder a moment a type of freedom that doesn’t require an independence day. In fact, the freedom I write about is based on our dependence, not independence.

For the Christian, true freedom is found in Christ. But with this freedom comes responsibility as noted in Galatians 5:13. The last part of this verse is often quoted, but the first part ignored. Yet, the beginning of the verse is a warning to use our freedom in a way that doesn’t destroy it.

“It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows” – Galatians 5:13.

The Apostle Paul warns us not to use our freedom to do whatever we want. This temptation is as old as the Garden. The serpent tempted Eve to not follow God’s instructions; to do what she thought was best. Eve was deceived and ate the fruit in an act of disobedience. Satan’s temporary victory was to get Eve to think and act independently from God and her husband — sin resulted!

Satan was familiar with this strategy of independence. He used it with God and was cast out of heaven. He continues to push this message today-do whatever you want.

Freedom is based on a dependence on God and an interdependence on each other. Nothing good happens spiritually with Christians who are not dependent on God … it is a contradiction in terms!

The Bible teaches that we are not alone in our walk with God, and we don’t grow alone … we are built together as a Holy Temple, upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets. There is no power in being independent.

Instead, we are to preserve freedom by following Christ and His example and serve one another in love. Freedom grows through service, not through self-satisfaction. So this holiday, let freedom ring with a growing dependence on God and a commitment to serving each other. And pray that our country built on independence will see a need for dependence on God.

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