By: Reverend Frank I. Williams
Are you ready for the Word!
“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” 2 Corinthians 3:17
Have you ever wondered why God created humans beings and chose to give us freewill? Think about it for a moment. He must have intended for us to experience love. Without choice genuine love is not possible; so He gave us the ability to experience the freedom to choose. With this ability also came the possibility of experiencing evil, to choose to hate, and to choose to violate God’s will and standards. Liberty has its liabilities.
What a risk God took and at the same time what a love God demonstrated in making us all free agents. Being free agents allows us to become self-sufficient. Think of a child who becomes more and more self-sufficient as he or she matures into adulthood and is able to maximize their self-intentions and be fully independent. Freedom is in our DNA. Is it any wonder that the in the U.S. Declaration of Independence it states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men [persons] 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.”
The Jamaican National Anthem states, “Eternal Father bless our land,
guard us with Thy Mighty Hand,
keep us free from evil powers,
be our light through countless hours.” The Trinidad and Tobago National Anthem states, “Forged from the love of liberty, in the fires of hope and prayer,
with boundless faith in our destiny we solemnly declare.” The St. Kitts and Nevis National Anthem states, “As stalwarts we stand, for justice and liberty, with wisdom and truth we will serve and honour thee. No sword nor spear can conquer, For God will sure defend.”
Even on the national level we have seen the historical progress of countries moving toward freedom and independence, and God has been a part of that journey. It has been a bloody and brutal journey, but none-the-less freedom is in our DNA. It is in our DNA because God put it there; and when we got there as nations we knew that it was more than just the battle that made it possible, it was God who made it possible and so we declared this in our national songs, declarations, and systems of government.
After independence the next step is the formation of a democratic system that can support the individual freedoms of its citizens, but at the same time keep the system itself free from the propensity for self-corruption. This difficult task is accomplished primarily by the laws that govern, and the prayers that can keep our hearts reminded that these systems are our attempts to honor Him who gave us liberty in the first place.
I have seen a progression that is a cause for concern. That is, the further along the path of freedom and liberty a nation travels, and the more educated and affluent its citizens become, the easier it is to forget its reliance on God as a part of this system. That it is God who will “bless our land,” that it is God who keeps “us free from evil powers,” that it is in the “fires of hope and prayer” and in the “wisdom of truth” that we as sovereign nations were forged to become, as the U.S. puts it, “one nation under God.”
When we forget these vital truths, that our liberties are from God and to Him we are ultimately accountable for how we have exercised the gift of freewill, we increase the potential for “evil powers” to invade our systems, our communities, and our families. Therefore, we cannot and must not pursue freedom without faith, autonomy without accountability, or liberty without limitations. It is our faith in God, our systems of accountability, and the appropriate limitations of our liberties for the greater good that gives us the balance between total independence and healthy interdependence.
I like the way the American Black National Anthem puts it, “God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, Thou who has brought us thus far on the way; Thou who has by Thy might led us into the light, keep us forever in the path, we pray. Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee, lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee.”
May we always give thanks to God, and never forget His grace and His love that emancipates us to become the best nations that He has given us the potential to become. Happy Independence! Think on these things.