I love America, and I am proud to be an American. Our independence as a country is worth celebrating more than just once a year, and on this July 4th I will surely celebrate with family and friends. The freedoms that we enjoy as a country enable us to express our opinions and worship as we choose. While our celebration of freedom and pride for country are on display, it is a timely opportunity to be reminded of a spiritual principle: It is not what we possess that gives us favor with God, it is what we surrender.
America is a blessed country, and has been for a long time. Our pride of country may give us reason to celebrate, but it can also be our downfall. As a country, we are not entitled to greatness or blessing. We may believe we are, as flags unfurl and we identify as the greatest country in the world. Proverbs 16:18 warns us that “pride goes before destruction”. In fact, in order to continue to be blessed we must recognize what we must surrender.
America must be known for its submission to God rather than its position of global dominance. 2 Chronicles 7:14 describes a challenge of God to the nation of ancient Israel that they posture themselves with humility before God, so that He might bless and heal their land. What if our country applied this same principle today?
This warning isn’t just for a country, it also applies to the individual. Pride is real, and often a person may place their confidence in their rank or position at work, or in the size of their bank account. Our security must not be measured by what we possess.
It may be counter-intuitive, but we are strongest when we submit to God. Living with an attitude of submission to God’s way will push against arrogance. As a result we will begin to look more like Jesus.
Enjoy your holiday and celebrate with cause, but remember that it is not our position or power that makes us great. Instead, it is God’s favor and provision that makes us great as a country and as an individual. God bless America and may God bless you.