Fighting for what’s already yours

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Exactly 240 years ago next Monday, on July 4, 1776, the American colonies declared themselves free and independent states, but were they free and independent? No. Not until five years later at the last battle of the revolution in Yorktown, Pennsylvania, did they achieve that independence, which was made official two years later in the Treaty of Paris.

Which amounts to this: The colonies declared themselves free, then they had to fight for what they declared. I had to look this up to find it out. Prior to that, I would have said that July 4 marked their victory over Britain. When you think about it, it makes sense that they would declare themselves free before they actually earned that freedom. They needed an identity to fight for. Prior to that, they were fighting against something; on July 4, 1776, they began fighting for something — an idea, a bold new initiative, a country that did not exist before came into being.

This is a little bit like our freedom in Christ. We’ve been declared free; the declaration was signed in the blood of Christ, but that doesn’t mean we’re necessarily experiencing that freedom. We need to fight for what’s been declared. No, we don’t earn it — that’s already been done — but we lay hold of it; we step into it; we act on what has a been declared. And that may include a fight — a fight against ourselves — against the forces that would keep us from living in what’s already been declared ours.

Throughout the scriptures there are declarations and promises about our new life in Christ. There’s the freedom in the Spirit, the power over sin, the fruits of the Spirit, the indwelling life of Christ, the divine nature of which we have become partakers — that’s just what comes off the top of my head right now; there are so many more — all these things are ours; they’ve been declared ours by the word of God, but they mean nothing if we do not take hold of them by faith. These are all true and have been made true by Christ through His victory on the cross over sin and death. But we don’t experience these things until we lay hold of them by faith. That’s the fight of faith.

When you fly your flag this weekend — and I hope you do — think of those early founding fathers drafting the infrastructure of a new nation, and think of those scrappy soldiers, huddled against the cold and snow in Valley Forge with a dream of freedom, and think of their leader, kneeling in prayer against the better trained, better equipped forces of the British Empire, and let those images be a source of inspiration to you to claim what you need from the Lord that has been provided and declared yours by the word of God and the presence of the Holy Spirit. Seize the day. Make real what’s been declared. It’s all been done; the victory is already won; step into it; fight to embrace what’s already yours by faith.

Happy Fourth of July.

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7 Responses to Fighting for what’s already yours

  1. Mark Seguin says:

    Thx God I’m free becauz of His Son! 🙂

  2. Roy says:

    This is excellent. Thanks. My wife is a HS History teacher. One of her pet peeves is exactly what you indicated – we don’t know independence was declared on July 4th and then the founders had to fight for it for 8 years. Excellent translation to salvation and sanctification: before we were fighting against something, after we are fighting for something. It captures the Christian life and our new identities: “make real what’s been declared.” This is encouraging (“giving courage to”) and inspirational to me and my walk with Christ. Most Tuesday nights I give a “Scoutmaster’s Minute” to 50+ boy scouts. (It’s a special message of inspiration that age group can relate to). More than one of your posts has inspired those short messages. This one will too. Thank you. (We also sing “the All Day Song” on campouts. Thanks again).

    • Mark Seguin says:

      Roy have u & your wife ever had the chance to see a few years ago the HBO Specials about one of our founding father’s & 2nd President: John Adams?
      PS luv learning more about him & of the letters between him & our 3rd President Thomas Jefferson (TJ) and the letter from him, TJ and the Danberry (sp?) Baptist and where it’s stated the Separation between Church & State, because I often hear people say or think it is in the US Constitution, which I’ve even heard from a few Churches I once attended we’re a Christian Nation and that was one of the very things the founding fathers wanted to break away from England for & about – the King or Gov’t establishing a Church, so I don’t think any of our Founding Father’s would agree that we’re a Christian nation… Yet may agree w/ in this country all faiths & believes are welcomed…

      • Roy says:

        Hi Mark. I’m at doctor office now and will get back to you. This is an area worth looking into. Quickly, Jefferson penned his letter to the Danberry Baptists and then went to church – in the US Capitol building which functioned as a church for members of congress for a number of years! The separation statement is from that letter and the intent was to assure the Danberry baptists that the churches were guarded from the govt establishing a state religion such as in England. The founders did not set up the country to be a Christian nation but certainly wanted churches to operate freely without govt intrusion and their world view was Judeo Christian. They clearly identified our rights came from God not granted by a man made govt. this is Brief. Do read their writings for a primary source of what they were doing.

    • jwfisch says:

      So glad you are putting our offerings to use! (Even the “All Day Song” — I love it!)

  3. Mark Seguin says:

    Hey there Roy, thx 4 your posting a reply to mine. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it! Also hope & pray all went well @ the Doc’s office and may I plz ask what for?

    And the HBO special was based on David Macalluf (sp? again) But him & Tom Hanks, who is a History buff made or produced these I believe if I remembering correctly a 10 part series – it ends w/ Adam’s passing away and his son becoming President and there were parts in it, where it was very easily seen that Adam’s was a Christian and Jefferson; although, surely was not an atheist, yet wouldn’t, I think / believe refer to himself as a Christian. As Adam’s & his wife Abigail (sp?) did. Who also was a remarkable & strong woman….

    Yet in small detail the series mentions the ‘riff’ between Jefferson & Adams during & after the election of Jefferson to the President and man you talk about ‘dirty campaigning tricks, Jefferson ‘perfected’ a few of them.. and the letters between them, it was brought up… how Jefferson wasn’t living what some would call a good, Church going Christian life before he became our 3rd President, while him and Benjamin Franklin were your Ambassadors in Europe…
    PS also it, again if I’m remembering correctly kind of cast a shadow on Hamilton, as a bit of a “loon” which I’m sure you’ve heard about the big and very successful Broadway play and not sure the play talks about how Adam’s was George Washington’s VP & Hamilton was in Washington’s cabinet…

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