As I contemplated on what we are celebrating today, I also was thinking of another declaration. The declaration that I made when I chose to follow Jesus. Rather than an imposed decision, like the ones that Parliament was forcing on the Colonies, this was my own free will choice. When Jesus died on the cross for my sins, was buried and then three days later rose and ascended to the Father, He gave me the freedom to choose; life with Him or eternal separation. As those Founding Fathers wrote I chose life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
I chose life in Him. Or as I wrote in my title, Him-dependence. I know that in me personally there is no good thing. I know that He formed me in my mother's womb, He fashioned me in a spectacular way. Made according to His plans and made to have a relationship with Him. Life, and life everlasting. Abundant life here on this earth and life with Him eternally in heaven after the spirit in my body takes it's last bow and exits the stage we call life.
I chose liberty. When the Founding Fathers wrote the Declaration, they were writing it to be out from under the oppression and totalitarianism of King George III. He and Parliament were forcing unjust laws and restrictions on the Colonies. The Fathers believed that they were given the right to live out from under all of that domination. Just so, we are given freedom by the blood of Jesus to live free from the dictatorship of Satan and sin. By the blood, we are freed from having to be slaves to sin and death. We are free to live a life emancipated from the power of sin over our lives. As it says in John 8:36, "So if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed".
And in following life and liberty I am free to pursue happiness. Or a better way of saying it, is I am free to pursue joy. Happiness is fleeting, and tied to emotions or circumstances. Joy is different altogether. I can be joyful even going through hard times. I can be joyful even when I am suffering or in times of trial. Joy comes from the Lord and it is as unalienable a right to us as Christians as life and breath. There are so many scriptures that show us that; Romans 14:17, "For the kingdom of God is not meat or drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost." Or Romans 15:13, "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost." If you have time, just find a bible app and type in the word joy and see how many times it is shown in the New Testament.
God, through the life and death and resurrection of His son gave us freedom from death and sin, and gave us the choice to choose life in Him. He gave us all of this, to choose with our own free will, to live life and that life abundantly. I am so blessed to have made the choice to make my life Him-dependent, and to live that life fully in Him.