Wednesday, July 4, 2012

This Day


Many people never experience an Independence Day because they live in the regrets of the past or the fear of the future.

Shadows of the past and demons of the future are but paper tigers, roaring lions, which can neither bite nor devour except we allow them to control us, our thoughts and our actions.

By June of 1776 those living in the 13 Colonies of the Americas were fed up with the injustice of the British government in their day. The unfair taxes, unlawful constraints and illegal occupation of standing armies in times of peace that held themselves above the laws of very nature, had driven these colonialist to resolve. Fear no longer held them captive.

On June 11, 1776, Congress impaneled a 5 person committee with Thomas Jefferson as chairman. Their task was to draft a declaration of independence. After 17 days the draft was presented to Congress on June 28, 1776.

The following few days saw edits and revisions ending with a total of 26 changes to make the final draft. On July 1st at 9am debate began on the issue of Independence. When finally put to the vote on July 2, 1776, 12 of the 13 colonies voted unanimously in favor of independence with New York abstaining from the vote.

It was on July 2, 1776, that the 13 united Colonies of America officially became the United States of America.

John Adams reasonably expected July 2nd to be the celebrated day and thus he wrote to his wife, Abigail Adams, on the 3rd of July:

"The Second Day of July 1776 will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. . . . It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more." (John Adams to his wife Abigail, July 3, 1776)

July 3rd Congress met to focus on the Declaration of Independence. Debate grew long and had to be adjourned until the morrow.

On July 4th congress made some changes to the manuscript and approved the final document we now know as the Declaration of Independence.

The original was signed only by John Hancock and Charles Thompson on the night of July 4th. And, contrary to popular belief, the signed copy delivered to King George III had only Hancock’s and Thompson’s signature affixed. The remaining 54 signers were not published until 1777.

On July 15th the resolution adopted by New York in support Independence made it possible for the document to be entitled the Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America.

If we were to read this Declaration of Independence we would find that it might not hold so much talk of independence as it does principles and strong held beliefs of dependence. This document clearly reveals that the United States of America was founded on dependence in two areas of life:

1.   Dependence on God
2.   Dependence on one another

First we see dependence on God claimed in the Preamble …

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,[76] 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, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

After listing the several charges and admitting humility in attempts to redress such … the final paragraph, and even the final words give us to understand their declared dependence both on God and on one another.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Life demands a source to which we pledge ourselves in service in return for supply of our needs. These brave colonialists declared their source to be God and the mutual support of their fellow man. This and only this dependence on God and one another could ever free them from the tyranny of their oppressors.

Independence from Great Britain was a difficult decision poured over by so many with earnest hearts to arrive at a unanimous conclusion … however, their decision was nothing except they act and … it was time to act! A declaration stood them squarely on their faith that united together in a purpose worthy of God’s intervention would bring them success.

Before Independence Day could become a reality however, they had to develop a “This Day” mentality. This Day simply means – Today or Never!

If we were to survey the AV Bible we would find the phrase, “This Day” – (meaning Today) – a total of 312 KJV times. God has a “This Day” word. Nowhere in the Bible is it more evident that the children of God needed a “This Day” mentality than in the book of Deuteronomy, right at the point where God is attempting to motivate and encourage His children to cross over the Jordan River and enter the battlefields of the Promised Land.

Deuteronomy     70 – 1:10; 2:25; 4:4; 4:38 & 39; 6:6; 9:1 & 3; 30:19
Numbers           1

Perhaps the defeat of the children of Israel at Kadesh Barnea, 40 years earlier, as recorded in the book of Numbers, was due to them not having the proper perspective – an Independence Perspective – A “This Day” Mentality. Perhaps they were not mentally and spiritually prepared.

Before we step off into our Independence Day we also might need to develop a “This Day” mentality. Allow me to share:

Three Truths Concerning Independence
1.   Independence is a process which takes time
2.   Independence is not a cause rather it is an effect
a.   Everyone is dependent on a source – take away the source and you will fall
b.   Independence is not the root of life but a fruit of life
c.   It is the result of being dependent on another source
d.   Independence from one does not create dependence rather dependence on one creates independence from another
e.   Dependence on God creates independence from others
f.    Dependence on others allows independence from God
g.   Only our dependence can maintain our independence
h.   Independence from the wrong source is gained through dependence on the right source.
3.   Independence Day is whatever day you
Independence  Day was not the day the war ended but the day it began.