Another 4th of July has come and gone. For some reason it didn't seem like the 4th of July last week. I'm not sure why. Even though we continued some family traditions (Freedom of Faith festival at church Sunday, crashing my sister's community parade and games with the kids, grilling out, and fireworks), it didn't seem possible to be July. Where has this year gone!?
Last week, we celebrated Independence Day, a great event that changed the course of history forever. The United States, a new country, with new hopes and dreams.
And July 5th, I celebrated Dependence Day. As my girls enjoyed a day without huge plans (wake up late, read in bed, 10:00 a.m. breakfast, ping pong on the dining room table, Wii, tea party, and choreographing a gymnastics routine for the youngest), I remembered again how much I need Jesus. (Oh, I didn't include the arguments over the Wii game, the fight over the fancy hat, the spilled tea, duct tape tearing off paint in the hallway,...life as usual).
Dependence Day, every day for me...
I need Jesus, my Savior.
I celebrated my first Dependence Day the day I gave up my independence (didn't call it that as a 7-yr-old). The day I asked Jesus to be my Savior, I also asked Him to be my boss.
To accept Him as my Savior, I realized through God's word that I couldn't depend on my self to have forgiveness. I could never be good enough (What is good enough to a perfect God? Oh, yeah, perfection. Never!) I learned that Jesus provided a way for me to have forgiveness, through His blood sacrifice on the cross. I asked Jesus to forgive me of all my sin and by faith I accepted His death in my place. (Thank you, Jesus!) That Dependence Day I gave up my selfish demands, dreams, and desires in exchange for His best for me. What a trade! Since the day I asked Jesus to be my savior (once and for eternity), I must declare my daily dependence on Him.
Titus 3:4-5 (New Living Translation) But then God our Savior showed us his kindness and love. 5 He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins and gave us a new life through the Holy Spirit.
"Thank you, Jesus, for being my Savior".
I need Jesus, my Sanity.
I love spending time my girls. Don't get me wrong. But some days I get tired of playing referee, breaking up arguments and giving out penalties. Other days, I feel like putting myself in the penalty box just for a break. If I'm not careful, I would go insane.
2 Tim. 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (emphasis mine)
"Thank you, Jesus, for being my Sanity".
I need Jesus, my Strength.
Life gets difficult. It's not for wimps. God doesn't want us (followers of Jesus) to live life independent of Him. He provided everything we need to live a victorious life (defined by Him, not our worldly standards). When we depend on our own strength, we say, (maybe not with our lips) "God I don't need you. (I don't trust you) Or, God I don't think you can handle this one. (You are not powerful enough) Or, This trial is small enough for me to handle (I can live life without You)." So many moments I live these lies: weak, defeated, and dangerous. Dangerously relying on self instead of the source of Strength. But when I turn and rely on Jesus, He will be MY STRENGTH.
Psalm 18: 1-2
1 "I love You, O LORD, my strength." 2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge ; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
(emphasis mine. Love those "s" words)
"Thank you, Jesus, for being my Strength (when I let you)".
What about you? Do you need to declare Dependence Day for the first time? Or, do you need to return to depending on Jesus for everything?