Our country is in desperate need for the spiritual sons and daughters of liberty to once again rise up in the spirit of sacrifice and bravery that this country was founded upon and move forward for God with a relentless passion to bring spiritual liberty to our land. We are called of God to go forth to a dying world and open their eyes, turning them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God and offer them a place of honor among the sanctified.
The clarion call that heralded forth the ministry of Jesus Christ should ring loudly in our soul.
Luke 4:18 (Message Bible)
God’s Spirit is on me; he’s chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor, Sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, To set the burdened and battered free, to announce, “This is God’s year to act!”
The times are desperate. The times are urgent. The times are perilous. The sons and daughter of liberty must act now and go forth led by their glorious Lord into the valley of human need and set the captive soul free and bring His salvation, power and glory into every town, city and state. We must crush the idols of the heart and shine as lights in the darkness of this world as we hold forth the Word of Life. We all have a sphere of influence that we live in and thus we should begin our work as ambassadors for Christ in our homes, our families, our neighborhood, our jobs, and our communities and then branch out from there.
In the 1760’s, during the years right before the Revolutionary War, a group of brave men formed the Sons of Liberty to resist the unjust actions of the British Empire and move toward independence. They were bold in the face of impossible odds and spoke out of a heart that had a deep passion for liberty as a God given right. They were often just ordinary men, but the energy of their conviction gave them a great position of importance in the founding of this country.
Ray Steadman-Spiritual Warfare
God has issued to each of us a bugle call to intelligent combat. It is a call to us to be men and women of God, to fight the good fight, to stand fast in the faith, to be strong in the Lord in the midst of the battle, in the midst of this dark and evil world.Those who ignore this call and the battle that rages around them are doomed to be casualties. We cannot remain neutral. We must choose sides. We must align ourselves with the forces of God, the forces of good. We must answer the bugle call, we must put on our armor and stand our ground or the battle will roll over us and in our defenseless, bewildered state, the forces of evil will trample us into the dust of the battlefield.
It comes as a shock to the new believer that the Christian life is a battleground and not a playground. We are at war.
The truth is that very few Christians grasp the value and necessity of spiritual combat.
“The Lord is a warrior” (Exodus 15:3):
The Lord will go forth like a warrior,
He will arouse His zeal like a man of war.
He will utter a shout, yes, He will raise a war cry.
He will prevail against His enemies. (Isaiah 42:13)
Warrior, hear the Lord’s marching orders for your life: “Prepare a war; rouse the mighty men! Let all the soldiers draw near, let them come up! Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, ‘I am a mighty man’ “(Joel 3:9-10).
We must approach our service as sons and daughters of spiritual liberty and our position on the front lines of battle with great zeal, passion, fervor and excitement. How exciting to be called into the service of our God!
Romans 12:11 (NIV): Never be lacking in zeal. Keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Amplified: Never lag in zeal and earnest endeavor; be aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord.
When 56 brave men stood forth with great passion and committed an act of high treason by signing the Declaration of Independence, they were signing their own death warrant.
Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons in the Revolutionary Army, another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or the hardships of the Revolutionary War.
What kind of men were they? Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners, men of means, well educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.
They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.
Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.
Vandals or soldiers or both, looted the properties of Ellery, Clymer, Hall, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.
At the Battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis, had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. The owner quietly urged General George Washington to open fire, which was done. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.
Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.
John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his grist mill were laid waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home after the war to find his wife dead, his children vanished. A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart.
Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates.
Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution. These were not wild-eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. There were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged: “For the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of the Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”
What has the gospel cost you? Has our level of sacrifice for the gospel even come close to the sacrifice of these 56 signers who we celebrate today for without their incredible act of courage, there would be no United States of America.
52 of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were devout, committed Christians and the other four believed the Bible to be divine truth and believed in the God of Scripture. Immediately after the Declaration was signed, Continental Congress ordered 20,000 Bible for the people of this nation.
As the 56 signers of Declaration were critical to the founding of the United States of America, we are critical to the healing of our land which is full of idols and whose heart has turned away from God on so many levels.
II Chronicles 7:14 (NIV) if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
We must first call upon God, humble ourselves, turn from all wicked ways or sins in our heart, pray and seek God’s face, then He can move in the great task of healing our land.
I Timothy 2:1-4 (NIV): I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
A spiritual warrior must first establish his heart toward God. Beloved, hear the heart of our Lord beckoning you to union with Him in every corner of your soul This is a commitment that must charge out of our hearts and mouth at the dawn of every new day. Joshua, at the end of his long life of faithful service to God, still renewed this commitment, “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). In Nehemiah 12, we read of the walls of Jerusalem being dedicated with gladness and hymns of thanksgiving. The warrior must joyfully dedicate all that he is to all that God is. Before we count ourselves as warriors, let us check our foundation for the marks of true dedication. These marks are gladness, thanksgiving and zeal to follow the Lord of Hosts wherever He may lead.
“WHEN YOU GO OUT TO BATTLE”
The Deuteronomy passage is clear. Before we can be warriors for God, we must be established as lovers of God. “So take diligent heed to yourselves to love the Lord your God” (Joshua 23:11). Purpose in your soul right now to draw your heart to God before you draw your sword for Him.
We can sleep when we get to heaven. We should move, push and go forward with great devotion like an athlete to point of agony. That is the commitment required to live as a Christian. When are you going to pull out all the stops and burn for God and the Lord Jesus Christ? When is God going to be your love, your passion, when is he going to be the excitement of your being. When is He going to be your living experience?
Don’t just play it safe your whole life. Look at Matthew 25 and the parable of the talents. Do you think Jesus was trying to tell us something?
Bolt out of every oppressive circumstance and draw strength from your God by desperate prayer and fierce devotion. Don’t be weighed down by yesterday’s failures or tomorrow’s burdens.
So often our heart cries out: I AM NOT THE ONE, THIS IS NOT THE PLACE, NOW IS NOT THE TIME. Yet this is not true, as you are the one, this is the place, now is the time. God needs you desperately on the battlefield. We should take to the heart the words of God uttered by the King David:
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. . . .
For by Thee I can run upon a troop;
And by my God I can leap over a wall…. He trains my hands for battle,
So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze…. I pursued my enemies and overtook them,
And I did not turn back until they were consumed.
I shattered them, so that they were not able to rise; They fell under my feet.
For thou hast girded me with strength for battle;
Thou hast subdued under me those who rose up against me.
(Psalm 18:2, 29, 34, 37-39)
This July Fourth let’s take more to heart then simply fireworks, food, and time off of work. Our heart and soul should take strong note of the words of a son of liberty and patriot at one of the most trying times at the dawning of America. Imagine these words bursting forth from the pulpit at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia on March 23, 1775.
They tell us, sir, that we are weak — unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?
Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of the means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us.
The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable — and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come!
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, “Peace! Peace!” — but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!
Patrick Henry – March 23, 1775