Celebrating Freedom

Yesterday at Calvary Assembly of God we celebrated our country’s birthday with an outdoor service and picnic. I talked about the biblical roots and godly heritage of our great nation. In telling this story, I used quite a few quotes from key historical people. Several people have asked me to make these quotes available, and I’m happy to do so. (Any text in bold was added by me.)

“It was the Lord who put into my mind (I could feel His hand upon me) the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies. All who heard of my project rejected it with laughter, ridiculing me. There is no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit, because He comforted me with rays of marvelous inspiration from the Holy Scriptures.” —Christopher Columbus writing about the motivation for his journey

“In the name of God, amen. We whose names are under-written, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign, King James…. Having undertaken, for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and honor of our King and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together in a civil body politic ….” —The Mayflower Compact

“When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them….

“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, 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. …

“…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.” —Preamble and closing sentence of the Declaration of Independence

“I have lived, Sir, a long time; and the longer I live the more convincing Proofs I see of this Truth, That God governs in the Affairs of Men! And if a Sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without His Notice, is it probable than an Empire can rise without His Aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that ‘except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it.’ I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring Aid we shall succeed in this political Building no better than the Builders of Babel…. I therefore beg leave to move, That henceforth Prayers, imploring the Assistance of Heaven, and its Blessing on our Deliberations, be held in this Assembly every Morning before we proceed to Business.” —Benjamin Franklin, at Constitutional Convention, June 28, 1787

“Whereas, the Senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing the Supreme Authority and just Government of Almighty God, in all the affairs of men and of nations, has, by a resolution, requested the President to designate and set apart a day for National prayer and humiliation.” —Proclamation of a nation day of prayer and fasting, March 30, 1863

“The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies.  To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. … No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things.  They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God….” —Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation of a day of thanksgiving in October 1863

“I recognize we must be cautious in claiming God is on our side. But I think it’s all right to keep asking if we’re on His side. —Ronald Reagan

I believe God will continue to bless America IF we make sure we are on His side.

Who’s Your Promoter?

Check out this verse where God speaks to Joshua:

Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know I am with you as I was with Moses.

Self-promoted leadership requires that I know what the current whims of the people are, and then I cater to those special-interest whims. But people are fickle, so I have to be constantly reinventing myself. I have to wear the right mask for the right group. I have to become a slick politician, giving the right speech to the right special interest group, promising them what they want to hear. I have to pander for votes to stay in leadership.

God-promoted leadership requires that I have faith in God alone. No focus groups to find out what people want. No advisors whispering in my ear. No masks, no special interest speeches, no pandering for votes. God knows the hearts of the people, and if He has called me to be a leader, He will equip me to be His leader.

Joshua was a God-promoted leader. When he was on the eve of his first major campaign as the new leader of Israel, he gave just one speech: “Let’s get ready to go.” A self-promoting leader would have given one motivational speech to the priests, one pep talk to the generals, one persuasive speech to the troops, an encouraging speech to the stay-at-home moms, and possibly one more convincing speech to those who wanted to pursue an alternative strategy.

The results of God-promoted leadership?

  1. So the Israelites did just as Joshua commanded them (Joshua 4:8).
  2. That day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they revered him all the days of his life (Joshua 4:14).

Who’s your promoter?

My prayer is that I always allow God to be my promoter and that the Holy Spirit will convict me anytime I try to promote myself.

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