God Bless America

It’s a phrase that’s been used forever in our great nation. I don’t think it necessarily is meant to be a religious phrase, it’s just something that we say to one another to show our love for our country. Moreover, it’s a phrase used a lot around the time of Independence Day. But do we really think about what the three words mean or do we simply say it as an empty saying? When we say “God Bless America,” do we realize God has already blessed us, is blessing us, and will bless us, beyond what we could ever imagine? When you think of our country from a global perspective, think of how we’re blessed. We have food to eat. We have clean water to drink. Our education system is top notch. I love Luke 12:48, it’s one of my favorite verses in the Bible. It says, “…For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” Much has been given to us as a country. The Lord has committed a lot to America, and he has required much fruit for us to bear. So next time you say “God Bless America,” just think to yourself: God has already blessed this country. Are we really blessing him?

On the eve of Independence Day, one of my most favorite holidays, we reflect upon the freedom this country has. Memorial Day, held in May, is when we remember the men and women who have sacrificed their lives so we could have this freedom in our great nation. Just as we have men and women daily making sacrifices to protect the US in places outside the US, we have saints and martyrs daily making sacrifices to protect and spread the Gospel outside of the US. These missionaries are our servicemen, and they’re fighting for something bigger. No offense to our servicemen and servicewomen-I’m so grateful for what they are doing, but I’m a Christian before I’m an American. The only difference in these wars is it’s not just the missionaries that are fighting it; it’s you and me.

Paul describes this spiritual war in a letter to the church at Corinth. 2 Corinthians 10:3-“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.” We are walking in our own body, but the war we are a part of is not of our body. Verse 4-6-“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.” So we already know that the war isn’t in our bodies. Ephesians 6:12 says that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places.” Now we know who we’re fighting. We’re fighting against darkness, wickedness, any “high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God” (2 Cor. 10:4). Like I said earlier, we’re all at war. If you call yourself a believer, you need to have the full armor of God on at all times (finish Ephesians 6 for that one) and be able to “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you”. We are to be alert and on our guard. It’s a daily war. And it won’t be over till the day of the Lord comes with his final judgement. But you know what? He’s made his promises to his faithful people. Paul says this in Philippians 1:3, 6-“I thank God upon every remembrance of you, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” So there is hope, and there is a promise that Jesus will complete the good work he has started in us. But until that day, we’re ready. We have the power to bring “every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”

I hope you enjoy this Independence Day. Hang out with family, grill out, maybe go to the pool (just not my pool, unless you’re bringing food). But remember: God has blessed America. He’s blessing us this very second and will continue to bless us. Are we as a nation blessing him by fighting this spiritual war? Are we casting down arguments and punishing disobedience? Live with a kingdom mindset today.

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