There are many wonderful things about experiencing independence from tyranny. On Monday we'll be celebrating the freedom that the United States achieved 240 years ago from Great Britain. Many of us enjoy the independence that comes from owning a home or having our own business.
But spiritually speaking, we need to guard against living independently from Jesus. When we forget that we're called to live as followers of Jesus, we can find ourselves going about our own agenda with little regard to what Jesus has to say about it.
In his book, Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples, Francis Chan challenges us to imagine Jesus approaching Peter, Andrew, James and John as they mend their fishing nets along the Sea of Galilee. Instead of calling them to drop their old lives and follow him, Jesus says, "Hey, would you guys mind identifying yourselves with me in some way? Don't worry, I don't actually care if you do anything I do or change your lifestyle at all. I'm just looking for people who are willing to say they believe in me and call themselves Christians." Seriously? No one can really believe that this is all it means to be a Christian. But then why do so many people live this way?
In James 4:11-17 we're challenged to submit to God in all areas of our lives. It may rub us the wrong way to give up our "independence", but there is great joy, freedom, and adventure awaiting us as we celebrate our dependence on Jesus! I hope you'll be able to join us as we explore this idea a bit more this coming Sunday, July 3rd.