Not knowing the exact date of my salvation, I, for the longest time, claimed Independence Day as my Salvation date. Perhaps that sounds strange to you that I didn’t know the exact date that I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior; but for that insight you’d have to understand a little of my background with religion. To sum it up, I knew church (religion) I didn’t know Jesus. So when I started the journey to the realization that I needed saved I had to get past the fact that I was indeed lost. Religion teaches salvation is what I do, not what I couldn’t do. So I was, therefore, bound to the lie that I had to do something. And even when I realized that I needed saved and made that confession of faith in my heart, I didn’t tell the world for the longest time because they assumed I had been saved. And so I lived defeated again for some time by not proclaiming that salvation experience aloud. But I did loose myself from that lie eventually that Satan kept whispering in my ear… “you’re not saved.”
Galatians 5:1 – Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Loosing the Lies
So often churches today teach that being in church is the relationship with God. That is no truer than a stranger in my house being my child. If I did not give you birth (or adopt you), you are not mine. And if you were not “born again” (John 3:3) you are not a child of God. So at the beginning of my journey, February 18, 1996 I had to get religion out of the way. A notable date (one because it’s my Mama’s birthday) and two because that was the first day I heard the gospel in such a manner that it made me go “hmmmm.” And I continued to go “hmmmm” for several months because I couldn’t un-hear what the world had filled my ears with…
- You’re fine.
- You go to church
- You serve in the church
- You live right (ish)
The fact was I always lived defeated. There was no peace in my life. A constant fear of knowing just enough about the return of Christ to be dangerous, caused anxiety in the greatest proportion. So the discovery of Christ Jesus turned my anxiety into assurance when I realized the work was done. At least for the salvation end of it. Now was the fun part. Service! That I could do.
Laboring In Love
Galatians 5:13 – For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only [use] not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
We’re not saved to set, we’re saved to serve and I have always had a servant’s heart. Learning the purpose of that heart was liberating. So claiming Independence Day was twofold. I was independent (sanctified) from the world that continually judged my efforts and very dependent upon the God who embraced my efforts. That feeling was like a 4th of July Fire Works display. I “oooooooh” and “aaaaahhhh” every time God allows me to do anything for Him. I stand amazed that He has put me into the positions He has. I’ve never grown out of love, nor have I lost the excitement of salvation. I pray I never do. But I see people let it go all the time. And that amazes me ever more.
Romans 8:21 – Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Laying Hold of the Liberty
After 21 years of laying hold of that liberty apostle Paul speaks of, I have no intention of letting it loose now.
Paul told the Corinthians 2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
I receive a clean slate every day (Lamentations 3:22-23) Being saved doesn’t stop me from making mistakes, the old Shari still has to make her presence known quite often. But what it does do is it gives me the freedom not to stay in the feeling of failure that kept me so defeated pre-salvation. God is faithful and just to forgive. Meaning that as His creation, He is the only one who has the authority to clean you up like that.
Natalie Grant summed it up in her song “Clean.” I’ve posted the link below. I pray you’re celebrating your independence day in the freedom of Christ Jesus.