Join us for another Biblical discussion of important spiritual principles in partnership with Reliance! As we celebrate our nation’s independence amidst a trying hour, it is well worth revisiting the notion of independence itself. We must work and fight to establish freedom from tyranny, but in order to do so we must first be wholly dependent on God. True independence in this world is not possible without operating in obedience to the will of the Lord. As we strive and contend for freedom and justice let us always remember the one who sets us free, the righteous judge of the universe, the King of Kings, Jesus Christ! The scriptures in this broadcast are from Psalms 25.
Steven will be presenting at the Go Therefore 2020 Conference: https://rebelscry.tv/videos/daf9ac5f-15c3-4e35-8d02-0331785a1f13
This broadcast was produced in partnership with Prepper Broadcasting Network through Reliance: An Exploration of 21st Century Faith
On the Objective
Transcript (Audio to text software. Please excuse any transcription errors)
To you? Oh Lord. I lift up my soul. Oh my God. I trust in you. Let me not be ashamed. Let not my enemies triumph over me. Indeed. Let no one who lates on you. Be ashamed. Let those be ashamed to deal treacherously without cause show me your ways. Lord teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me for you are the God of my salvation on you. I wait all the day. Remember, Oh Lord, your tender mercies and your loving kindnesses for are from old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth nor my transgressions. According to your mercy, remember me for your goodness’s sake? Oh Lord. Good and upright is the Lord. Therefore he teaches sinners in the way, the humble he guides injustice and the humble he teaches his way. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth to such as keep his covenant and his testimonies for your name. Saco Lord. Pardon? My inequity for it is great.
Who is the man that fears the Lord him, shall he teach in the way he chooses. He himself shall dwell and prosperity. And his descendants shall inherit the earth. The secret of the Lord is with those who fear him and he will show them his covenant. My eyes are ever toward the Lord free shall pluck my feet out of the net. Turn yourself to me and have mercy on me. Frame desolate and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have enlarged. Bring me out of my distresses.
Look on my affliction and my pain and forgive all my sins. Consider my enemies for they are many and they hate me with cruel hatred. Keep my soul and deliver me. Let me not be ashamed for, I put my trust in you. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me for, I wait for you. Redeem Israel. God, out of all their troubles, Jesus, we bless you. We praise you. We honor you. We glorify you. We magnify your Holy name, Lord, you are good.
Your mercy endures forever. You are ruling and reigning the right hand of the father. Jesus, you are Lord. You are King. You are savior and you are the one whose name is above every name who has all power delivered unto him. When you are well able and willing to set free, to deliver, to save, to protect, to provide, to lead, to guide, okay?
And Jesus, we pray that your Holy spirit would give us wisdom and discernment in this hour, Lord, you have made us and you have made us in your image for this moment. We love you Lord. And we declare it boldly. And uncompromisingly that we believe your word, that we praise your name and Lord like David caused us to seek your forgiveness word, forgive our sins and our trespasses.
We thank you, Jesus, that you, our, our advocate that you paid the price for us, that your sacrifice on the cross reconciled us to the father. Lord, I pray that you would strengthen my brothers and sisters in Christ, Lord, that you would speak into their lives and into their hearts, a renewed exceptional, unprecedented faith and boldness in you in your name, in your power and your might.
And Lord, I pray that you would anoint our eyes to see a vision of what you would accomplish in this generation. God half of this year is gone and it’s been six months since you initially delivered the word harvest time to me and God, I believe in your word that it will come to pass. I don’t know exactly what it’s going to look like, but God, we have long prayed for a moment of clarity.
And it’s possible that for many people, that moment of clarity has arrived, where we as your people and we as a country need to make a decision decision. That must be based on faith and wisdom and love and charity and hope. It must be based on your word Jesus. So we pray that your Holy spirit would provide us with the discernment to know what words to say, to know how to engage, to know where our priorities are and to see things through there is tremendous evil and there’s tremendous conflict.
But Lord, we know that all things were together for good. For those who love you and are called according to your purposes. Well, Lord raise up those who are called according to your purposes, send us forth, send us out, open the doors at the right time, close other doors at just the right time. Lord, we are trusting in your perfection and in your goodness, knowing God that there’s no shadow of turning with you, that you were the same yesterday, today, and forevermore Jesus, we love you.
We bless you. We pray that you would give us a fresh touch, an infilling of your Holy spirit, that we would see what you need us to see in this generation in your name. Amen. Looking at the scriptures that we read from some 25, we see a desperation in this song from David. It’s a plea for wisdom, for forgiveness, and it is being motivated and inspired by a threat.
And in our times, and even all throughout human history, it has been the case that a threat, a challenge, a crisis that is the kind of scenario where we begin to take our spiritual obligations and our spiritual dependence more seriously. And I would encourage each and every one of us to enter that moment. Now, if we haven’t already, now is the time to engage.
And the way to do that is through fasting and prayer. Oftentimes when you look around and absorb a whole bunch of information, it can feel like the entire country needs deliverance needs an exorcism. Maybe it feels like you need a shower after dealing with so many of the different headlines and narratives and catastrophes and deceptions and lies. But maybe when we look to the Lord, there’s a key for us that will help us to unlock the resources that we have in this time.
And fasting and prayer are absolutely pivotal. And we’ve talked before in our path to maturity, the different phases of humility and obedience and all of these different things. And what I’d like to emphasize here today is our necessary dependence on God. Because as we look to celebrate the 4th of July independence day in the United States of America, we’re celebrating it now under circumstances where questions are being raised, that lead to divisions, that for many have been bubbling underneath the surface for a long time and for others are rather unprecedented.
And so it is important to understand this nature of independence versus dependence. There is a drive I believe towards freedom in the human heart and that drive when it goes awry, settles into pride, self-focus worldliness and a desire to evade any sense of moral restriction, any sense of objective, right or wrong, any sense of someone else, being able to tell me what to do, but the drive towards freedom is also something that can move in a positive direction.
Something that refuses to submit to the influence of evil, something that refuses to fall prey or victim to sin. And so this is not the only example of a drive and inclination of predilection or predisposition, a natural tendency to, to go in either direction, something that can be liberating and important in terms of our Christian walk or something that can be absolutely enslaving and destructive.
As we’ve discussed several times in previous broadcasts, when we adopt looking at society, a secular humanist position, namely that there is no ultimate source of morality and it is up to us to construct our society. As we see fit and more or less everyone doing what’s right in their own eyes. When we make ourselves the arbiters of moral truth and imperative, then we actually find that that is not liberating in the sense that we thought yes, in one manner, we do get access to go beyond the previous moral restrictions of whatever regime we’re throwing off.
But we also find that we then immediately become dependent and enslaved by our desires that are leading us in one direction or the other and different traditions have ways of compensating for this and dealing with it, et cetera, et cetera. But I want to focus on this idea of dependence I’ve said previously, but not in a while.
So it’s worth revisiting that freedom from God leaves us in a situation where we are servants to sin. But when then we are servants of God, it leads us into a situation where we experience freedom from sin, being obedient, being dependent and stuff admitting ourselves to the Lord is actually what frees us so that we can live a life that is independent from the detrimental attachments of worldliness and even our own carnal sinful nature.
So unsurprisingly, the way that the world views things is exactly backwards. It is true. We, as a people have a drive to be independent, to drive, to be free a drive, to determine our own destinies. And this is worth preserving it’s worth aiming for because that then allows a people unencumbered by governmental tyranny to freely choose to serve and to obey our Lord and savior Jesus Christ to establish a society that honors God that follows his word word and that Devon straits love both for God.
And for those around us, according to the commandments, there are many different lines of theology that go forth out of these kinds of things. But again, I’d like to highlight the key distinction, the point of contrast that what the world calls freedom is actually a scenario of dependence, but what the world calls, walls dependence in a negative way to be fully reliant on God, to be obedient, to not put ourselves first, the world in many different forms and many different worldviews considers that anathema.
Okay. Not just foreign, but undesirable and bizarre, but for the Christian who knows the Lord, who has that relationship, who study things out, who’ve lived things out and is capable of saying if there is a God who created everything, including and who sent his only son personally, to pay them price for my transgressions, then that God wants a relationship with me and is absolutely perfect.
So that I have to make a decision. Ultimately, who would I rather be in charge an all knowing all powerful, all loving God who can know the end from the beginning or me. Well, when it comes to my life, perhaps selfishly, I’d like good things to happen. I’d like things to go better. And ultimately that’s going to depend on the decisions that I make throughout the course of what I’m doing.
Even small things, minor choices in words, in tone and behavior. So who knows best? Is it God? Or is it me? And I shouldn’t let my desire for freedom. My desire for Liberty, my desire for independence apply in the same way to my relationship with God. The priorities must be in order the freedom that we have, however you define it.
However you view it in terms of how it’s changing and any limitations, whatever freedom that we have should be used to follow the Lord. And even as we recognize situations for people in churches and places where there’s not the same level of freedom, whatever we have should be done in service to the Lord and where we have more freedom, where we have more independence, where we have more of an ability to go forth and to be bold, then we must, it’s an obligation.
Perhaps this is an Ester situation. Esther, as queen was not from a governmental perspective, free to go into the King and advocate for her people. She had to take a risk. If we had that freedom to come in, then we must exercise it. It is not an option. We absolutely must be willing to use all, all of the spiritual resources at our disposal.
All of the opportunities that are presented to us every moment to Lord, what would you have me to do? Because we are so blessed to have a situation where we can still do that in our society. Now in many circles that may not be a popular thing to do, but that is not the currency.
That’s not the system of measurement. That’s not the standard of success or right and wrong. The Lord is setting the standards. He is the one who determines what is right and wrong. What is good and bad. He is perfect and Holy and righteous and true. And we should never conflate our independence and freedom from tyrannical government or the drive to accomplish something like that.
With a freedom and independence from the requirements that the word of God, places upon us on some things, there is legitimate room for interpretation, legitimate room for disagreement. And that dynamic is a good thing. But as we look around us and we see a scenario where people are incredibly focused on preserving, expanding freedom, focusing on attaining justice, by different definitions.
I want to remind everyone as we celebrate our country’s independence, that at the end of all, things, the very last stop at the end of the line, we must have a total dependent relationship on the Lord. God sustains us, not only our bodies, but our souls in the entire universe, through his power and his grace and his mercy. He’s given us an opportunity to live, to be alive.
If we had a better understanding of the intricacies, the detail, the way in which we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and the way that the universe is pieced together, we would hopefully be struck with the consideration, the inference that there’s something going on here, and then even moving beyond the apologetic context. Cause that’s a whole different stream of ideas and thoughts and worldviews and conversations and questions and difficulties and challenges and opportunities.
When we’re dealing with each other, as brothers and sisters in, are we tearing each other down or building each other up? Are we sharpening iron? Are we dulling the other blade? It is critical now for us to have our priorities in line, to be measured, to be sensible, to be resilient. And after all that, to be incessant, never ceasing, never ceasing in our efforts to approach the Lord, to bring our supplications to him, never ceasing in our desire to obey the Lord, seeking first, his transforming power to overhaul our hearts so that we would want to obey, helping our eyes to open to the understanding that being completely dependent on God and wanting to obey him is the proper and best thing for us to do.
Any other approach to life into the world is by definition, going to be inferior. If you accept the premise that there is a perfect God who made you so we should dedicate our energies to preserving, maintaining, and expanding freedom, but we should do so in a measured way that doesn’t allow a desire of worldly freedom to override the importance of our absolute dependence on God, any freedom that we have, any Liberty that we have with our lives as established here should be put to work and put to use for the sake of the kingdom of God.
He has been so gracious to us and he may have even in today’s day and age right here, right now in this moment in this generation presented us with an opportunity, an opportunity through a challenge and opportunity through a crisis, who will we be? How will we see ourselves? What will our relationship with the Lord turn into? And if we could put it in the language of the day, the question is, will we be independent or dependent?
Will we be free or not? My desire is that our society would be free from many things free from tyranny free, from destruction, free from sin. But I also know that that entails that our society writ large, or at least us at a micro level ourselves and our families and our communities, our churches, that we be completely dependent on the Lord.
We can’t maintain a background scenario of independence from the threats of evil in the world without a total and complete dependence on the word of God and on the power of God and on the holiness and righteousness of the Lord. That is the manner of our relationship with God.
We are already fully dependent on him for each breath for each moment in time for each day for everything. So right now, why don’t we acknowledge that fact and take it with the seriousness that it demands that we are already dependent on the Lord. So let’s lean in to that direction. It’s absolutely the case.
Yes. Our dependence is already essentially complete, but in key areas in many times, in many places, we don’t surrender that last little bit. We want our independence. We want to do things our way. And again, don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of things that we want to be independent from or separated from, but in order to get there, we’re going to need to be fully dependent on the Lord.
That’s the trucks of the message here. The Lord is good and upright, and he guides the humble injustice and teaches the humble his way. We should earnestly want to follow the Lord and to be dependent on him so that we can be independent of the things of this world even. Wow. We understand that working for the cause of freedom in this world is an appropriate thing to do so that as many as possible can be guided towards the kingdom of God and take part in the harvest that the Lord deserves in this generation, despite the relative simplicity of what we’re discussing, there are pitfalls on essentially every side, many have gotten I’m so caught up in the worldly independence aspect of things that we’ve neglected our posture of dependence on God.
Alternatively, others have refused or forgotten to acknowledge the link between our world structures in terms of government and institutions and the extent to which those are supportive of freedom and our ability to pursue the Lord and to do so without encumbrance, and to expand the kingdom and to fulfill the great commission.
So we should be fighting for all of these things. We should be fighting for independence from evil and tyranny and sin and our carnal nature. And the way we do that is by fighting for total dependence on God, where we are in his word, where he is close by, even when it seems like that’s not the case, or we can hear that still small voice when we can follow willingly lovingly and joyfully, regardless of the circumstances, the leading of the Holy spirit, that’s, what’s going to be required for the leadership that is necessary to be raised up and for the harvest to come in for too long.
We’ve just been looking in the wrong direction, just feels like our sites have been permanently out of alignment. Now is the time to understand this dynamic of independence and dependence to know what our role is in this spiritual struggle, to be able to operate with the strength and the quiet confidence that only God can provide.
And to go forth into this world, desiring earnestly, to see people set free, set free from bondages of sin so that they can live a life of total dependence on the Lord who is perfect and who will guide them into all truth and righteousness. I hope that this message has edified. You has helped, has moved you to think about these things.
And as we continue to deal with a Titanic clash, that is going to decide in many ways, the shape of the society that we are going to be participating in for some time in the future, at least a generation, it seems we have to know where our priorities are. We have to understand what we are fighting for. We have to be aware of how we fight, and ultimately we have to know why we’re doing any of these things.
It’s because God is worthy. God is worthy of everything of our entire lives. He is worthy to be worshiped. He is perfect. The greatest possible being perfect and love and power and wisdom and justice and righteousness and any great making property you can imagine. And more besides that, I’m sure. So yes, let us celebrate our independence and the rights and the freedoms that we have.
And let’s put those to use worshiping the Lord and falling into a place of obedience and complete dependence on him, of praising Jesus, seeking his face so that we having repented and received forgiveness, go forth into the harvest that the Lord deserves in this generation. More people understand the stakes.
Now more people understand the precious nature of freedom and the fragility of what we have perhaps overlooked and taken for granted. And it’s critical for us to act in a manner befitting the kingdom of God, representing the Lord Jesus Christ, honorably and understanding the implications, not just for our immediate surroundings, but for future generations.
And the key dynamic again, that I’d like to reinforce, is that okay? The independence that we have that we celebrate, that we enjoy is an opportunity to be free so that we can live lives of complete dependence on the Lord. That is the blessing. And when we lose sight of it, our effectiveness, our contentment, our purpose, many other things end up being robbed from us by the world and by spiritual darkness.
So let us be independent, independent from tyranny, independent from sin, independent, from everything that would take us away from the kingdom of God and let us be fully dependent on him. Our Lord, the one who saves us, the one who redeems us, the one who sets us free. Lord Jesus, give us wisdom in this time, raise up your people, give us sight to see the traps and the pitfalls that lie on either side of the narrow way for us of getting too focused in one direction or the other that we mistake what your true purposes for us and what your will actually is.
We pray at all times, Lord for your will to be accomplished and ask that you would give us great strength and great faith for these days. We thank you, Lord, that we have independence to any extent so that we can declare using it, that we are dependent on you and Lord, as we celebrate these things and we look to one another for encouragement, and we look to you as the source of our ultimate hope and encouragement, and it’s difficulty.
We declare that you are faithful and we declare our total dependence on you in Jesus’ name. Amen.