I am so thankful I live in a country based on being "free" and "brave."
Because in that freedom, I can be brave and let the world know that I'm a Christian in a world where many Christians are persecuted daily. The Bible calls us to take up our cross every day and die to the sinful life and raise again in a Christ-like life. That's very easy for American Christians today.
Part of taking up that cross is being dependent on God for all our needs. This is so much easier said than done, and it's not because of persecution from the outside world - it's because of conflict within our own hearts. I'm sure many of you are like me - it's so much easier to be in control. I want to know where I'm going, when I'm going and have all the details spelled out before me.
God does not work that way. He says, "Follow Me." And when you ask, "Where?" you are often met with silence. A silence that simply means, "Trust Me as you follow." Our only job is to bow our heads, reach out our hands and go where he leads. I promise you that in the times I've blindly (blind to myself that is) followed Christ's leading, things have turned out a thousand times better than when I've said, "No, not this time, Lord, I got it under control." That, my friends, usually ends in disaster.
But in many parts of the world, and even in America to an extent, that independence to choose dependence on God is missing in action. For a large part, it's missing because of outside influence. But for many people, that choice is missing because of an inner conflict that people are struggling to resolve.
If we would only exercise our freedom and independence to sacrifice our lives to Christ and being dependent on Him...we would then truly be free. I know it sounds confusing doesn't it? If you are not living a life of Freedom in Christ, then you are a slave to the world. But I promise, if you are not a Christ-follower right now, giving your life to him will open you up to a world of opportunities you didn't think possible.
So I for one am so thankful to live in the United States of America - founded on freedom and faith so that I may be free in my faith. Thank you Lord!
"...and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." ~Matthew 10:38-39