Sunday was a great day to worship God. What a privilege it is to gather with brothers and sisters and freely worship God in spirit and truth. We should never take that freedom lightly. We must maintain vigilance and guard it with the same tenacity that those who came before us did. Many sacrificed everything, including their lives for the opportunity to worship God according to their beliefs and conscience. America was founded on this treasured belief. Puritans from England, Huguenots from France, Presbyterians from Scotland, Catholics from Ireland and Spain, and a host of religious dissenters from other countries left their families and their native lands for a chance to freely worship God on the shores of this New World, and so they came by the thousands.

Our nation was birthed on biblical foundations and founded on the belief that freedom of religion is essential in the life of a republic. This Thursday we celebrate the birthday of our nation, but our freedoms are slowly slipping away as we sit idly by thinking it will never happen. Those early settlers and freedom fighters fought the battle of freedom for future generations. They were willing to sacrifice everything so their children could live free. What about you? Many in our nation worry only about today and themselves. If freedom of religion or any of the other freedoms we enjoy as Americans are to endure, we must stop living for today and only for ourselves. We must defend and guard our freedoms so that our children, grandchildren, and those children yet to be born may experience the blessings we have experienced.

God says, “If my people, who are called by my name humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). God calls on the believers of this nation—his sons and daughters—to go after his heart in humility and repentance through prayer. God is calling us to get our lives right (to return to his biblical standard instead of society’s standard) and then intercede for this nation. If sin freely lurks in our hearts as born-again believers, it will arrogantly strut up and down the streets of our nation. The return of a nation to God is always preceded by the cleansing of Christ’s bride—his church. The time has come for God’s people to stand up by kneeling down and confessing our sins and crying out for mercy. When, not if, we do this, God has promised to hear, forgive, and heal this nation. The responsibility for the healing of America rests on our doorsteps—not on the president, the congress, the courts, or any other group clamoring for recognition and acceptance under the law. The law of man can never bring real freedom to any man or woman. True freedom rests only in a relationship with Jesus Christ where we have surrendered everything—including our fleshly desires.

So as you celebrate America’s birthday this week, please take a few minutes and spend it alone with God. Allow him to shine his light deep into your heart. Acknowledge the darkness he shows you and then do the work of confession and repentance. If you are willing to do this, God will do what he has promised. and both revival and awakening will take place in this nation.

But…if all you do is listen to the naysayers and the gloom and doom prophets declaring judgment while screaming derogatory condemnation as you eat another barbeque rib and fork filled with potato salad, it is likely our nation’s birthdays will indeed be limited and the memory of her hallowed and glorious past lost.