“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, CONCEIVED IN LIBERTY...” (Abraham Lincoln, November 19, 1863)
There is but one path to liberty, stated in 2 Corinthians 3:17. “And WHERE the Spirit of the Lord is, THERE IS LIBERTY.” This is concrete. Just as you cannot come to the Father except through the blood of Christ, you cannot be free, and you will not have liberty except through the Holy Spirit.
We are temples for His presence.
“What? know ye not that YOUR BODY IS THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY GHOST which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19)
This applies to people individually and to the church corporately and to the United States nationally, as well as to whatever nation you live in. Unless the Holy Spirit is given His proper place, unless Jesus Christ is made KING, unless it is ONE NATION UNDER GOD, there will be no liberty at all. Liberty forged outside of God’s definition of it is not true liberty.
This nation was conceived in liberty as a covenant nation. She was dedicated to Him, BIRTHED by Him, and outside of His principles, she will fail, and liberty will be gone. God is the Head of all government. (See Is 9:6) There is no other form of successful government, no other way to have liberty, no other way to gain eternal life except through Him.
He’s it. Man cannot carve his own path.
Fourscore and seven years before the date of Lincoln’s address, a group of patriots fought for liberty, died for liberty, and should have failed. They were vastly outnumbered. They had little to no weapons or training. The British troops, in comparison, had fought and conquered much of the then known world. Add to that the harsh weather, the conflict amongst their new leadership, and a general unwillingness to fight that many men held, and defeat seemed like a sure thing.
Except these men had made a covenant with God and placed Him first. They knew these shores were dedicated to Elohim by those that had gone before. They summarily wrote His truths into every line of text. From the Declaration of Independence to the U.S. Constitution, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was carved into her foundations.
Failure was not an option because God was invested in her success.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves … The fate of unborn millions will now depend, UNDER GOD, on the courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die.” (George Washington, July 2, 1776)
The LORD said something to me the other day which some may not like, but more and more, I see its truth. He is truth, after all. He said that some, born here, are not Americans at all, and some who have never set foot in this land are Americans at heart. To be American is to embrace an ideal, a concept of LIBERTY conceived by God Himself.
God, who was and is and is to come, saw the future; He planned the future with the USA in it. As an ally for Israel, who would need her, time and time again. As a light for the gospel, which He would spread around the earth. As a place of hope and freedom for millions who would yearn for her shores to escape persecution and make something of themselves not possible anywhere else.
As a place, so great, so loved, that men would volunteer to die for it. This He understood because He had done the same, and here were men following His example, shedding blood for those they would never meet. For generations they could not see, they gave the last measure of their devotion.
“The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, UNDER GOD, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” (Abraham Lincoln, November 19, 1863)
Maybe I’m prejudiced to love her so much. Maybe these tears I shed are mine alone. Maybe the banner that waves in the rocket’s red glare is only a treasure to me. But I know this; God has blessed America, land of liberty, for her to have come this far, and in this hour, He sees the fervent heart of the vast majority of her people, and He will bless her with fruitfulness once again.
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” (Psalm 33:12)
Too many lips have sung prayers over her for too many years to believe anything else. Too many gave their lives to sustain her for Him to ever forget it. And God is faithful. This is the greatest reason of all. His love never fails. His mercy endures forever.
“America! America! God shed his grace on thee and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea!” (America, the Beautiful” by Kathrine Lee Bates)
Photo: Gettysburg Address, "The Hay copy, with Lincoln's handwritten corrections", Wikimedia Commmons
Suzanne D. Williams, Author