Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. -Proverbs 3:5-6
Why would we as a country adopt the motto in God we Trust? It was at the height of the Cold War that our nation’s leaders saw a need that was far greater than man could provide. They saw a need for divine providence. The government of the United States also sought to distinguish itself from the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union promoted state atheism and thus implemented antireligious legislation. The 84th Congress passed a joint resolution “declaring IN GOD WE TRUST the national motto of the United States”. The resolution passed both the House and the Senate unanimously and without debate. Our leaders knew that we must trust in the Almighty God with all of our heart. The law was signed by President Eisenhower on July 30, 1956.
Representative Charles Edward Bennett of Florida cited the Cold War when he introduced the bill in the House, saying “In these days when imperialistic and materialistic communism seeks to attack and destroy freedom, we should continually look for ways to strengthen the foundations of our freedom”. Our Freedoms that we are endowed with comes from Christ. Man can and if given the chance will take away our freedoms, but when we seek the freedom that comes from having a personal relationship with Christ, man cannot take that away.
In the third chapter of Proverbs Solomon is persuading his readers to be religious. He starts out by saying we must be faithful in our duties. Then he gets to verses five and six and tells us that we must live our lives with complete dependence on God. Even though we place our trust in man, man can still fail us, but God in His sovereignty and providence will never fail us.
After 9/11 President Bush addressed the nation. He ended his speech that night with this comment “In all that lies before us, may God grant us wisdom and may he watch over the United States of America. Thank you.” Bush saw the need for our leaders and even citizens to put our trust in God during this time of crisis. Our leaders have seen the same need for God that Solomon saw over 2,000 years ago.
Each of us must constantly remember the providence of God. Providence is basically defined as the protective care of God. We must continually depend on it in every aspect of our lives. It does not matter if we are facing a national disaster or if things are going good in our life, we must put our faith in God for His protection. This is what Solomon is saying when he says trust in God with all of our heart. We are not to just trust God when things are bad, but we must trust God in every moment of our lives.
Trusting in the Lord with all of your heart also means that you surrender your life to Christ. We as humans have fallen short of God’s glory. There is no way that we can completely keep God’s law. No one has been able to love God with all their heart, soul, and mind at all times. Likewise, no one has always loved their neighbor as themselves. Because of this we are not able to be in the presence of a Holy God. There had to be a price paid to redeem of from our sins.
Jesus was that atoning sacrifice. It was because of the death of Jesus and the resurrection that we can be free from the life of sin. Jesus provided away for us to escape the bondage of sin. He made a way for our freedom. To experience this spiritual freedom we must submit to Him. Romans 10:13 states or whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. God desires that we experience freedom through Him.
With freedom comes great responsibility. God has given each of us free will. We have the freedom to choose Him or not. Only when we choose God as our savior can we experience true freedom; however, we have the responsibility to seek His will. His ways are exceedingly better than ours. We should not seek to do anything that is out of His will. We must ask His advice through prayer. He will direct our paths as long as we trust in Him.
So this Fourth of July, may you enjoy your political freedoms, but more importantly I pray you have found spiritual freedom by trusting your life to the Lord.