Living Out the Declaration of Independence

George Washington reason behind a national day of thanksgiving to God

It was July 9, 1776.

 It was five days after an acceptable revision of Thomas Jefferson’s radical, life altering Declaration of Independence had been accepted by 12 of the 13 colonies. Copies were distributed to assemblies, conventions and commanders of Continental troops. The New York Convention approved the action of the Continental Congress on this day 237 years ago.
New York City was the headquarters for the Continental Army. And it’s Commander in Chief, George Washington had a very busy day. Routine tasks, ordering supplies including an ordinary broom, issuing orders for the punishment of 39 stripes for a deserter, instructions for ferry passes-mundane, but necessary tasks.

But two tasks that were accomplished that day would have far reaching influence-

  • The placement of paid Chaplains in each regiment.
  • The reading of the Declaration of Independence to the troops.


The Hon. Continental Congress having been pleased to allow a Chaplain to each Regiment, with the pay of Thirty-three Dollars and one third pr month–The Colonels or commanding officers of each regiment are directed to procure Chaplains accordingly; persons of good Characters and exemplary lives–To see that all inferior officers and soldiers pay them a suitable respect and attend carefully upon religious exercises. The blessing and protection of Heaven are at all times necessary but especially so in times of public distress and danger–The General hopes and trusts, that every officer and man, will endeavour so to live, and act, as becomes a Christian Soldier defending the dearest Rights and Liberties of his country.

Reading the Declaration of Independence with an audible voice

The Hon. The Continental Congress, impelled by the dictates of duty, policy and necessity, having been pleased to dissolve the Connection which subsisted between this Country, and Great Britain, and to declare the United Colonies of North America, free and independent States: The several brigades are to be drawn up this evening on their respective Parades, at Six OClock, when the declaration of Congress, shewing the grounds and reasons of this measure, is to be read with an audible voice.

The General hopes this important Event will serve as a fresh incentive to every officer, and soldier, to act with Fidelity and Courage, as knowing that now the peace and safety of his Country depends (under God) solely on the success of our arms: And that he is now in the service of a State, possessed of sufficient power to reward his merit, and advance him to the highest Honors of a free Country.[1]

Pulling down statue of British king
The American army in New York City celebrated the news and then rushed to the foot of Broadway at the Bowling Green where a statue of King George III stood. They roped and pulled down the statue. “The lead statue was later hauled to Connecticut, where it was transformed into bullets and guns.”[2]

The Declaration of Independence had to be lived out.

They celebrated, but now they would have to live out that decision and living it out would be costly. For some, it would cost their lives. It would mean unimaginable sacrifice. It would be a long war- years- about seven more of them.

I am deeply thankful…

I am so thankful for the price that George Washington, patriots of that era and all that have fought for America’s freedom. My family and I celebrated that freedom last Thursday with chicken and potato salad. But today July 9, 2013, 237 years later the war is still not over. I thank God for soldiers fighting for our freedom. For intelligence that prevents attacks and keeps us safe. Sincerely and humbly, again today July 9, I say “Thank you to all our armed forces!” I say it today on July 9, because our freedom is too precious to only celebrate it July 4th. It is too fragile and too costly to limit our gratitude to one day a year.
The declaration of Independence must be lived out!

Jesus purchased our freedom on the cross, still believers must do more than declare their faith.

I declared my faith when I accepted Jesus as my Savior. But I have to live out. Every believer must live out their faith daily. It won’t always be easy. There will be sacrifice. There will be a cost. Believers of every era have always been engaged in a spiritual war.
1 Tim 6:12 niv “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”

Often we haven’t understood the real battle, so we fought the wrong enemy. Our war is not against people. It is waged against the powers of Hell.

Ephesians 6:12 NLT “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”

Use the Word of God and prayer.

2 Corinthians 10:4We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.”
Don’t be lured into ignoring the battle or retreating in denial. We have too much to lose. It is time for every believer to fill their minds and hearts with God’s Word. Our nation needs to turn back to God with their whole heart. That awakening will only come as we pray and believe.

Thomas Paine

in his first issue of the Crisis written to bolster the troops morale said, “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”[3]
Are you hearing God’s call to pray for revival in America? That was one thing that impacted me the most in Guyana they are praying for revival in their country. They are experiencing some great things as a result of that prayer too!

[1] Library of Congress, Writings of George Washington in New York City July 9, 1776  
[2]  Library of Congress, BattleJoined/ExhibitObjects/AmericansDestroyaStatueofKingGeorgeIII.aspx; Accessed July 9, 2013.
[3] Library of Congress; presentations/timeline/amrev/north/paine.html;  Accessed July 9, 2013.