I’ve been looking at the Beatitudes recently and was struck by how counter they are to our own American “Declaration of Independence.” As a result, few might want to hear these words: Our inalienable rights endowed to us by our Creator and protected by our government – life, liberty, and our pursuit of happiness – do not necessarily coincide with the declaration of dependence on Christ in the beatitudes. I have never heard anyone say that before, but there it is in all its glory.
Declaration of Dependence vs. Independence
This kind of leans back into my entitlement posts, doesn’t it? Many hear the words “pursuit of happiness” as “our right to experience happiness.” Well, this is just a recipe for destruction. God has endowed me with the right of free will, but not the life I demand, the liberty I insist upon, and the happiness I expect. But wait—isn’t that my American RIGHT?! Not so much.
Demanding a right to happiness sets me up for serious hurt and deep disappointment. Though I may pursue it, God doesn’t guarantee happiness. And even if I do achieve the American dream, God doesn’t assure my true satisfaction in it.
Beatitudes: Declaration of Dependence on Christ
Now let’s look at the declaration of Christ.
Blessed are . . .
- …the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (5:3).
- …those who mourn: for they will be comforted (5:4).
- …the meek: for they will inherit the earth (5:5).
- …those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be satisfied (5:6).
- …the merciful: for they will be shown mercy (5:7).
- …the pure in heart: for they will see God (5:8).
- …the peacemakers: for they will be called children of God (5:9).
- …those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (5:10).
- Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
You see, we may be driven by happiness but satisfaction is our need. Reward motivates us, and that’s by God’s design. But there’s a catch: the Lord lays out my life and determines my circumstances. Since I am His child, God decides what my life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness looks like. And further, only living in His choices satisfies me!
The Declaration of Dependence is In-Dependence
Imagine if our founding fathers wrote a Declaration of In-Dependence like this:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are the right to poorness of spirit, to being meek, to hungering and thirsting after Righteousness; the right to be merciful, pure-hearted, and to be a peacemaker who is persecuted for Righteousness; you have the right to be insulted, persecuted and falsely accused, and ultimately, you have the right to rejoice to live God’s dream.
God isn’t obligated to uphold my assumed rights to happiness. In fact, His passionate pursuit is for the rights of His SON—for His Life, His Liberty, and His Pursuit of His Bride. My declaration of dependence supports His right to be my Life, to be my Rights and bring in His Kingdom. So it is there I will find true contentment and lasting satisfaction.
Very brave for an American to point this out. I have lost count of the earnest blogs that equate Christian faith with right wing politics, Americanism and seemingly the American Dream?! Of course, America is not the only country or even the first to namecheck God. The British Empire was seen in a similar light at the height of its power. The problem isn’t that God cannot bless individuals, families, groups and nations, because He certainly can, the problem is attributing naked greed, unfettered capitalism, landgrabbing, genocide, slavery and indeed any supremely selfish acts to God! The richer nations and… Read more »
Lofty…& so very practical! In places ‘rights’ are taken to self…or Given by God, to His satisfaction & ours. The Lord moves above & beyond the skirmishes sent to distort & defeat, straight through the threats & demands…”Prove who you are; answer our questions!” We have the right in-Dependence, to wait upon His Life rising in us. Everything on this earth is subject to Heaven’s Kingdom Reign. The Beatitudes Lived, make place for His Will & Word to reshape what’s before us. The argument is never The Argument. No one can argue with God…HE will come as He is. Our… Read more »
I’m so sorry the document I sent on the Beatitudes was evidently not formatted correctly . I am not very good at navigating on the computer .
This was given out in the church I attended in Arizona 30 + years ago. It really impacted my life helping me remember the biblical truth that Jesus taught in living life in a world that we were told not to be a part of.
John if you could tell me how to format this I would resend it .
THE BEATITUDES Blessed are the poor in spirit Blessed are the peacemakers (those who depend completely on God) (those who are committed to conflict resolution) for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. for they will be called the sons of God. Miserable are those who live like they Miserable are those don’t need any body, not even God. who put their personal feelings and rights before others. Blessed are those who mourn (those found God Blessed are those who are persecuted at the very bottom of life) because of righteousness for they will be comforted. ( those that will do… Read more »
True freedom comes from Christ. Anything else is smoke and mirrors.
That is the absolute truth my brother! Bless you and hope you had a great day of dependence!
Hi, John, thank you for sharing your impressions. We have before us the laws of the kingdom of heaven, but they are not like wordly laws imposed upon us by an authority. The King Himself has constantly lived them, fulfilled them, and they show us His own nature. Jesus describes Himself as gentle and lowly in heart, and that He of Himself could do nothing(John,5,30). Once He, through the Holy Spirit starts living in us, He will do everything to work out this His own nature of dependence on the Father in us- until we have to admit: Without You,… Read more »
Bless you Ulrike! The blessing of weakness, huh?! Thanks for your comment!
Wow! That is sure an eye-opener. I get so tired of all the TV commercials and announcements that we are “entitled”. I tell my husband, ” We are ‘entitled’ to nothing. We ‘deserve’ nothing except judgment. Thank you for this post. Love to all.
Entitlement is such a counterfeit to the reality that I have everything I need in Him. Love you Wanda!
Thanks for hearing and sharing!!!
You’re so welcome, miss ya Jim. Love you man!
John, I am ‘happy’ and rejoicing over your posts’ I can’t say I didn’t know the truth, for you have plainly shown what the Lord God’s standard is for His Son and His bride. This scripture came to me as I pondered your writings: James 1:2 Count if all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that testing of your faith produces patience. The Lord knows exactly what I need and provides the path for me to follow
May HE bless your obedience and sharing your path with the sheep!!!!
Thank you Sue! All our tests prove to us we need Him utterly and reveals our dependence as well as being such a wonderful invitation for His Life to come in and shine. I bless your dependence Sue and His Life expressing itself for and through you.
As Creator, the Potter has the authority to do with His pots whatever He chooses. As Sovereign, He has the right to do whatever He decides with His entire creation. In fact, He’s the only one with this right. As the Potter, all rights are exclusive to Him. – See more at: http://www.constitutionmythbusters.org/rights-mans-sacrilegious-claim-to-divinity/#sthash.7LSpiflq.dpuf
Yes — love this. Thank you!
I am trying to sign this but I can’t get on the right page. Can you send me infor. on this. I am ready to sign. Thank you, Rosalinda Bolla’
There’s nowhere to official sign this declaration but your comment is sufficient for me. And I believe God hears the intention of your heart too. Thank you for commenting Rosalinda!
Rosalinda you made me smile. I love it!
These words are GOLD…
I have a friend who send this site to me because I had shared with her how the Lord had revealed this very same truth about the US Declaration of Independence and how it in no way fits with who we, His body , are called to be. Though we live here, this is not where our true citizenship is nor is it our true home. Thanks for this “one in Spirit” truth.
How cool is that Donna! I believe this is a now word for those called to be His. He probably spoke it to you with passion as well. I hope you will stick around! God bless.
I love when I read you and find synchronized with what I´ve been meditating, feel on the way.
Just yesterday I told my husband after I marked my Bible in the mountain sermon in Mathew that a way to keep my motives on the Father, to become a bounty hunter.
Thanks John, where do I sing the new Declaration of Independance?
Absolutely! The pursuit of the American dream has caused more fear and pain than we can ever know. Children are sacrificed at it’s alter daily! The love of the world takes precedent over the love for God,one’s family and others. It causes people to hide behind facades of success, material goods, and a love of knowledge, all which when the fruit is born is rotten.