And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; – Acts 17:26-27
Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” – John 8:36 (NKJV)
The drums of March 6, 1957, have faded away into distant memories and dusty archives. And even the more recent beats of Ghana @ 60 fail to coax dance steps from people today. It is inevitable that the strains of festival music must fade out. But is we have experienced true independence, our hearts will quicken our feet to move in sync with the practical demonstrations of that freedom.
If there are more Christians in this country than those of other religions, as the figures show, why then does our beloved country still struggle to enjoy and manifest the fruits of true independence? Why do we still act as though we are a heathen nation?
We go back to our text, John 8:36. It is only if the Son of God makes us free that we can be free indeed. All other forms of freedom pale in comparison and none can stand complete outside it. And this is the freedom that the Lord Jesus Himself has called us out to. Not freedom from the colonial rule of man’s administration, but something higher and deeper. Then we will be different from other nations and reflect more correctly the God that we claim to serve.
This article is from the book “The Transformed Mind”, co-authored by Dr. Samuel Koranteng-Pipim and I. I pray that you will consider rethinking your role as a child of God in the development of our dear country Ghana.
Towards True Independence
In the words of a contemporary son of the nation, true independence calls for “mind liberation.” Dr. Pipim argues that despite our liberation from the “metal chains” of colonization, “mental chains” still bind us as Africans. He perceptively observes that “the heart of the African problem is the African heart.” Therefore he argues that what Africa needs is not simply more educated minds, but more transformed minds—“not merely mind improvement, but mind replacement.” Such a “mind replacement” or “mind liberation,” according to Dr. Pipim can only be effected by the Lord Jesus Christ.
In other words, more tact will not get us that freedom; more learning will fail us. It is not more words that we need, nor seminars and workshops about new advances, but first and foremost the true spirit of liberty that is found only in Jesus Christ. He alone can give that true freedom that we need, because He alone has it. He says: “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36)
Stated differently, Christianity presents what true independence really is: It is the transformation of the human heart. It is freedom from the slavery of sin. It is being set free from our warped mind sets and selfish hearts. It is, what our Lord Jesus refers to as, being “born again” by the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-8). This work of the Spirit in transforming our hearts starts from within and it becomes evident on the outside (Titus 3:3-5; Romans 12:2). That is, transformation or heart renewal is primarily internal, but it always shows on the outside.
The Word of God says: ‘But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.’ 1Peter 2:9
And not just that, for our independence is not merely political, but far stronger. As the Lord said to Israel of old, so He says to Ghana today: “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. Deuteronomy 7:6
The Lord further affirms in His Word that all that we seek as a nation, He will grant unto us. The true independence that we are yet to enjoy fully, He will make possible. He leaves us with this two-fold promise and command: “The Lord has declared today that you are his people, his own special treasure, just as he promised, and that you must obey all his commands. And if you do, he will set you high above all the other nation she has made. Then you will receive praise, honour, and renown. You will be a nation that is holy to the Lord your God, just as he promised.” – Deuteronomy 26:18,19.
And after that has happened, Apostle Paul reminds us to “Standfast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” – Galatians 5:1
When you really think about it, nothing else beats these promises and assurances. Our diplomats, politicians, professors, businessmen, ministers, and the best of our young and old cannot make our nation truly independent. Wrapped up in this week’s text, only the Son of God can make us truly free, completely independent.
When we become truly independent, it will be evident in more love in our interaction with one another, more compassion, more honesty, better consideration for others, increased loyalty to the cause of our nation and improved services for others. We will no longer act as slaves to sin, but as children of light and the light we radiate will brighten the path of our country.
The Need for Salt & Light
If the words of Christ have any relevance, then the time has come for those of us who claim to be Christians to begin playing our roles in society as salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16). It is not enough to go church every week or preach about miracles when we have not experienced the greatest miracle of all—the change of our hearts.
One 19th-century Christian devotional author said it best: “a profession of godliness without the living principle is as utterly valueless as salt without its saving properties. An unprincipled professed Christian is a byword, a reproach to Christ, a dishonour to His name.”
The same author argues that: “The greatest want of the world is the want of men [and women]—men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall. But such a character is not the result of accident; it is not due to special favours or endowments of Providence. A noble character is the result of self-discipline, of the subjection of the lower to the higher nature—the surrender of self for the service of love to God and man” (Education, p. 57).
The Lord is waiting to make us a nation that will be high above all other nations that He has made. What then do we stand to lose by taking Him up on His beautiful offer to grant us true freedom? Not merely freedom from man’s rule but freedom from the yoke and bondage of sin. From Satan’s tyrannical rule that makes beasts of men and demons of the best of us. Why not let Him now?
An ancient hymn captures the sentiments of our hearts as a nation at this anniversary period. We know we’re not where we should be yet, but we have hope in the One that can lead us there. Known over the centuries of our nation’s history by different names, we call upon the One true God, the God of our fathers, the Almighty God of heaven and earth to help us at this time. Without Him we are finished, and we seek for His guidance and leading to grant us true independence for our sin-yoked hearts, individually, and as a nation.
Join me to sing or pray the timely words of this ancient hymn authored by Daniel C. Roberts (1841 – 1907):
God of our fathers, whose almighty hand
Leads forth in beauty all the starry band
Of shining worlds in splendor through the skies,
Our grateful songs before Thy throne arise.
Thy love divine hath led us in the past,
In this free land by Thee our lot is cast;
Be Thou our ruler, guardian, guide and stay,
Thy Word our law, Thy paths our chosen way.
From war’s alarms, from deadly pestilence,
Be Thy strong arm our ever sure defense;
Thy true religion in our hearts increase,
Thy bounteous goodness nourish us in peace.
Refresh Thy people on their toilsome way,
Lead us from night to never-ending day;
Fill all our lives with love and grace divine,
And glory, laud, and praise be ever Thine.
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