While Americans have freedom in a political sense, Christians experience freedom in a spiritual sense. We worship and give our loyalty to a King, Jesus, who is the Lord's anointed. "The LORD gives victory to his anointed." Through this King, we experience the defeat and end of all our enemies.
In Psalm 20, the psalmist composes a song about the king. He calls on God to give victory to the king over his enemies and to also continue giving victory to his king. For these reasons, the psalmist begins his psalm with several petitions made to God on behalf of the king. Note that these petitions are not for the psalmist or for the people; they are for the king. If the king does well, so do the people.
How do the people experience this? By developing a deeper sense of trust in the LORD as he answers the petitions, strengthens the king and brings victory over enemies. In seeing these answers to prayer in the life of the king, trust in the Lord is developed and trust in other things is minimized.
"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, / but we trust in the name of the LORD our God" (7).
This begs the questions for us: What do we trust in? For many, we claim to trust the Lord but our trust is really in other things: our retirement plans, our homes, our family's image, and especially in the political structure of the USA, as seen in the military.
On Independence Day, let us be thankful for freedom and independence, but let those of us who call upon the Lord recognize that call as a way of moving into deeper trust. Let us keep calling upon the name of the Lord as we follow him more closely.
Who or what do you trust? What decisions do you need to make to trust the Lord more?