2 Corinthians 3:17 NIV
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
Did you know that a French philosopher coined the phrase American exceptionalism? The renowned philosopher, Alexis de Tocqueville, toured the United States during the founding era in search of America's genius. How could this young nation have pulled off defeating the mightiest military power in the world? He wrote what has been described as "the most comprehensive and penetrating analysis of the relationship between character and society in America that has ever been written." 32
Here's what he said:
"I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors; in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public schools' system and institutions of learning. I sought for in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceased to be good, America will cease to be great. 33
"Upon my arrival in the United States the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention. In France, I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom marching in opposite directions. But in America, I found they were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same country.”
"Religion in America must be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country. If it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of it.
"The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and liberty so intimately in their minds that is impossible to make them conceive one without the other."34
Alexis de Tocqueville came to America looking for a formula for success. Instead he came face to face with the true source of liberty that can only be found in the person of Jesus Christ. “American exceptionalism” is rooted in the faith of our Founding Fathers.
God wants you to have an exceptional life too. That’s why 2 Corinthians 3:17 says, “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” God wants us to experience true exceptional freedom. Not a fleeting one. But freedom that goes beyond anything you can think or ask. A freedom to approach God without guilt or shame. A freedom that allows you to be you. A freedom that fills you with purpose and destiny. I believe that’s what Alexis de Tocqueville saw. Average people like you and I walking in tremendous, purposeful freedom that can only be found in Christ. If you are experiencing bondage in any area of your life, I challenge you to find the same freedom Alexis de Tocqueville found. Boldly and purposely spend time in the word today and experience the freedom that comes from spending time with God.
- Read - Re-read 2 Corinthians 3:17.
- Think - Think about an area in your life that looks broken or is missing -- a place where life seems to be lacking.
- Write - Journal about the example of researcher looking in to your life and what they would see. How would you like your life to be described? If there is a large difference between where you are now and where you want to be, don’t worry…just keep going. The more you spend time seeking God the more naturally an abundant life comes.
- Pray - Invite God into every area of your life, not just the areas that are normally considered His territory (for example church or Bible study.) Ask Him to show you ways to live your life to the fullest.
- Take away - We're free to walk in God's blessings. God wants us to thrive and enjoy the freedom He's given us through His Son. If He didn’t, He wouldn’t have sent Him to die for us. The more we thrive, the more others see what we have -- and they'll want that freedom, too; they’ll end up wanting God too.