“I Must Have America”
I am unashamed of the love I have for America. It is not an arrogant love, believing we are superior to other people. Nor is it a selfish love, believing we’re more important than other people. “For God so loved the world…” is the heart of the gospel; Yahweh loves the beggar in Calcutta as much as He loves the billionaire in Silicon Valley. My love for America is based on patriotism - I freely admit that I love my homeland - but it is also spiritual.
In 2000, the Lord imparted to me His passion and heart for America. He loves us and needs us. The United States has a unique assignment, being birthed by God to trumpet the gospel of the Kingdom to the ends of the earth. As He and I wept together on that sacred occasion, His words are forever seared into my heart and soul: “I MUST have America.”
And He will!
Approaching the weekend when many will be celebrating our national birthday, I want to share with you some words from our founders. Their passion and eloquence were profound, far more so than I could ever generate. Let the fire of their love, dedication, and patriotism penetrate your soul. The first quote is from Patrick Henry, who was arguing in favor of going to war for our independence:
“The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery…Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings…We must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!
“They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three million people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations; and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.
“It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”(1)
Amazing! Fiery eloquence!
The following quote is from John Adams, a founding father and second President of the United States. When Adams was elected as a Boston delegate in 1770, he knew it was considered treason to the king of England; Adams believed the decision would cost him everything. He informed his wife Abigail: “I have accepted a seat in the House of Representatives, and thereby have consented to my own ruin, to your ruin, and the ruin of our children. I give you this warning, that you may prepare your mind for your fate.”(2)
Abigail’s response, through tears, was: “Well, I am willing in this cause to run all risks with you, and be ruined with you, if you are ruined.”(3)
Adams later stated to Abigail: “I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration and support and defend these states. Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means.”(4)
Adams, referred to by Thomas Jefferson as a “colossus of Independence,” died 50 years later on July 4th, 1826. Amazingly, Jefferson did, as well. It was as though both men willed themselves to live until that landmark 50th birthday of America. Two of Adam’s last words: “Independence forever.”(5)
And here is one more poignant quote. When the delegates to the Continental Congress reached an impasse attempting to write our Constitution, Ben Franklin made the following appeal:
“The small progress we have made after 4 or 5 weeks [of] close attendance and continual reasonings with each other…is [I think] a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the Human Understanding…
“…how has it happened. Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly [asking] the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the Divine Protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend?
“I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth - that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings that ‘except the Lord build they labor in vain that build it.’ I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall be become a reproach and a bye word down to future age.
“I, therefore, beg leave to move - that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in His Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that service.”(6)
Thus began the tradition of opening Congress with prayer. Let’s follow suit and pray for America.
Pray with me:
We thank You, Father, for raising up our nation to propagate the gospel of Yeshua and His Kingdom to the entire world. We are honored to be part of this nation. Today, we honor those You used to birth America. We are grateful for their commitment to You, their love of liberty, and their understanding of our biblical rights and responsibilities.
We ask You to give us more men and women like them. Give us leaders who are brilliant, people of great character, and individuals who will honor You and Your ways. Deliver us from those who oppose Your ways and laws, who do not love our nation, and who have proven to be foolish and ignorant.
In this season when we celebrate our birth as a nation, we are careful to remember Your purpose in creating us. We were born to serve You and the nations of the world. Give us servant hearts once again. And restore us spiritually to the degree that the gospel is trumpeted from this land with the greatest force and power that has ever been seen. Send worldwide revival! We believe this will occur. We are asking for it in the name of Jesus, Amen
We decree that God-honoring, Bible-believing, brilliant and patriotic leaders are being raised up to restore the destiny and greatness of America.
Click on the link below to watch the full video.
Bennett, William J. Our Sacred Honor: Words of Advice fro the Founders in Stories, Letters, Poems, and Speeches. (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1997), p 40.
Adams, John. July 4, 1826.
Franklin, Benjamin. “Constitutional Convention Address on Prayer.” June 28, 1787. Philadelphia, PA.