Happy Independence Day, America. (Pixabay)

America turned 241 years old yesterday, yet, compared to other nations of the world, we are still very young. How did such an obscure territory, undiscovered for thousands of years, become a world superpower in such short order? One word: light.

It costs to turn on the light. On July 4, 1776, the light of liberty was turned on to the world, to every government and system around the globe. But many times, we forget the cost to keep the light burning.

The Lord raised up these United States of America to be a source of light to a dark world.

The amazing thing about light is that it is always present in our world. Think about the sun. Even during the darkest night, the sun is still shining at full intensity some 93 million miles away. When the heavy storm clouds come rolling in, the sun is still shining, even though it can't be seen.

George Washington understood the cost from the loss of his men's lives the winter before Valley Forge. Abraham Lincoln understood the cost of the light by the lives of men and woman who destroyed the darkness of slavery. Men and women have given their lives in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and places like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan for the sake of keeping the light on.

We, as Christians, understand the precious cost of our freedom paid for by the blood of Jesus. That's what it cost for our light to shine.

The church, as the people of God, are called to shine brightly (Matt. 5:14-16); when they meet together, light is released.

Why? Jesus Himself, is the light of the world (John 8:12).

And where two or three gather together, the light is present with them (Matt. 18:20).

The Great Commission is all about sending the light of Christ to the nations of the world (Matt. 28:19).

Our second president, John Adams, put it this way: "The destiny of America is to carry the gospel of Jesus Christ to all men, everywhere." It's no wonder that more missionaries are sent to the nations of the world from the U.S. than any other country on planet Earth. And this has been true for over a hundred years. Currently, the number is over 120,000.

Part of God's redemptive purpose for the nations is the reconciliation of the Jewish people (Rom. 11:15).

Who is Israel's greatest ally? It is still the United States. Furthermore, our nation still guarantees individual liberties, giving the church the opportunity to advance this light.

No other nation has experienced such freedom, such prosperity and such favor. Why?

Light is America's prophetic destiny. Even though the darkness had taken much ground in our nation in recent times, the underlying purpose still remains. America is called to be a light to the world. Despite our national sins and glaring hypocrisy, I believe national judgment has been withheld for one primary reason: light.

In the midst of our current political turmoil, let's not forget that the primary purpose of this nation is to share the light of Jesus. America's spiritual awakening won't come from Washington as much as God's people shaking off the dust of our national calling.

This is America's greatest hour. How do I know that? Simply, because the darkness has never been more oppressive.

Light is always the brightest when the darkness is the thickest!

As we celebrate America, let's re-commit to advancing the light.

Happy Independence Day!

Mikel French has challenged "Spiritual Awakening" all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with The Book of Hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide Soul-Winning Celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor's conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia's 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Rebecca Moore contributed to this article.

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