If you clicked over to my blog hoping to feel a little better, despite today’s title, today may not be the day for you. The truth is, God has been ripping my heart open with the burden that is in our hands.
If you are alive and breathing in the evangelical church today then it’s likely that you have heard the statistic that there are approximately 30M slaves trapped here on earth. Have you ever felt imprisoned by a job, a relationship, a situation and you couldn’t possibly wrap your head around trying to get out? If you were born in a First World in a family with at least one parent, you probably had some options: quit the job, get out of the relationship, and end the thing that is causing you so much stress. However, the reality for these 30M people is that they cannot see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Hope is not in their vocabulary.
There are verses after verses that resonate with mankind’s depravity and the direct result of their sin over and over again in the book of Joel. Yes, Joel is a book that is full of hope and redemption and restoration for God’s people, but like most books of the bible it could have been written smack dab today, because of these words:
They cast lots for my people and traded boys for prostitutes; they sold girls for wine that they might drink. (Joel 3: 3)
Unless we know the reality of what is happening all around the world today, we might think this is some ancient hyperbole, but this is happening. Children are being sold for nothing, their bodies abused over and over again so that we can fill our bellies and forget about out troubles.
What will wake a sleeping nation? Will poverty? Will severe famine? Will global-proportioned calamities? Get ready:
Now what have you against me, O Tyre and Sidon and all you regions of Philistia? Are you repaying me for something I have done? If you are paying me back, I will swiftly and speedily return on your own heads what you have done. For you took my silver and my gold and carried off my finest treasures to your temples. You sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks, that you might send them far from their homeland.
See, I am going to rouse them out of the places to which you sold them, and I will return on your own heads what you have done. I will sell your sons and daughters to the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, a nation far away.
The Lord has spoken. (Joel 3:7-8)
This is not a scare tactic; this is the word of the Living God. If we allow these atrocities to go on, modern-day slavery in our own towns, then we are asking for the same to happen to our children.
I don’t think that this post could have come at a more appropriate time, this weekend, 20,000 young adults were sardined into an arena in downtown Atlanta hearing this message of abolition and signing this manifesto:
God, give me the desire to know you more
God, give me a greater love for the church, the body of Christ
God, give me a desire to lift up your name above all other names.
God, cause my life to me an unmistakable source of grace and hope to those around me.
God, kindle in me the desire to go anywhere, at any time, at any cost to do anything to proclaim the Gospel of Christ.
Coinciding with the weekend we celebrate a man who died for his belief that all men were created equally and therefore should be treated equally.
I’ve been waiting for days to publish this post because of questions like:
What can I do?
Will I be a hypocrite if I alert/remind the world to a problem and yet do nothing about it myself?
Truthfully, in my mind, doing something means organizing a protest, a fundraiser, starting a petition, appearing before congress, but this is what my mother reminded me of as we were on the phone talking about this load that I carry for wanting to make the world right and see that children don’t suffer and women are empowered and that the evil get their just desserts and every one sleeps well on full tummies, she said to me these words:
“It reminds me to pray more fervently, more frequently.”
We forget about the power of our prayers.
When we go back to scripture we see that prayer released two men from prison, allowed an old woman to see her Savior face-to-face in the fullness of time, brought a dead boy back to life through the life’s breath of a prophet and a prayer of thankfulness fed 5,000 people.
We forget these things, like our stubborn bull headed/bull-horned veracity will change anything over humble contrition on our knees before a God that has been performing these miracles for thousands of years. So, if you are like me, here are 21 ways to address the gravity of this problem, but if you are like my mom, which I think everyone should be, let us bow before the Father and ask:
Father, this nation does not deserve the blessing and prosperity that you pour out upon it. We deserve judgment and Hell. Yet you love us. Lord, you love these people who are being forced to work for nothing, you love the child who has just been sold. You heal the brokenhearted and you bind up their wounds. Have pity on us, Father, have pity on our nation and protect our children, free those we love and those we have never met from the hands of their oppressors. Bring each one of these 30M people into physical freedom and spiritual freedom that is only found in you. Amen.