On Monday, I was invited to a seminar focused on the disturbing world of sex trafficking. Individuals from primarily South American countries shared their knowledge of the industry and what their organizations are doing to put an end to it.
I listened to a woman discuss the emotional torment she endured due to trafficking and how she still sometimes finds herself depressed about what she went through, but then reminds herself she is fortunate to be part of the 2% of woman who are able to obtain freedom from it.
Someone else told us that 2019 was the most successful year for saving victims from sex trafficking, having rescued 118,000 individuals from traffickers. The number astounded me, until he said there is an estimate of 29.5 million victims in captivity to this industry.
We learned about the negative impact COVID lockdowns had on sex trafficking. That when the rest of the world shut down because of fear, perpetrators doubled down and took more victims than ever before. Hearings against offenders was down 50% in 2020, so as the numbers of victims grew, the numbers of those held accountable dropped rapidly.
What this seminar showed me, so clearly, is the devil did one heck of a job getting our attention on ourselves and off the real issues. As we all huddled in our homes, fearing for OUR health, OUR family’s, OUR safety, the devil snuck in and did more damage than we could imagine. While we were all glued to the TV and listening intently to reporters tell us how dangerous COVID is and how we should all be scared for OUR lives, young women and children, some as young as 6 months old, were stolen and taken into terrifying situations at alarming rates, and nobody said a thing about it.
We have become a society of “ME”. It’s all about MY feelings, MY health, MY truth, me, me, me, me! Even the churches are ME focused, telling us to stay home to stay safe because YOU are the most important thing there is to be focused on; not the young children committing suicide at frightening rates, or the high amounts of domestic abuse, or the outrageous jump in alcoholism and drug use, or the victims being kidnapped into sex trafficking. It’s all about ME, even though Jesus was all about US.
What will it take for us to stop looking at ourselves as our primary purpose and begin to look at a hurting and desperate world, then ask the Lord, “what can I do to help?”
2020 got us so wrapped up in overwhelming fear that we forgot our call. We allowed the devil to distract us and stopped being the light. We hid, we complained, we cowered, and the world suffered because of it.
We stopped being the Church and ceased fulfilling the great commission:
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” -Matthew 28:19-20
Remnant, it’s time to GO, to stop hiding, stop cowering, stop listening to the lies of the enemy that keep us so encompassed with anxiety we are no good to anyone. Yes, there are things in the world that could hurt us, but that can’t stop us. We HAVE to rise up and be better.
It’s time to take up the call, fulfill our purpose, be the light in a dark world, and stop allowing fear to keep us focused on ME.
We need to take our eyes off ourselves and look to the world, it needs our help.
Remnant, rise up.
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
–Matthew 5:13-16 (NKJV)