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.
Beth Moore recently tweeted about the dangers of “Trumpism”, stating “I have never seen anything in these United States of America I found more astonishingly seductive & dangerous to the saints of God than Trumpism.”
There’s a lot to unpack here, primarily the fact that she finds “Trumpism” (whatever that is) more seductive and dangerous than false prophets, wayward pastors, the normalization of homosexuality within the church, Christians staying silent regarding abortion…I could go on and on, so, let’s just focus on this: as a fellow Christian and outspoken Trump supporter, I find her comments offensive, inappropriate and juvenile.
Since day one, I have been very outspoken regarding my views on how the body of Christ, as a whole, has handled COVID. We have not dealt with this situation, the fear, the confusion, the anxiety and the chaos, the way Jesus would have dealt with it, and if anyone disagrees with that, I would be very interested to see what biblical verse they are standing on.
Now, as things somehow continue to become stricter, even as COVID deaths rapidly decline, we are seeing many churches, again, close and lock their doors.
Since nowhere in the Word does it say we should react to fear and pandemics by shutting ourselves off from one another, most pastors are using a verse they feel gives them the authority to close the House of God: “Love thy neighbor” Mark 12:31.
I find it interesting, and a bit hypocritical, this is the verse pastors are standing on in regards to keeping people from congregating and worshiping. Suicide, alcoholism, drug addiction, domestic and child abuse, violence, anger and confusion are at an all-time high, but closing the House of God, the place people typically run to in times of difficulty, is somehow “loving” them.
I believe we are stepping into a new season with the Lord. Things we used to get away with will no longer be acceptable. Flippant words we speak without thinking will not be tolerated and saying you follow the Lord will no longer mean you actually know who He is and what He stands for.
I think we have been in a “safe zone” with God. By this I mean He tolerated so much simply because we, His children, didn’t know better. He tolerated our laziness, our unwillingness to submit to His authority. He tolerated our acceptance of “being a Christian” one day a week, of walking with Him a few hours a month and turning from Him far more than turning towards. He allowed us to make mistakes because we were in an innocent dwelling with Him, a place of learning and growing and finding Him in a world that has abandoned Him.
But, I no longer believe we are in the safe zone anymore. Like the Israelites at the outskirts of their land of milk and honey, we have approached new territory and now is the deciding moment where we either walk into the promised land or continue to wander.
There are times in life when it seems as if the world is standing still and I’m no longer moving forward, as if everyone around me is living and I’m just existing, when every desire seems to remain unfulfilled and my prayers are going unheard.
In those moment, I must remind myself who my God is.
My God is the creator of the universe. He spoke the world into existence. He taught the sun how to shine, the wind how to sing and the trees how to dance.
My God formed man out of His own image because He believed man was worthy of being like Him, looking like Him, talking like Him, walking as He does and interacting as only His image could.
My God sees all things; therefore, He is never worried about the outcome because He knows how to get me to victory.