Tag Archives: God’s Word

The Hope Found in Sex Trafficking

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” Isaiah 61: 1-3

I’m happy that you’re back as we dive right into the second portion of this discussion on slavery: sex trafficking.

May His will be done.

Human Trafficking. Modern Day Slavery. Child Sex Trafficking. Commercial Exploitation of Children. Forced Sex Labor. These terms are all used interchangeably to explain this one issue that undoubtedly crushes the heart of God. I can only imagine thousands upon thousands of voices that are crying out for some type of holy intervention. And the thousands upon thousands of miracles that our God performs on a daily basis that simply go underneath our radar. He is a faithful God that works in very mysterious ways. We must never forget that.

Human trafficking is an injustice that has gripped my heart for years. And it may be one that grips yours as well.

This was how it all started for me….

I was at home one afternoon enjoying an afternoon off from work, drinking coffee and browsing the internet, when I came across a CBS special report covering young Filipino girls that were ‘servicing’ English and American male tourists. As I clicked ‘play’ with a bit of hesitation, I  could not believe what I was seeing.

Here was a young boy of about 10 years old (the age of my nephew) who could barely speak English, conducting a business transaction with a male American tourist (maybe in his late 50’s). He was selling this man a thirty minute “oral fix” performed by a six year old girl (who appeared scared and confused) in a run-down tent with a small twin mattress thrown on the dusty floor. My insides immediately broke out in violent spasms as I gagged at the computer screen. Anger, bewilderment, and sadness overwhelmed my heart as I longed to jump into that scene and rescue that little girl. But, I couldn’t, and I felt helpless.

This is where my story began.

As a missionary years later in Western Australia, the Lord placed me in the red light district of Perth (right next door to a brothel in fact). Every day I  would see the faces of young Southeast Asian girls who had been trafficked (transported by coercion and force) to live lives of sexual servitude for the perverse enjoyment of Australian men. I wanted to march in that brothel with the authority of Jesus Christ and rescue those women, but the Lord only wanted me to observe and pray. Looking back, I’m thankful for His wise leading. It is through prayer that we gain His heart and perspective on an issue. I strongly encourage you beloved, to spend time at His doorsteps before you go reaching out to others.

“Listen to My instruction and be wise; do not ignore it. Blessed is the man who listens to Me, watching daily at My doors, waiting at My doorway. For whoever finds Me finds life and receives favor from the Lord. But whoever fails to find Me harms himself; all who hate Me love death.” Proverbs 8:33-36

A few months later I moved to Mexico City. For the first time,  I encountered girls (as young as 12) and women (18-45) publicly lining the streets and advertising themselves as commodities for sale in an area known as La Merced. Unfortunately, it wasn’t just for the locals (including law enforcement and government officials); tourists also knew where to find these victimized souls. We knew we weren’t welcome.  But, Jesus had other plans. Their traffickers would visibly loom around them, watching every move we made from the “window upstairs”. It was in this place that I first looked into the big, brown eyes of a young Mexican girl who shamefully looked away after five seconds of making eye contact. And I held the tender hands of a young woman who desperately wanted to be held and to know that she was worth more than a “good time.” At any moment, we could have been shot. But, Jesus is bigger than man, and more powerful than the enemy. What God willed was going to take place. So, we marched out in the authority of Christ, passing out roses to remind them of their beauty, giving them Bibles as a source of truth and encouragement, hugging their necks to show them they were worthy of love, and praying for the Lord’s mighty intervention. We saw one woman rescued from the hundreds there. But, it was still one life that Jesus died for and that was substantial. I’m thankful for the Lord’s powerful demonstration of faithfulness: we were never once injured, and He taught me that even darkness is light to Him. He has all authority and power.

“Even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” Psalm 139:12

Allow me encourage you with something, beloved.

Jesus is King. There is nothing in history that can ever undo the powerful choice He made when He willingly hung on the cross. He has overcome all evil. Death has no power over Him. And even darkness is light to our King. And do you know what makes His sacrifice so powerful? As dirty and evil as sex trafficking is, Jesus still chose to die for the souls that choose to engage in this very act. Is there anything more revolutionary than God’s love? This right here shows you that love is more powerful than death.

Now that I have shared with you what the Lord has allowed me to experience on the mission field outside of the United States, I want to encourage you in the truth. He is doing a big work here in this nation. Sex trafficking very much exists in this country, and it’s often not out in the open. And as a missionary in the States with Wellspring Living, I have learned a very valuable lesson that I’d like to share:

Focus on Jesus and not the issue at hand. There is a difference between being educated on this issue and meditating on this issue. The havoc and destruction that sex trafficking causes is derived from the most disgusting, evil one: satan himself. Let’s not focus on his temporary work, but instead on the work of Jesus Christ.

Because there is a lot He is doing to rescue, restore, and redeem these precious souls of women and children today and forevermore. I have seen the faces of girls and women who have been delivered, healed, and made completely new through the all-sustaining and ever-consuming power of Jesus Christ. And women are being rescued daily here in Atlanta. Let’s give God the amazing praise He deserves for what He IS doing! He is making what appears impossible to man, possible through Him. To God be the glory for that!

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

“My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.” Proverbs 4:20-22

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3

If you feel that the Lord is calling you into this area of ministry, or you simply want to learn more about what He’s doing, then check out these incredible organizations (all of which I know personally) that are doing big things through the grace of Jesus Christ.

Wellspring Living  – An organization that works hands-on with women and girls (through the aid of Christ) to restore their broken hearts and empower them for a second chance of living through Jesus. Located in Atlanta, GA.

Check out their website here: Wellspring Living

Out of Darkness – An organization that runs a 24/7 hotline with volunteers trained to answer rescue calls along with a  dedicated team searching the internet to identify the sites where underage children are being sold for sex, the exploiters who are selling them, and the johns who are buying them. This is a great ministry for men that are seeking a place to serve. Located in Atlanta, GA.

Check out their website here: Out of Darkness

Love Made Claim, Inc – An organization committed to building trust and relationships with women in the sex-for-sale industry, including women enslaved in the porn industry.  Located in Denver, CO (but attends national porn conventions).

Check out their website here: Love Made Claim

Photo provided by momslupusmagic.com

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Steps to Protect Unity in Relationships

Yesterday we discussed the importance in protecting unity within our relationships. Today, we’re going to talk about specific ways to practice this in our lives (according to God’s word).

In addition to these principles, I’d also like to be transparent by sharing my own personal struggles in maintaining unity with those I adore. May today’s post serve as a refining tool for your own heart as it has mine.

Rebuking Jealousy

A few days ago, a friend of mine (who is also a writer) shared that her website has begun experiencing an incredible boost in readers. Within seconds, my mind was flooded with an unwelcome load of jealousy. Because this person is a close friend of mine, I knew that I had to intentionally choose to protect the unity within our relationship and to protect my own heart from sin. Jealousy is devastating; it’s comparable to a slow, painful death, because it gradually kills anything that once had life. Yet through the grace of Christ, I took that thought captive, rebuked the spirit of jealousy, and asked God to give me an incredible love for my dear friend in order to celebrate her success.

“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” Proverbs 14:30

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. You shall not set your desire on your neighbor’s house or land, his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Deuteronomy 5:21

“But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” James 3:14-16

Beloved, it only takes one thought to begin creating disunity within a relationship.  Just one. For this reason, we must be cunning and alert to fight for those with whom we are in a relationship.

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

Preventing Neglect

Sometimes, we can also neglect the people that matter the most to us, and neglect is a form of disunity. Why? Because you are not being alert to the condition of your flock (those you are in relationship with). Recently, I became so engrossed in developing relationships with new HDD readers that I began to forget about the ones that God had already entrusted to me. I wasn’t stewarding my flock well. I wasn’t tending to this garden of relationships and cultivating the seeds into beautiful, long-sustaining relationships. Weeds began growing where luscious fruit had once been harvested.

“Be sure you know the condition of your flocks,give careful attention to your herds.” Proverbs 27:23

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21

That idle time of neglect has an unfortunate way of creating assumptions or misconceptions due to a lack of timely communication. Yet communication can be so easy and simple. Investing in a person through communication reaffirms their value and worth, which is critical for the human heart. 

Let me ask: Have you ever seen a ministry leader heartbroken because some of their congregation abandoned them to start a new church plant? Or an estranged sibling that refuses to speak to their parents? Or perhaps an old colleague who is shouting from the rooftops because they just found a new job away from their former boss? These are the product of disunity. Somewhere along the way, a relationship was neglected, and discord began growing. We must be alert to this in our own relationships.

Communication and Prayer

Just this week, I had a very raw and heart-felt conversation with an individual that I deeply adore and respect. We both held very different opinions regarding a specific topic that was heavy on our hearts. If either of us hadn’t been careful to intentionally seek unity, the relationship could have suffered incredibly. This happens all the time – in marriages, in friendships, in families, in churches, and in the workplace. Wherever there are people present, there is always the potential for a breakdown in relationships. Hurt feelings or differences of opinion can all too easily cause us to slander, disrespect, or criticize one another.

So, how can we actively promote a spirit of unity with biblical principles? The Lord showed me two specific actions to improve and protect our relationships with others.

1. You must talk. That’s right: we have to openly and honestly communicate with one another to discuss what’s on our hearts, no matter what the issue at hand is. Relationships quickly dissolve when open communication isn’t embraced. The easiest way to eliminate a bad assumption (besides keeping yourself from making them altogether) is to have a conversation. Often, what we perceive as reality isn’t actually reality at all. We have to walk in truth, beloved.

“A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his ways.” Proverbs 14:15

“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.” Proverbs 11:3

Allow me to share this insight with you. If you have an issue with a person and you don’t talk to them about it, then you are actively pursuing division within that relationship. You must approach those you love with your heart’s concerns. Don’t gossip by speaking to someone else about them. Don’t criticize the person or slander them in front of other people. When you do speak to them, present your case in love. Honestly speak to this person in full gentleness and kindness. The tone of your voice will make a world of difference.

“He who conceals his hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool.” Proverbs 10:18

“A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.” Proverbs 16:28

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

2. You must pray. Prayer is the best way to melt both the burdens of our hearts and the persisting anxious thoughts about others. Pray for God’s insight in handling the situation, and pray for God to grant you a spirit of unity and love towards the person. If we are to be like Christ, we need to pray like Him, and then we need to act like Him.

Search me, God, and know my heart;test me and know my anxious thoughts.See if there is any offensive way in me,and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3

Whoever you may be, I want to encourage you today with this truth: we never have permission to hate someone. We do not have permission to hold on to unforgiveness. And we do not have permission to embrace or promote division. It’s not biblical, so it isn’t truth. As His beloved, we’re not given a special card to “forgive everyone except that one person”. May each of us actively seek reconciliation with those from whom we have been separated. May we also be diligent in preventing every forms of division from occurring with those in your lives.

May He alone receive the glory! Thank you for choosing to read His Daily Dose today. And please share this message on unity with anyone that you believe could benefit from it. Thank you!

Are you currently a subscriber? We would love to have you! Just click HERE to begin receiving daily, encouraging posts sent straight to your inbox each morning.

Image provided by centrictv.com

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The High Cost of Being a Prophet of the Almighty

As a Christian, I find many fellow believers that are eager to receive this gift of prophecy. Who wouldn’t want to be chosen to understand mysteries and to speak messages on behalf of God Himself? This can seem like the greatest gift available from the Lord.

But it isn’t always, beloved. This gift comes with a HUGE price. Discerning the Lord’s voice and intentionally keeping the human heart humble and contrite are HUGE responsibilities. Prophesy requires strength and courage that can only come from Him.

Prophets may often find themselves in difficult position when their messages are not what others want to hear. If you have the slightest desire to be approved by others (welcome to the human club), or if you want to make others feel good, this is not the gift to ask for. Yes, rejection is a common experience for these individuals.

“But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not e afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,’ declares the Lord. Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, :Now, I have out my words in your mouth.” Jeremiah 1:7-9

Many Biblical prophets – Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel – aren’t well loved in their time, and they often have to punch through fear. Why? Because they speak the truth REGARDLESS of public opinion. There’s no room for carnal sugar coating when it comes to relaying a prophetic message inspired by God. They may be hated by everyone (often a lonely place), or they themselves may be shaking in their boots (courageously persevering through confrontation). Yet, they always speak what God shows them (which always aligns with His word).

“The army of the king of Babylon was then besieging Jerusalem, and Jeremiah the prophet was confined in the royal palace of Judah. Now Zedekiah king of Judah had imprisoned him there, saying, ‘Why do you prophesy as you do? You say. ‘This is that the Lord says: I am about to hand this city over to the king of Babylon, and he will capture it’.” Jeremiah 32:2-3

“Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are now prophesying. Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: ‘Hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!” Ezekiel 13:2-3 

“Your prophets, Israel, are like jackals among ruins. You have not gone up to the breaches in the wall to repair it for the people of Israel so that it will stand firm in the battle on the day of the Lord. Their visions are false and their divinations a lie. Even though the Lord has not sent them, they say, ‘The Lord declares,’ and expect him to fulfill their words. Have you not seen false visions and uttered lying divinations when you say, ‘The Lord declares,’ though I have not spoken?” Ezekiel 13:4-7 

To me, the Lord’s message from this week’s series on false prophets is that we (as His Beloved) must understand that our faith walk with Christ cannot be built on feelings or human opinion, but solely on God’s word. It’s the only stable source of truth available.

Scriptures in the Bible are wise and strategic building blocks for discovering and knowing our Lord Jesus Christ. May we surrender every teaching, every prophetic word administered, and even our personal intuition into the hands of Jesus Christ and the sanctification and clarifying power of God’s living and breathing Word. May our hearts grow in knowledge and truth, knowing that Jesus is truth, and truth alone sets us free.

If you’re reading our site for the first time, or you haven’t had a chance to read the articles this week, feel free to check out the following posts from this week’s series “Beware of False Prophets”.

             Monday –  Beware of False Prophets

Tuesday – Jesus Loves All Sinners

Wednesday – 4 Ways to Quickly Identify a False Prophet

Thursday – A Reminder that God Sees You and Hears You Today

Friday – What to Do Once God Does Speak

May He alone receive the glory! Thank you for choosing His Daily Dose today! Are you a subscriber? If not, we’d love to have you! Sign-up to receive daily posts sent straight to your inbox every morning by clicking HERE.

Photo provided by blog.febc.org

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: