In my last entry I described how God had revealed to me a glimpse of his master plan. This plan is love. So, let me take a moment and communicate what I believe love is.
All my life I have had a good moral compass and a strong sense of justice. I believed that those who do wrong deserved every bit of the punishment they received. I believed God’s forgiveness didn’t come until after people confessed what they did wrong to others and, in return, had been punished for it. If people managed to slip by without confessing and being punished for their sins, then there was no forgiveness for them. Basically, atonement through confession and punishment was my idea of Christianity.
As can be imagined, I grew to hate this idea of Christianity. Around the age of ten, I began to make decisions that I was so ashamed of. I began to hide things, and in so doing I became condemned to my own standards. Not only did I not want to be punished, I also did not want to be judged by others. Night after night, I would lie in bed thinking of all the things I needed to confess and how if I didn’t, I would go straight to Hell.
Years went by like this. On my own, my decisions became increasingly worse and my life became a massive snowball going nowhere but downhill. Every week I would sit with my parents in church wondering how everyone could be singing love songs to a God who lets people go to Hell. Every sermon I heard was filtered through my ultra condemning mindset. I would block the truth as I continued to bury myself in shame.
Shortly after my eighteenth birthday I had an idea. I decided I would rededicate my life to God. In doing this, I would have a fresh start and I wouldn’t have to confess all the bad things I had done the past eight years. So, in the summer of 2007, I gave my life to Christ once again. Everything went great for a while. I began to believe that God was pleased with me, and the reason he was pleased was because I was so good at keeping all of his commandments. I began to look at others and judge them for their shortcomings, thinking how they could call themselves a Christian.
This theory held me up until I started to drown in my own sin. I became broken and defeated. Every time I sinned I would feel separated from God and unworthy of his forgiveness. I would try reading the Bible but all I saw was words that condemned me. This problem continued for another year, until I finally saw a glimpse of God’s love.
I don’t know how exactly it happened, but God started to reveal to me how much he loved me. I would listen to the words of worship songs, and began to realize that what they were saying might be true. I began to see God not as the condemner, but the loving rescuer. I saw how he wanted to help me even more than I wanted his help.
Now, I am not at all a mushy, emotional type guy. Nevertheless, I would listen to these songs about how much God loved me and would begin to cry. I would cry because his presence would surround me and I didn’t know what else to do. I would cry because I was sorry for all the years I had misjudged God. I would cry because I knew with everything in me that I was unworthy of the love and forgiveness that he was holding me with.
As this revelation began to unfold, I began to not fear death. I knew God loved me and would never let anything happen to me. I began to realize that the Law had been broken and there was nothing that could separate me from God. However, this new revelation of the freedom from the Law did not make me want to go out and sin more. The only thing this revelation did was make me want to show God how much I loved him in return.
Through his word, God began to show me how to love him. He began to show me verses like James 2:26, John 15:12, and Galatians 5:6. These verses, and others like them, say that loving others is the best way to show God your love for him. I use to believe I was a good candidate for this job because of my strong sense of justice and morals. My thoughts were God will use these traits to bring freedom to the enslaved and punishment to the people that are responsible for this evil. This, however, was not what God wanting from me.
God has given me a revelation of his love so that I may take this love and, in return, show it to the victims caught in human trafficking. When God said “faith without deeds is dead” (James 2:26 NIV), he was specifically talking about our love for one another. The end of human trafficking will not come by punishment of the people who started this evil. The end of human trafficking will come when us Christians rise up and show the enslaved God’s love. Basically, justice will come through love.
I, along with Pearl Alliance, am committed to showing this love to people enslaved and in danger of human trafficking. I ask that you would join us in this fight. I ask that you would do your part in raising awareness in regards to human trafficking. I ask you to pray and seek God for ways you can show his love to these women and children held in captivity.
Pearl Alliance is just that, it is an alliance, an alliance between us and everyone else that is willing to fight against human trafficking. Through God’s love, we will make a difference.