Tuesday, April 16, 2013

to all my ordinary friends ...

I don't know about you, but justice issues like gendercide and orphans and abortion and human trafficking and AIDS can get intimidating to me.  I tend to bite off more than I can chew in general, but to take a bite out of this crime (maybe I'm the only one who remembers those Officer McGruff commercials) ... usually seems impossible. Sometimes I don't really know what to do, so I stare at the screen and read. I have to say, that's not really the progress I'm looking for in the face of this monstrosity of evil. 

But that is always the lie of intimidation. It's too big to do much, so you might as well do nothing.

Ever been there?

Well, as ordinary people like you and me increase our awareness, I hope we are also taking steps to fight.  Because as children of the King of kings, we are not of those who shrink back. Intimidation has no place among those who follow Christ. We must press on and start by doing something. 

Even if we start small and get our courage by small successes rather than huge leaps. I get it - a red X on my hand isn't going to save the world. But for someone just learning about human trafficking, maybe just the guts to look different among their friends at school or co-workers is a big deal.  And maybe, just maybe the donation you would give out of your meager budget when your spouse really doesn't get why you care about "prostitutes" anyway ... well, maybe that 50 bucks is a huge thing in your world.  And maybe you're not used to praying for people you don't know, and there's not a chance in #$^^ you'd pray aloud, and perhaps fasting for a whole day to pray for child slaves around the world is a ginormous mountain for you.

We have to start somewhere.

In my book, and in God's, to do something small is far greater than doing nothing at all.  Especially if it's where you start, committing to fight in greater measures as you grow stronger, vowing to work your whole life on the behalf of others if that's what it takes.

“This is the kind of fast day I’m after:
    to break the chains of injustice,
    get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
    free the oppressed,
    cancel debts.
What I’m interested in seeing you do is:
    sharing your food with the hungry,
    inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
    putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
    being available to your own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on,
    and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way.
    The God of glory will secure your passage.
Then when you pray, God will answer.
    You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’
“If you get rid of unfair practices,
    quit blaming victims,
 quit gossiping about other people’s sins,
If you are generous with the hungry
  and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,
  your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go.
I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—
  firm muscles, strong bones,
You’ll be like a well-watered garden,
   a gurgling spring that never runs dry." 
             -Isaiah 58:6-9

It doesn't matter to me where you start, but I think He cares. I think Jesus wants you to step out and obey His instruction. If you don't know what that is yet - hit your knees, close your eyes, and ... ask. While you're there, pray for the victims.  When you get back up, obey what He reveals.  It could be something that seems too small to make any kind of real difference, but obedience is always the weightier matter.  Or it could be something so huge, it will be impossible without His help.  Whatever you do, don't stop there, thinking, "Good for me, I can check justice off of my list."  Oh no - this is the beginning, friends. And you may be doing something ordinary today, but you are a hero to someone.

Who are the ordinary heroes of this fight?

Rescue Isn't Jason Bourne, It's You.mov from The Exodus Road on Vimeo.

For more information on how you can be one of these heroes, check out The Exodus Road.

"Is it not the great end of religion, and, in particular, the glory of Christianity, to extinguish the malignant passions; to curb the violence, to control the appetites, and to smooth the asperities of man; to make us compassionate and kind, and forgiving one to another; to make us good husbands, good fathers, good friends; and to render us active and useful in the discharge of the relative social and civil duties?" - William Wilberforce

So - to all my ordinary friends out there ... Thank you.  For praying, giving, going, speaking out, fighting.  You're my heroes too.  We can only do this together!

Lord, would you show us Your plan for righteous fasting? Would You make Yourself known here on earth as You establish Your justice through our efforts and fight. God, we know You have called us to act. Not to be silent. Not to stand by. Not to turn away and give up just because it's monumental.  These great atrocities do not go without Your notice. We proclaim to You that we are willing to do whatever we can, to start small and learn how to grow ever-grander in our influence.  You alone can help us. Only Your power will do.  Encourage us, Spirit, and don't let us give up until the race is won, the slaves are rescued and restored, and You are glorified.  May this be what our Christianity, our religion, our fasting is all about. You.

I'm still looking for prayer partners in a "virtual" intercession circle. Would you join me in the following?

Three initiatives of prayer I'd like to begin/pass on to you, my readers. If you'd like to participate, please let me know in the comments below.  I believe as we join together to encourage one another and pray for Justice, God will be pleased with that unity and look upon our requests with favor.

1. Red Light Prayer - every time you stop at a red light while you're driving, spend the time in prayer for red light districts and slaves around the world. Ask God to rescue those who have been trafficked and abused, and plead with Him to guide them to restorative care that will show these cherished souls His Gospel and great love.

2. Pray with your group - if you have a small group through your church, a group of friends you meet with regularly, a Bible study, etc. you can pray with them.  Intercede together on behalf of abolitionists, rescue fighters, and restoration counselors, and victims, as well as for the criminals, traffickers, and sex-buyers to be restored and reformed.  I will be giving you some resources for prayer starters in a group, including those from a few of the organizations I support.

3. Fasting once a week. I plan to fast one meal or one day per week for the purpose of praying and interceding as well.  Most likely I'll choose Tuesdays, but if another time works better for you, don't let that get in the way.  During these times we'll be praying specific Scriptures on behalf of justice and the value of life to prevail.

My [audacious] goal for this prayer initiative is to have 100 of you on my list of prayer partners.  Will you join me?  If yes, I have three ways for you to stay connected to this virtual prayer circle.

1. email me robynleelangdon@gmail.com 
2. leave a comment with at least your first name below
3. message me on facebook (Robyn Mills Langdon, if you're not already my friend)

It starts and ends with prayer. And I need you to stand here in the circle with me. 

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