Stop the Train! (Part 1)

Posted: February 8, 2013 in Biblical Basis

Now that I’m Aware … what comes next?   William Wilberforce nailed it when he said, “You may choose to look the other way but you can never again say that you did not know.”  Choosing to look away is not an option.  But doing something?  Where do I begin?  Sometimes I feel like Denzel Washington in the movie Unstoppable, trying to stop a runaway freight train carrying toxic chemicals, certain to derail and kill thousands.  Plan after plan fails.  Attempts end in death. And the train keeps moving faster, and faster, and faster.

It’s all too familiar.  We thought we had slavery licked 150 years ago.  Now we discover that it’s ripped up the lives of 25 million … no, make that 27 … no, 30 million!   It’s become the #3 largest criminal enterprise in the world.  No, make that #2.  Do I hear #1??  Yes, we are helping children and women and men around the world, but at the same time, it’s like we’re bidding against the devil, and he has more resources than we do!  Isn’t there some way to stop this train, or at least slow it down a little?

Goodness knows, we’ve tried.  Intervention, rescue, aftercare, education are all extremely important parts of the solution.  We do community education and development.  We work with governments to overcome corruption, institute better laws and enforce the ones that are in place.  We seek to hold perpetrators accountable and we plead with men to stop the demand.  More than anything, we stress the three most important words in this fight: awareness, awareness and awareness.  Again, all of that is incredibly important.  The question is: Is it enough?  When enough people are doing all of these things, working together, coordinating with each other, sacrificing to make it all happen – Will that slow down the runaway freight train of human trafficking?  Maybe.  Will it stop it?  I doubt it.

I know.  I’m just some guy with an attitude and a keyboard, and there are thousands of people out there who have far greater knowledge of the situation that I do, who are investing far more than I am, and who are banking it all of the confidence that this evil can be taken down – that this train can not only be slowed down, but stopped dead.  Who am I to say that they are incorrect?

But I’m not saying they – or this strategy – is incorrect.  I’m just saying that it’s incomplete.  I know I’m already on the verge of beating an illustration to death, but if you’ve seen Unstoppable, you know how it ends.  (If you haven’t: spoiler alert!)  Strategy after strategy is employed, and they all either fail or are aborted because they are doomed to fail.  Finally, the hero does what heroes do and overcomes all odds, cheats death repeatedly, gets stupidly lucky more than once, and is able – by some unknown power – to get into the locomotive and stop it from destroying the (fictional) city of Stanton and half the eastern U.S. along with it.  Seriously, this guy would have to be God … .

Exactly.  But you knew that, didn’t you.  You just didn’t say it; you assumed it.  I’m not pointing fingers, here.  I’ve been doing the same thing.  In fact, that’s pretty much why I haven’t posted anything  here for a while.  Once you make God an assumption, He tends to disappear, and on we go without Him, thinking He’s still there, but not really making any headway.  God doesn’t like to be “assumed.”  He wants to be – He expects to be – constantly at the center of all that we do; the periphery is not God’s comfort zone.  He’s either in, or out.

Then it hit me a couple of days ago when I was reading from 2 Peter 1:3-8:

 His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. 5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NASB)

Now, I’m aware that this post is getting a bit long.  I also know that giving this passage even a cursory look will make it way too long.  So, I’m going to continue to examine it in my next post.  For now, let’s just look at the first part of verse 3 and set it alongside v.8: His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, …  8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Whatever else Peter is telling us in these verses (and he is telling us a lot more), he is assuring us that God’s power in us is sufficient for “life and godliness.”  While there are other “qualities” that render us useful and fruitful, it all begins with the power of God.  Without it, we are “useless and unfruitful.”  We most certainly can’t expect to stop a runaway train.

Now that I’m aware … What do I do?  There are dozens of things you and I can do – probably hundreds.  But before (and while) doing anything, we must be ever aware of our need for God’s power.  The task is too great and the enemy is too strong to take a single step without it.  But with His power, we will win this fight.

NEXT: How do we receive God’s power, and what comes with it?  Stop the Train, Part 2

  1. […] my previous post, I likened the current onslaught of human trafficking to a runaway freight train gaining speed, […]

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