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Watch 2022 online sermons » Christine Caine » Christine Caine - Simple Not Easy - Part 2

Christine Caine - Simple Not Easy - Part 2

Christine Caine - Simple Not Easy - Part 2
Christine Caine - Simple Not Easy - Part 2

I am so grateful that you've joined us today. I know that God has a word for you. I am believing that you have not tuned in by accident, but you've tuned in right in the divine timing, plan, and purpose of God. And you are going to find hope and life and answers through the message today. Now, we're wrapping up an awesome, awesome series as we find out, what is it that God actually wants from us? Now, I don't know about you, but I love it when God simply says, "Look, let me tell you through my prophet Micah this is what I require of you". It says, "He has told you, o man, what is good". In Micah 6:8, "And what does the Lord require of you? But to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God".

To do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God. Other versions, of course, the NIV says to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. There it is! Simple but not easy. And we have already discussed in this series of just how important it is that you and I actually do what it is that God has called us to do, that justice is not just sort of something that God suggests that we do, but it's woven into the very fabric of who God is. It is what God loves. It is what God has required his people to do on the earth, the people of God, or to be at the forefront of justice on the earth. Because God is a God of justice, and he wants to see "Oceans of it," we saw the prophet Amos write. And that we are to love mercy, to love kindness.

And our world desperately needs kindness. And a lot of times, we just get so overwhelmed, and we're thinkin'... I remember once I told you the story about how we started a21, and I felt so inadequate. I was in Thessaloniki, Greece and had this sense that the Lord wanted me to do something. And I'm thinking, "But God, I can't do that. I'm not smart enough. I'm not talented enough. I'm not gifted enough. I'm not eloquent enough". We all don't feel like we are enough. But we saw even from the life of Moses, he didn't feel like he was enough when the Lord called him to set the people free, the children of Israel to be set free from 430 years of slavery and captivity in Egypt, and Moses is like, "But Lord, who am i"? And the Lord's like, "It's not really about who you are. It's about who I am and what I want to do in and through your life".

And it makes us utterly dependent upon God and on God's strength. And through the power of the Holy Spirit, God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above and beyond anything we could ask, hope, or think. So while I was thinking, "I don't know what I can do about human trafficking," wasn't I the one that had said at Auschwitz when I went and visited the extermination camp, I had said to the Lord, if there was a modern day holocaust, I would not be silent. Well, guess what? This was the modern day holocaust for me, global human trafficking, more slaves in the world today than ever before in history. And even though I didn't feel good enough, equipped enough, or special enough, at 40 years old, was I going to spend the rest of my life singing about injustice or blogging about injustice or tweeting about injustice or sitting in coffee shops talking about it, or was I going to cross the street and do something with my own time, my own talent, and my own treasure? That was the line in the sand for me.

So in many ways, how could I say no when Jesus had saved me, when Jesus had delivered me, when Jesus had redeemed me and healed me and restored me. I could have easily been one of the people that we were rescuing, the ones that we rescue today through the work of a21. And I was the victim of childhood sexual abuse, and I was so full of shame and so full of guilt and anger. You know, my own birth certificate actually doesn't have a name on it. It says child's name number 2508 of 1966. So when I talk about human trafficking in terms of statistics, people can switch off because numbers are numbing and numbers are desensitizing and numbers are dehumanizing. And God didn't create numbers. God created people. But when we remember that behind every single story is a real live person, it changes everything. And it changes the way we value and we listen to people's stories.

When I say 2508 is Christine Caine, it changes everything. It's not just a statistic. Today, every time we put a trafficker in jail, every time we see a woman or a child or a man rescued, it blows me away. I feel like Joseph in Genesis 50:20, even though I had a background of abuse and abandonment and rejection and marginalization, and all the things that could've stopped me, I feel like Joseph who said to his brothers, "You meant this for evil against me, but God meant it for this very purpose, to save many people alive," that God took all of the broken aspects of my past, all of the fragments of my past that were broken that could have caused me to be paralyzed, to be crippled, to not fulfill my God-given purpose, God wove together in a tapestry of his grace and has allowed my past to help give other people a future.

I want you to know that you don't have to be a product of what happened to you. You are who God says you are. And God can take all of the broken fragments of your past, he can weave them together in a tapestry of grace and your past can be used to give someone else a future and to give them hope and to give them purpose. I remember once, I went to one of our transition homes, and I was up in this particular transition home, there were girls from 14 nations that had been rescued, and they all had translators. And as I was sitting there, one girl from north Africa had been telling me her story. And she had been shipped along with 60 other girls in a shipping container from north Africa across into Istanbul. When the ship got into Istanbul, they opened the container, 30 of the girls inside the container had died suffocated to death in this trip. The trauma was horrific.

And then of course, traffickers that were dressed in law enforcement uniforms came in and took the girls and raped them and locked them up in apartments up on the dock. And so imagine the fear and the terror and the trauma for these victims. They're in a country, they have no paperwork, they have no passports. They don't know what language is being spoken. They have what they think is law enforcement raping them, the whole terror and trauma of what's going on. They put those girls in little boats to take them across from Istanbul to Athens, Greece, to sell them into brothels. And across the water, the Greek coast guard at the time was coming, and so in order not to get caught with the girls, the traffickers threw the girls overboard. And of course, 25 of those girls drowned, they couldn't swim.

And so by the time the police did a raid in the brothel in Athens, five of those girls that survived were brought to our transition home. This is one girl was telling me this story, and it was shocking to me as it would be to you hearing this. I couldn't believe with my owns ears. I'm thinking if I'm not sitting here listening to this, I didn't even know if I would believe it. As she was wrapping up the story, a girl next to her who had been rescued from one of the Russian speaking countries, very thick Russian accent, but speaking Greek, and of course, Greek is my first language, so I could understand her, she said, "Why are you here"?

Now, of course, when a, a girl is first brought in, she'd only been in a transition home for a couple of days, when they're first brought into the home, they don't know if we're safe. They don't know if they could trust us. They don't know if we're traffickers. Of course, there's so much fear. It's so understandable. And I began to tell her, and then there was an opportunity I could tell her about the grace of God and the mercy of God that had brought healing in my own life and redemption in my own life and restoration in my own life. And I'll never forget it, she just stops, and she says to me, and she stopped me speaking, she goes, "Stop. Stop talking. Stop talking".

And then I remember she said, "If what you are telling me about your God is true, if this is true about your God, then why didn't you come sooner"? And can I tell you, that word resounding, "Then why didn't you come sooner"? It was so shocking to me. And it's the thing that still gets me out of bed. You know, as for me, I've been in this fight for 15 years now. It's the thing that still inspires me, "If this is true about your God, why didn't you come sooner"? She could've been doing the parable of the good Samaritan. "If this is true about your God, why did you not cross the street"? "If this is true about your God, why are you not hearing our cries"? "If this is true about your God, what are you doing about the injustice and the pain and the suffering and the poverty and the famine and all of the pain in the world"?

You know, I called this my "Schindler's list" moment. Maybe if you ever saw the movie "Schindler's list," you'll remember there's a moment when Oscar Schindler, he had rescued people. Obviously, he had rescued Jewish people during the second world war and kept them hidden and protected them. But they were trying to give him an award after the war for what he had done. And because he realized how much more he could have done, there's this scene, and he's like, "I don't want the award because," and "My vehicle, this could have been two more lives". He took off his ring. He said, "This ring could have been five more lives". I mean, there was just this sense that I could have done so much more. And listening to that girl at that moment in that home, "Why didn't you come sooner"?

I just had tears streaming down my face, and I said to her, "I don't really know. I have no great reason, but I will tell you this one thing, I will spend the rest of my life telling everyone that I know that you exist, and we will spend our lives coming to find you and fighting this injustice". And out of that, a21 has grown to 19 offices around the world in 16 countries, where we help to reach the vulnerable, to rescue those that are held captive, and to restore the survivors. A holistic program, God has been able to do exceedingly abundantly above and beyond anything we could ever ask, hope, or think. We've just been able to reach literally hundreds of millions of people through our education and awareness programs around the world and rescue the victims, working with law enforcement and with hotlines around the world and restoring survivors through freedom centers.

We had a seventh annual walk for freedom just not long ago and had 71 nations participating around the world who would have dreamt that. And it's a testimony that God really brings all things full circle. I was able to see people rescued and see people restored. And the fact is that I stood at a baggage claim in 2006, and I didn't know what to do. I saw pictures of missing women and children, and I had no idea what to do, and God worked it out one step at a time, just by being obedient and walking with him one step at a time that now we have a can you see me? Program, which are baggage terminals all around the world in billboards all around the world and at airports and down in train stations and bus stations, and anywhere you move people, in the back of restroom stalls, in airports all around the world, we have our can you see me? Campaign. Multiple languages on every different continent offering hotlines and support and helping people identify potential victims of human trafficking.

See, I didn't know what to do, so we created resources to give people an opportunity to know what to do. So if you're standing at a baggage carousel, now you know you can call a number, and you can get help. You know, after 13 years, I'm more passionate than ever about staying in this fight and mobilizing others. And people have asked me, "How do you not get compassion fatigue"? Which is a real thing. And the fact is that we support our aftercare workers greatly because they're the most vulnerable to being emotionally and physically depleted to the point of having a diminished capacity to empathize and feel compassion for others. And it's often those who work directly with victims of disasters and trauma or illness that are at risk for experiencing compassion fatigue. And I believe that the Holy Spirit, who never gets compassion fatigue, empowers us to stay in it. We couldn't manufacture enough compassion to do this work. We need the Holy Spirit of God.

Jesus Christ never got compassion fatigue, even on the cross. He said to the thief, "Today, you will be with me in paradise". And he asked John to look after his mother. I mean, he's on the cross thinking about others. To try to do the work of justice without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, can I just say, it's exhausting, which is why burnout rates are just so high. And as Isaiah 40:31, I love this, "Those that wait upon the Lord's shall renew their strength. They shall mount up on wings like eagles". We will run and not grow weary. We will walk and not faint. I believe in a time of chaos on the earth, in a time of pain and suffering on the earth, when we're to do the works of justice, we can't do it in our own strength, we've got to do it empowered by the Spirit of God. In Matthew 5:14-16, the scripture says, "You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand. And it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light so shine before others so that they may see your good works and glorify your father that is in heaven".

You and I are salt and light. God wants us to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with him. But the fact is that we need the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to do that on the earth, to do acts of, I couldn't do what I do without the Holy Spirit, but with the Holy Spirit, then we can operate as salt and light in a dark world. Our world is dark. I remember once I was speaking, and we were in America. At the time, we were still living in Australia. And let me just say, when you live in Australia, one of the greatest tourist attractions in America is Walmart because we don't have a shop where you could like buy breakfast cereal and clothing and Jewelry at two in the morning. It's like, awesome. And so after I finished speaking late at night, Sophia wanted a flashlight. And the fact is at that time, she was obsessed with Barbie.

And I remember, I used to say to her, "Sophia, do you have Jesus in your heart"? And this is way back. She was a tiny little baby. She'd go, "No, mommy, daddy said we're not allowed to have boys, so I have Jesus in my tummy, and Barbie in my heart". I thought that was awesome. Now, she's grown a lot since then. And we have her theology worked out, but she like had Barbie in her heart, so she was obsessed with Barbie. So I went and bought her a Barbie flashlight, one of those tiny little flashlights. We're in Walmart and as I was paying for the flashlight, Sophia was playing with the flashlight. I had put the batteries in for her, and I was paying at the checkout, and she was just playing with it. And then she was frustrated, because if you've ever been in a Walmart, you know it has large lights, and those lights are just so bright, fluorescent lights.

And as Sophia is turning on her tiny little flashlight with lights, it wasn't illuminating a whole lot of light. She couldn't see the light because there was so much light. And you could see her, a little three-year-old, getting so frustrated. And she yells out to me. She yells out, she goes, "Mommy! Can we please go and find some darkness"? And when she said that, I froze, 'cause I thought, "Out of the mouth of babes". My little girl just understood that light works best in darkness. Now, if Sophia was back then in a dark room without a flashlight, she was terrified. She would scream, and you could hear it at the other end of the house. But if you gave her a tiny little flashlight with a tiny little bit of light, she would turn that on, and she would go down into the deepest, darkest basement because she understood a principle, that the light that was in her hand was greater than the darkness that was surrounding her. And he who is the light in us is greater than the world that is around us.

And so this is not an hour for us to be full of fear or terror, greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world. We are the light of the world. So, we don't hide under a lampstand. We take our place in the world. We are the salt of the earth. We help to preserve. We help to bring flavor. We help to stop decay. That's what salt does. And so rather than running from the darkness, we are called to take our light into dark places. Church, we are on a search and rescue mission. We go looking for the ones that no one is looking for. We go and help the ones that nobody else is helping. We are the church of Jesus Christ. We are we are here, and we are on mission here on the earth. What is the point of our light if it is not penetrating the darkness? We are to take our light into that darkness.

Let's not be so concerned with our own comfort, our own ease, our own safety, or our own security that we become blind to the suffering and the pain of people all around the earth. It is our obligation as Christians. It is our privilege and our honor to go into all the world and to make disciples. What is it that the Lord requires of us, but to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God. Simple? Yes. Easy? No. We have to be willing to be interrupted. We have to be willing to change our priorities. We have to be willing to put God first and pursue the plan and the purpose of God above our own comfort and our own ease. But can I tell you? That's where the adventure, the abundant life, the passionate, purpose-driven life, that's where it starts. It's not lived in the safety zone. The adventure is lived as we take our light into darkness, and we do justice, we love mercy, and we walk humbly with our God.
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