Saturday, April 19, 2014

How Can God Be Good In A World With Slavery?

God is good. Always and forever. And His will for mankind is good, too. So how can He be all-knowing, all good and all-powerful and still allow slavery? Why doesn't He step in and set the captives free?

To answer that question, we have to go back in time. A long, long way back. To real people in a real garden at the very beginning of time. To Adam and Eve, and the saddest story ever told. (Even sadder than the Easter story!)

See, God, who was perfect in His triune state (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) decided to make man in His image. So He made man.  And then He said it was "not good" that man should be alone, so He made woman. Together, they were "very good."

Of all the gifts God gave to Adam and Eve, the greatest (other than life itself) was free will. He knew that for love to be love, man had to have a choice. He couldn't "program" love into man, because that wouldn't be love, which must be given in freedom.

Then God told Adam not to eat of the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. There were an abundance of other just as tasty trees, and of them man could eat freely. But the serpent deceived Eve by twisting what God said oh, so subtly. Just enough to make Eve question the Lord's goodness. Then she chose to eat from the tree, and she gave some to Adam and he ate, too.

This is the saddest part of the story, because of what Adam and Eve gave up for a taste of forbidden fruit. The first and most important thing was spiritual life. Where before, in their unfallen state, Adam and Eve had fellowship with God, now they could no longer enter His presence. And not they alone, but all of humanity who was to come after them, too. Adam and Eve were no longer capable of passing on a perfect spirit to their children, but only a dead one. And with the loss of spiritual life came loss of intimacy with God.

Now God's heart breaks over the slaves of today. It did not have to be that way, but sin entered into the world through one man, and all have sinned because of him. God's will is for all to be free (look at the number of times I've used the word free in this post).

But along with the saddest story is the greatest one, too. And that is the Easter story. Jesus, unable to atone for our sin without becoming a man born under the curse of sin, became a man. He freely (there's that word again!) gave up His god-nature to become man-nature. Then He lived a sinless life so that He was found worthy of becoming a sacrifice for us. (Without the shedding of  blood, there is no remission of sin.) If you want to know how that all turned out for Jesus, watch Mel Gibson's film The Passion of the Christ.

The point is, man's freewill is the cause of slavery, not God. God remains good, always good, and man remains sinful. But hope is the evidence of things not seen. Continue to help and to hope! When He returns, He will wipe away every tear. Meanwhile, please pray for those who are enslaved and for those who are doing the enslaving. Both need Jesus.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Change in direction and an action plan.

I'm not very good at keeping a blog when there isn't a specific point to it, so I'm changing the direction of this one from just everyday happenings to my ministry blog. It will have posts on anti-human trafficking and on prophecy, as those are my two ministries. Today I'll share my action plan for them, and then I'll keep updated with how things are progressing.

First, though, I'll share what my ID coach, Michael, told me. He said that he rarely sees anyone with as concise a vision and plan for achieving that vision. That was good to hear (and a little bit flattering to my ego). I guess I am pretty focused. And that's a good thing, because it's easier to see where I need to go and how I'm doing on the road.

So here's my action plan:

Suzi Wollman  

Personal Value Statement*
“To glorify God in all I say and do through developing the character traits of compassion, faith, honesty, integrity, kindness, love and truth as befits a follower of Jesus Christ. It is the standard by which I measure success.”

Personal Purpose Statement*
“To utilize the strengths (strategy, belief, learning, intellection, and ideation) and gifts (teaching, faith, and prophecy) which God has so graciously given me to achieve His goals and purpose for my life.”

Personal Mission Statement*
“To provide freedom from slavery for trafficked children through illumination of the problem and belief in God’s provision, and to help victims reach a place of forgiveness.”


Action Plan

Overarching goal: “To Glorify God by putting the spotlight on Him and leveraging everything I can in my life to lift Him up so others can see Him. To maximize all that I have been given to show and tell others about Him. To use my money, skills, talents and passions, and all that I am, for Christ.”

1-6 month goals
Develop statements of purpose, value, and mission. DONE
Find a group that is doing important work and contribute to it. BEGUN
• Join or start a small group for discussion.
Get training in Prophetic Ministry. BEGUN
Begin blogging about my journey. BEGUN

1 year goals
• Seek teaching and/or curriculum development assignment
• Begin Russian language study
• Get involved in Prophetic Ministry

3-5 year goals
• Speak Russian fluently
• Advocate for Russian speaking victims of trafficking
• Publish a book about Human Trafficking (from blog posts)


[*Value: something intrinsically desirable. / purpose: the reason why something is done or used. / mission: a specific task with which a person or group is charged.]