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    How Can We Kill the Root of Human Trafficking?

    We don’t think much about Hagar.

    But if we’re going to address human trafficking in the spiritual realm and there are seeds sown in that realm that play out in the physical world, we’re gonna need to talk about Hagar.Image from the 1994 movie "Abraham" starring Richard Harris. Carolina Rosi portrayed Hagar.

    What is human trafficking? At its core, it’s the usurping of one human’s rights to serve the desires of another. Before that person can be used to serve the desires of another, they must be viewed as property. The servant is slave to the master. The master “owns” the servant.

    The one viewed as property has no rights, over their circumstances or even over their own body.

    Abraham and Sarah heard from God that Abe would be the father of a great nation. The years drug on with no son for them therefore Sarah took matters into her own hands. She told Abraham to impregnate Hagar. Abraham resisted but, to appease his wife, he went along with the plan. (Sounds like Adam, eh?)

    Did anyone give Hagar a choice in the matter? No.

    She was Sarah’s property therefore, when Abraham and Sarah doubted God, they used Hagar to force the fulfillment of God’s plan.Pimps often tattoo those they traffick, marking them as the pimp's property. Image from http://www.ijreview.com/2015/09/413813-sex-trafficking-survivors-show-brands-pimps-forced-wear/

    The true travesty is, though Hagar was from a pagan nation—Egypt—she was misused by people who worshipped the One True God. What do you think this did to Hagar’s trust in God? Is it any wonder she detested Sarah later? Is it any wonder Hagar pitted her son Ishmael against Isaac, the “child of promise” who kicked Ishmael out as Abraham’s heir?

    This situation was not God’s doing but rather was born of Abraham and Sarah’s doubt.

    What came of this huge lapse in faith for Abraham and Sarah? Enmity, strife, murderous intent, discord in the family and a woman—Hagar—used and cast aside all in the name of “fulfilling God’s promise to us.”

    Through thousands of years, those seeds have grown into poisonous, ongoing, worldwide war.

    Now before we pass harsh judgment on Sarah and Abraham, we must realize we do the same thing… even as followers of Christ. We hear from God, receive His wonderful gift of salvation, commit our lives to serve him BUT—our hearts are still pagan. We’re impatient and lose faith that God is going to keep His word. We get jealous of others who seem to have more favor, anointing, prestige, or talent. We believe somewhere in our little insecure core that God does not favor us like He favors others therefore, if we are to succeed, we have to make it happen.

    I propose this very issue is at the heart of why so many despise what they perceive as “the church.”

    The examples of those committed to “Thy kingdom come and thy will be done” are drowned out by those screaming, “MY kingdom come and MY will be done.”

    To a me-centered person, people are either a stumbling block and/or a stepping-stone to selfish ambition. 

    What’s at the heart of human trafficking? Selfish ambition that doubts God can or will fulfill our desires and needs therefore we grab what appeases us—even if it robs another of dignity, hope, and a future.

    I could go on with stating the obvious about our me-centered culture, but a better use of our time is to take action, starting with speaking death to the very root of using people as we play God—in the church and outside it. Please join with me in this prayer.Not Our Will but Thine be done (image from www.trailreflections.com)

    Holy Father, we ask You to give us eyes to see and ears to hear truth.

    We ask for Your heart on the matter of human trafficking and every other horrific effect of selfish ambition. Together, we as the Body of Christ—imperfect though we are—speak to the very root of using people while slapping the label of Christ across our self-serving actions. Image from http://oneofthehoraios.tumblr.com/post/8380100916

    We identify that root of human trafficking inserted by the patriarch and matriarch of our faith who, much like Adam & Eve, sought a shortcut to God’s promises. We curse the very root of fear and pride that causes us to look, sound and even act like those who unashamedly put self on the throne of their lives.

    We recognize the root of stealing personhood from another while we try to disguise it as fulfilling God’s will.

    We curse that root and command it to shrivel and die. We curse the poisonous trees borne of that root: bitterness, hatred, chaos, war, murder and pride. Into those trees, we speak a wonderful virus of humility and overwhelming love for all God’s children. We repent together and ask Your forgiveness. Please break our hearts for what breaks Yours.

    We lay our hearts and ambitions before You, asking for selflessness to replace self-worship.

    May we choose the path of Christ who laid aside His rights in order to serve.

    In the holy name of Yeshua-Jesus our Messiah we pray.


    Chana Keefer is wife-of-one, mom-of-four and the best selling author of four with many more stories jockeying for position in her brain. She brakes for old barns, hot chocolate chip cookies and ANY version of Pride & Prejudice. Chana and her family reside in southern California but dream of touring New Zealand—on horses—with Peter Jackson as their personal guide.

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