For Such a Time as This

Recently, the name William Wilberforce has been coming up again and again. Many of you may have watched Amazing Grace which depicts his life and his journey in abolishing slavery in the British Empire.

The question has been raised, “Why not again? Why not now? Why not you? Why not me?”

I have heard so many say about the topic of sex trafficking that we will not see an end to sex trafficking until Jesus returns.

I understand where they are coming from and have been tempted to believe the same thing; however, I disagree. I think it can and will be abolished because He has not left, but He has given us His very Spirit, to “proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed” (Isaiah 61:1).

Many said the same thing in William Wilberforce’s day. They said that slave trade and slavery were such a part of the economy of the British Empire, that to abolish it would be to cause an economic crisis.

However, William Wilberforce was a man of conviction, a man who knew who he was in Christ and that his purpose was to end slavery in the British Empire.

His close friend, John Newton who wrote the hymn Amazing Grace, stated, “It is hoped and believed that the Lord has raised you up for the good of His church and for the good of the nation.”

The anti-slave trade bills that Wilberforce worked on were defeated in Parliament for 11 years before the act was passed in 1807. It was not until 1833 that slavery was completely abolished in the British Empire. Three days later, Wilberforce passed away.[1]

He gave his life for the cause of seeing slavery abolished in his day. He used the position he has been placed in, for such a time as this, to be a mouthpiece of justice and to see oppression and cruelty end.

Because of one man’s simple obedience and his partnership with others who walked with him in this vision, 400 years of slave trade was ended (it reminds me of a similar story found in Scripture).

It has been said that there are more slaves in the world today than at any other point in history. There are many saying similar things said in Wilberforce’s day, “It simply cannot be done. It is impossible.”

Oh, but that is where our God loves to start. He loves to take impossibilities and turn them into endless possibilities.

I believe He is looking for a group of people with a simple yes in their hearts, to hear His heart and to hear the cries of those entrapped in human trafficking, and say, “Not in my day. Not on my watch.” 

I cannot help but wonder, dear reader, if it is you. Yes, you. The William Wilberforce of this hour, this generation. The one burning to see justice reign and the increase of His government have no end. To see captives set free, prisoners delivered, hope restored, and beauty come forth.

Will you respond? Will you say yes? Will you dare to dream the dream of Heaven to see revival and reformation be birthed in your city, in your nation, in the nations? Will you be the one to partner with Him in seeing a demonic empire fall at the feet of Jesus?

All it takes is a willing heart to say yes. 

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.” – William Wilberforce.


[1] Pierard, Richard. "William Wilberforce and the Abolition of the Slave Trade: Did You Know?" Christian History | Learn the History of Christianity & the Church. Accessed November 27, 2017.