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Briefing: The subject of this lesson is one of law enforcement’s biggest hurdles when it comes to giving our lives to Christ.

Dispatch (Assignment): Read Romans 8:5-17.

On the Street: Peace officers learn real quick that the success or failure of most calls depends on control. You must physically control the scene and every witness, suspect and victim in it. You mentally control your thoughts and action. For example, do I have an offense or just a civil matter? You must control your speech and your emotions because they can have a bigger outcome on your call than your action. You must control your squad car in a chase so you don’t wreck out or hit an innocent driver. We survive or fail based largely on how well we learn to control ourselves and others.

God understands this issue of control, obviously. He is the creator of the universe and everything in it. He is a very hands-on God who knows everything that is going on at all times. You might hear some Christians talk about the sovereignty of God, meaning He is in total control of everything 24/7. A good way to think of it is nothing ever takes God by surprise. When we see something that shocks or surprises us, it is not a surprise to God, He saw it coming. As peace officers, we must learn to give up control of our lives and trust God. Why, because most of the time we are our own worst enemy. God says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.” – Isaiah 55:8. God knows what is best for us. Later in this same chapter of Romans it says, “In all things God works for the good of those who love Him”. He is so much smarter than me (His ways) and He is working ALL things for my good! I would be out of my mind to not put my trust in Him.

Paul tells us that the mind controlled by the sinful nature is death. Living according to God’s will is the only way to life. Therefore he adds, the mind controlled by the Spirit is life. Notice Paul capitalizes Spirit. That is because he is talking about the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit.

Human beings naturally like to be controlled by things that make us feel good. We give ourselves over to intoxicants that numb us physically and mentally. We often say that someone who is intoxicated will lose their inhibitions. We don’t just lose them but a part of our body takes over and kicks out our consciousness and our filters. We become controlled by something other than the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 5:18 says, “Do not be controlled by wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.”

Can you also get intoxicated by the power that comes with influence? We see this in the behavior of young actors, musicians and politicians who take on a different personality. They can become entitled, arrogant, boastful, and the list goes on. Instead of staying grounded and controlling how they act because of the fame, some become controlled by the fame.

The thrill that serial killers get from murder is an intoxication called blood lust. Lust itself produces endorphins in the body that can be intoxicating and controlling. There are all kinds of things that control us, like the fevered pitch of the crowd at a football game and the mob mentality at rallies and riots. These controls will sometimes make ordinary people do extraordinarily stupid things.

This is why we must allow the Holy Spirit to control us. This is how God leads us into the righteousness He expects us to live by.

Investigational Resources: Isaiah 55:8-9, Matthew 5:9.

Officer Safety Principle: Start being more conscious of your words and deeds, for by them you can tell if you are being controlled by the Spirit.

from The Book of Romans Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
Click here to check out the entire Through the Eyes of a Cop series!