Helping With My Questions
Briefing: I once rode out with an officer who would ignore my questions and was always interrupting me. I would get so angry with him. Later, I found out he was hard of hearing, not being rude. God is not hard of hearing.
Dispatch (Assignment): Read Psalm 86.
On the Street: Psalm 86 feels and sounds like a person who is describing their spiritual condition rather than their physical condition. This resembles questions I have had and inquires I have heard other people make. If we are honest, we are all looking to God for guidance on the questions we have in life.
Verses 1-4, “Hear me, Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am faithful to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God; have mercy on me, Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you.”
Last month I got an email from a police officer who has been on the job for 12 years. “I understand that there are times when being in law enforcement I will have to use force, and hopefully never, lethal force. I don’t doubt my ability if the time ever comes, but is there anything in the Bible regarding our ability to use this force? My mind keeps wandering back to “Thou shall not kill”. I have read how it is said that society needs to follow the government and those employed. But what about lethal use of force? Thanks. #919”
I will post the scripture used to answer the relevant questions in the “Investigational Resources” but the point here is, we all have these questions. Can a Christian be a peace officer? Can a peace officer be a Christian? The Bible says to turn the other cheek, how does that apply to a peace officer? These are all wonderful, thought provoking-questions that are answered in the Bible.
There is a blessing revealed in Psalm 86. David tells us exactly what to pray so we can get the help and assistance we need. Verse 11 says, “Teach me your way, O LORD and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.”
We all need to walk in God’s truth. I can start my day determined to think on God and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, only to find myself dwelling on anger and sin just a few moments later. The only way to be successful in this Christian walk is to hold our Father’s hand as we go, so we don’t wander off in different directions.
Verses 12-13 say, “I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths, from the realm of the dead.” David found a way to keep God at the forefront of his mind, praising God for every situation. This brings the recognition of God back to everything we do and it is a pretty easy habit to get into. We can turn that habit into a discipline where it is automatic. When David thanks God for keeping him from the realm of the dead, it translates to the salvation afforded by Jesus’ sacrifice.
Walking through life like this will bring us to the answers we are looking for. Praising, communicating, being thankful, and turning every thought over to Him will take practice but it will be worth it.
Investigational Resources: Romans 13:1-7 lays out God’s reason why we need to have and follow government authority. Psalm 94:16, God has invited us to assist Him in carrying out justice on earth. Ephesians 2:10, our God is a good and just God who created us to do good works (law enforcement). Isaiah 61:8 reveals God’s desire to see justice carried out. The 10 commandments say to not “Murder” not “Kill”, there is a big difference between the two. The question on lethal force is answered in Romans 13 again because the government has given you the authority to use deadly force when justified. If you have further questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Officer Safety Principle: God hears us when we call. How often do you call?
from Psalms Through the Eyes of a Cop, Volume 2
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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