Briefing: When you decided you wanted to work in law enforcement did you have dreams of becoming the chief or sheriff? Did you plan out your future path? Are you still on that path?
Dispatch (Assignment): In your agency you probably have a rank structure. Where do you rank? Are you at the level you thought you would be?
On the Street: I have often heard it said, “Our journey is not a sprint, it is a marathon; pace yourself.” Every now and then we need to stop. Just stop for a moment. Look behind you at the path you have been on. Are you pleased with where you have been and what your life looks like so far? Can you see a career that is pleasing? Has your life pointed to Jesus Christ?
Now look where you are standing; are you where you want to be? Is this where you planned to be five years ago? When you made your plans, did include being an ambassador for God? If your agency hired a rookie, someone you never met, they might recognize your rank and seniority in the department but would they recognize you as a believer?
Look ahead of you; where are you going? What path are you on? Are you climbing the ladder to Command Staff level? Is your journey something you think about or are you just taking life as it comes? You may have some grand plans. Plans to make rank, plans to have kids, plans to retire, to get a boat or motor home. How does glorifying God fit into your future?
I have found that in my journey, I can’t spend time looking back. It throws me off my current path. It is hard to walk a straight line when you are looking backwards. (Luke 9:62)
I am not good at planning out the future. I can make plans but I am not great with the follow through. I tend to live life in the moment. In my past I think I did this more out of laziness but now that I’m older I have more trust in God than I do myself. I have seen Him at work and His plans for me are always better than any I could foresee. We have to live our journey one day at a time. Spend every moment looking to glorify God.
When the writers of Proverbs talk about our path, it is in the moment. Too many people get hung up on looking at their path, past or future, instead of walking out that path. Are you on a good path or bad path?
Proverbs 22:5-6 (NIV), “In the paths of the wicked are snares and pitfalls, but those who would preserve their life stay far from them. Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
Proverbs 23:19 (NKJV), “Hear, my son, and be wise; and guide your heart in the way:”
Proverbs 2:7-8 (NIV), “He holds success in store for the upright, He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for He guards the course of the just and protects the way of His faithful ones.”
Proverbs 2:12-15 (NKJV), “To deliver you from the way of evil, from the man who speaks perverse things, from those who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness; Who rejoice in doing evil, and delight in the perversity of the wicked; Whose ways are crooked, and who are devious in their paths;”
Proverbs 2:18-20 (NKJV), “For her house leads down to death, and her paths to the dead; None who go to her return, nor do they regain the paths of life. So you may walk in the way of goodness, and keep to the paths of righteousness.”
Proverbs 3:6 (NKJV), “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
Proverbs 3:21-23 (NIV), “My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble.”
Proverbs 3:26 (NKJV), “For the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught.”
Proverbs 4:11-19 (NKJV), “I have taught you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in right paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hindered, and when you run, you will not stumble. Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; keep her, for she is your life. Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn away from it and pass on. For they do not sleep unless they have done evil; and their sleep is taken away unless they make someone fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble”
Proverbs 4:25-27 (NKJV), “Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your foot from evil.”
Proverbs 5:5-10 (NKJV), “Her feet go down to death, her steps lay hold of hell. Lest you ponder her path of life, her ways are unstable; you do not know them. Therefore hear me now, my children, and do not depart from the words of my mouth. Remove your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house, Lest you give your honor to others, and your years to the cruel one; Lest aliens be filled with your wealth, and your labors go to the house of a foreigner;”
Proverbs 6:33 (NIV), “Blows and disgrace are his lot, and his shame will never be wiped away.”
Proverbs 8:20 (NIV), “I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice.”
Proverbs 10:9 (NIV), “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.”
Proverbs 10:29 (NKJV), “The way of the Lord is strength for the upright, but destruction will come to the workers of iniquity.”
Proverbs 11:5 (NKJV), “The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way aright, but the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.”
Proverbs 19:2 (NKJV), “Also it is not good for a soul to be without knowledge, and he sins who hastens with his feet!”
Proverbs 19:20 (NKJV), “Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days.”
Proverbs 21:1 (NKJV), “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; he turns it wherever He wishes.”
Proverbs 24:12 (NKJV), “If you say, “Surely we did not know this,” does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?”
Proverbs 25:26 (NKJV), “A righteous man who falters before the wicked is like a murky spring and a polluted well.”
Proverbs 28:1 (NKJV), “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.”
Proverbs 28:6 (NKJV), “Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich.”
Proverbs 28:18 (NKJV), “Whoever walks blamelessly will be saved, but he who is perverse in his ways will suddenly fall.”
Proverbs 30:7-9 (NKJV), “Two things I request of You (Deprive me not before I die): Remove falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, feed me with the food allotted to me; Lest I be full and deny You, and say, “Who is the Lord?” Or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God.”
Investigational Resources: Joshua 2:10, Matthew 3:3, James 4:13-17, Jeremiah 29:11
Officer Safety Principle: “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
from The Book of Proverbs Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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