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The Unseen Authority

Briefing: When I graduated from the police academy, I was issued the typical gear: badge, gun, and uniform. I was also issued a Warrant of Appointment card. Nowadays, they are called commission cards. When you think of your authority, you normally think of the things seen (uniform with patches, gun belt and police equipment), but not the things unseen, like your commission card. What proves your authority, the uniform and badge or the commission card?

Dispatch (Assignment): Read John 16:5-16.

On the Street: Human beings are visual creatures. How often do you eat in the dark? Other than eating popcorn in a movie theater, I will not eat anything in the dark. I have to see what is going in my mouth. Our culture seems to be more and more visual as we progress through history. I am constantly surprised at the amount of video footage available to law enforcement. If we can’t get video from the plethora of fixed surveillance and news cameras, we can get it from citizens’ cell phones.

Yesterday, I had a friend show me a new feature on his phone. His home security system sent a live feed of his front porch to his phone. When his doorbell rings, he gets an alert on his phone and he can see who is at his house. He can also activate an intercom and talk directly with the person at his front door.

There was a time when a person receiving a ticket for running a red light had the opportunity to argue with the officer who was issuing the citation. The offender could go to court and argue the eyewitness testimony of the law officer and sometimes win. Now you get your red light tickets in the mail along with pictures or links to online video of your offense. These are almost impossible to win.

Jesus tells us He has to leave this earth to make way for the Spirit. Jesus was on earth in human form. This put limitations on Him that would have been so confining. I can’t imagine how difficult it was going from a spiritual being, not confined by time or space, to being squeezed in a mortal carton of flesh.

Jesus gives us some insight about who and what this invisible spiritual force is. We know that Jesus calls Him the Counselor. This can also mean helper or advocate. Counselor is a legal term and title for someone who helps another person who finds them self in trouble with the law. It is not necessarily an attorney.

Jesus sends us someone who can help us when we are in trouble with the law. This does not mean the law of our legal system but God’s law. One of the things I pray for is the Holy Spirit to convict me in my conscious when I sin. Not to guilt me but to correct me and point me in the way of truth.

We are told that the Holy Spirit will speak only on behalf of the Father and not on His own. This tells me two things: first, He is an actual being who is capable of thinking on His own and second, He can be trusted. Jesus also tells us that the Holy Spirit is capable of giving us revelations and visions of the future. Jesus was telling this to us, the readers of His Word and His disciples. One of those disciples was the author of this book. John also wrote the book of Revelation.

Jesus said, “He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.” John 16:14 (NIV). I believe Jesus was referring to the Gospels. The Holy Spirit guided the thoughts and words of the men who wrote about the accounts of Jesus. The Holy Spirit lives in every person who has accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. He is our unseen authority.

Investigational Resources: To learn more about the Holy Spirit and how He helps us, read John 14:15-31 and 1 Corinthians 2.

Officer Safety Principle: The Holy Spirit is here to help, teach, convict, and remind us. We need to be more intentional about seeking His help.

from The Gospel of John 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!

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