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Time and Focus

Briefing: Have you ever had a shift that required your full attention and effort the entire time you were on the clock? One of those tours that by the time you got to the end, you realized you never had time for a coffee or dinner break? How often does all of our time get claimed by outside events?

Dispatch (Assignment): Read Psalm 46.

On the Street: It is human nature to be selfish. We think about ourselves all the time. What am I going to wear today, do I look ok? What am I going to eat today, who am I going to talk to? What am I going to do after work? Did I pay that bill on time, my car needs to be washed, I need to clean up the house this weekend. This is only natural. After all, you are responsible for you and the one in control of your life, right? If you don’t think about yourself and these things, who else will?

The human has three parts to him/her. We have physical needs, mental needs, and spiritual needs. Living in the physical world, we are very good at taking care of our physical requirements. When we are hungry we eat, when it is cold we put on warm clothes. We even get jobs to pay for the basic needs of shelter and food. We live in the physical world and we quickly learn to take care of these needs or suffer the consequences.

As we grow we learn the importance of our mental needs. We try to get an education. If we get a job, we try to learn what it will take to keep that job and even learn how to do it better than expected. We use our mind to adapt to different situations and overcome others.

Lastly is the spiritual aspect. How much to do you understand about your spiritual health and needs? There is not a lot of focus or emphasis given to this part of us. Most government and cultures leave this part of the human to fend for themselves. It is the most advanced of the three human needs and also has the greatest impact on the human being. Over the centuries, Churches and religions have tried to fill this void.

If the physical, mental, and spiritual were all equal to the health and well-being of a person, what percentage of your day do you devote to each of them? Aside from sleep, how much time of your day do you intentionally devote to each of the three categories? Take a few minutes and give each one a score.

Psalm 46 takes the focus off of us and puts it on God and the importance He has in our lives. Verse 1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble”. God is ever-present. That means He is with me 100 percent of the time yet my score probably does not reflect 100 percent. God is a help in times of trouble. How often do I acknowledge Him when I find myself in trouble or a better question, how often do I give Him the credit for getting me out of trouble?

Verses 2-6 say that even though the earth changes and grows weak, I don’t worry because my hope is in God who never changes or loses strength. Psalm 121:1-2 says, “I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” This is spiritual health, walking through your day looking to God for your help. And when you find yourself in trouble, verse 7 says, “The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

Next, God gives us an invitation to witness His power. Verses 8-9 remind us that God has protected His people from wars and other acts of human cruelty. He has intervened on our behalf many times throughout the course of human history, although He has received little to no credit for it.

And finally, verse 10. “Be still, and know that I am God”. You can look at this as a command or you can look at it as permission. I like to see it as permission to take a break from the business of life and simply focus on God. That can be a prayer time, reading His Word, journaling about how you see Him working in your life, or just meditating on the love He has for you.

God says, “I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” He can be exalted by us or He will do it Himself. I like the invitation to be part of exalting Him. There is a great side effect of this, spiritual health. This spiritual health can lead to life after death, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control, faith, hope, love and all other positive gifts that come from God.

Investigational Resources: James 4:8, Matthew 6:33, Matthew 11:38, Deuteronomy 31:6.

Officer Safety Principle: “The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” Psalm 46:11.

from Psalms Through the Eyes of a Cop, Volume 1
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
Click here to check out the entire Through the Eyes of a Cop series!