Monday, November 21, 2016
The Thin Blue Line Standing Against the Unseen Enemy
Yesterday was an extremely tough day for law enforcement - a San Antonio detective ambushed and killed, a St. Louis Sgt. ambushed and shot in the face, a police officer in Sanibel, Florida shot and wounded as he conducted a traffic stop, and an officer shot during a traffic stop in Gladstone, MO.
Fears are high. Frustration is out the roof. Silence from our President is deafening.
This isn't the first grouping of attacks. In actuality, they've been happening for what seems to be every day for the last several weeks, and frequently throughout the entire year.
Line-of-duty deaths are up 10%. Gunfire deaths are up 71%.
Unfortunately, it doesn't seem as if it is going to let up any time soon. We are at war, and not the kind you think. We are not in a battle with flesh and blood, but rather deep in the trenches with a darkening hatred that only comes from the enemy.
Sure, these men who have cowardly pulled the trigger on these officers are tangible and real, however, without realizing it, they are only puppets of a more sinister master.
The Apostle Paul reminds us in Ephesians 6:10-18, that we are in the throngs of battle, therefore, each of us are to put on our full armor in order to withstand the flaming arrows thrust our way.
For officers, this is not the time to quit or lessen your resolve. You must press on, and fight the good fight. Do not allow the enemy's underhanded tactics discourage you enough to lose sight of the purpose. Integrity must interweave everything you do. Courage must be your ever-present friend. And finally, there are two very important things to remember in light of this battle which rages:
1. There is a time and season for everything under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
In plain and simple terms, there is a season to be born and a season to die. God knows those seasons for each of us. He has numbered our days (Job 14:5), and nothing or no-one can alter the days He has chosen for us. They are what they are.
There is also, according to scripture, a time to kill and a time to heal. You have a duty to protect and defend. If that means taking necessary means to take out your enemy, then pick up your weapon and act. But, there is also a time for healing. This thin blue line family is in dire need of healing, along with the entire nation. True healing can only come from God and having a personal relationship with Him. You need to embrace that, but so do these who are so darkened by sin and hatred. With that said, this is a call to prayer for all.
2. Nothing happens without God's allowance or full knowledge. (Job 1:8, Job 2:3-6, Luke 22:31-32, 1 Corinthians 10:13, James 1:2-4)
We don't fully understand this concept, but the enemy only has power to act, when God allows him to have it. He can do nothing to you or I unless and until God permits it.
Why does a loving God allow harm to come to those He loves? Again, it's something beyond our comprehension, but likely could be as a testing of our faith/the faith of those who care about us; He has higher plans to bring beauty out of ashes and ultimately glory to Himself; the refining of His people, etc.
Officers, you have been called to this very important task. There will be days when you feel all strength and courage dissipate, but wait upon the Lord and allow Him to re-fuel you and empower you with the stamina to keep on going.
For spouses and family members of the thin blue line, do not allow fear to render you powerless. You must not allow the enemy to win by defeating you through your thought life. If he can gain control over your mind, he's won a major victory. Fear is not of the Lord, but of the one who wants to destroy you.
In those moments when whispers of evil invade your thoughts, ask God to surround you with His peace and bring that overwhelming stillness. Try eliminating or at least reducing the amount of negativity you are exposed to, and rather fill your mind with the truths of the Word.
Some practical tips I have learned over the years include...
1. Taking a walk
2. Surrounding myself with praise and worship music
3. Doing something kind for someone else
4. Shutting down Facebook
5. Spending time on my knees in prayer
The bottom line is this...
The war has already been won, but there are still going to be casualties in small skirmishes. As long as Christ tarries to return, the enemy is going to seek out whom to destroy. That means, we have to armor up and be prepared for battle, and the first and most important step is making sure Christ is the One you are following.
It's time that all of us collectively buckle up, suit up, and pray up so that God will move mountains on our behalf, and the thin blue line will withstand the pressures of this war.
He is able!