At the end of last summer, my friend and I were a little nervous about the upcoming school year. We were both going to have different ages of students than we’d previously had at our respective learning institutions. She was switching to high schoolers and I was going from the toddler hall to the preschool hall. Granted, her change was admittedly more daunting than mine, lol.
On the Sunday before school started, another friend at church was exhorting the congregation about the authority we have in Christ. This gentleman is a K-9 officer with nearly 20 years of service on a local police force. He spoke of the training he has received to do what he does and the authority he possesses to keep the peace and uphold the law because of the office he holds. He mentioned how when he arrives on the scene of a call, he knows that if he and his fellow officers don’t take charge of the situation then the situation will quickly escalate out of control and take charge of them. He doesn’t enter a situation wondering if they’re going to make it work. He goes into every one knowing that there’s only one acceptable outcome in front of them. By virtue of the badge he holds and the Constitution he is sworn to defend, he must operate in the authority he has to restore order and protect the community; on or off duty, come what may.
We have the right and responsibility to restore peace and order everywhere we walk.
There is an obvious parallel between this picture of officers of the peace and our walk as believers. By virtue of the blood of Jesus, His overcoming power residing within us and the training in which we’ve been exercised (God’s word), we have the right and responsibility to restore peace and order everywhere we walk. EVERYWHERE. At my home, I have the ability (as a parent and a believer) to regulate the spiritual, emotional and physical environment my family dwells in. On my job, my responsibility is not limited to the physical aspect of my duties. I can change an atmosphere from disgruntled, dismayed or anxious into peaceful just by letting God be God through me. At my kid’s ball games, in church, at the store, on vacation…it doesn’t matter. Everyone I interact with has the potential to experience God because He lives in me and I take Him everywhere I go.
So what does that look like in action? At our home, it means I refuse to let anything but peace rule here. I’m not saying that no one fights or gets upset or raises their voice. I’m definitely not saying that we live a conflict free life. What I am saying is that those things are purposefully worked through so that peace wins. When one of us faces a fear, be it a bad thunderstorm or an uncertain circumstance, we comfort and cuddle as necessary and let encouragement and peace prevail. At work, instead of letting a precocious preschooler steal my joy, I can be the adult and teach them, hour by hour and day by day, what it means to be kind, honest and courageous while still having fun. I can encourage my coworkers through the tough times they might face at home. I can speak words of life over projects, people and problems. And when a (gasp) new policy comes along that no one is excited about, what if I prophesy (don’t let the word scare you…simply put, it’s speaking into the earth what God says about a situation) an easy transition and fruitful results? It means I can take a positive, encouraging attitude (for every kid and not just mine) to little league ball games. It means I can treat waitstaff and cashiers with respect and speak life and joy into their day with simple conversation and a prayer if God nudges.
We can just as effectively positively change the environment and encourage the people around us because you and I carry an atmosphere of heaven.
Not sure about all that? Think about this. Have you ever walked into a room and felt the tension from someone else’s previous disagreement? You didn’t experience the argument but you could sense the atmosphere they created with it. Or have you witnessed a drama queen/king enter a room, bringing along an air of anger, chaos & negativity (in the words of that old Hee-Haw song: gloom, despair and agony on me; deep, dark depression, excessive misery)? We’ve all experienced those negative effects before. In the same sense, we can just as effectively positively change the environment and encourage the people around us because you and I carry an atmosphere of heaven. The Greater One is within us and He wants to love people through us! He wants to use our lives to perpetuate His life, anytime and anywhere.
So back to our friendly K-9 officer that Sunday morning. He concluded his exhortation to with a simple yet strong “YOU’VE GOT THIS!” Those words he shared that day did for me what I’ve been writing here. They were spoken by him, then used by God to invade my head and my thought process. As I welcomed kids that first day of school, they echoed in me all day long…YOU’VE GOT THIS. When a temper-tantrum flares in my home, something else arises in me…YOU’VE GOT THIS. When an unfavorable diagnosis comes, I know…YOU’VE GOT THIS. I’m not naturally a really confident person but I get those divine reminders all the time. In the good, bad or ugly…in the plain, boring or unexpected…we are the interface where heaven invades earth, a divine hotspot if you will. Whatever you face, wherever you walk…remember the Greater One is in you…YOU’VE GOT THIS!
For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose.
Philippians 2:13 NIV
I thought I’d mention that our K9 officer friend recently passed his NAPWDA (North American Police Work Dog Association) Master Trainer certification. You can check out his Patriot K-9 Training page on Facebook and his website at patriotk9training.com. And, his sweet wife is the art teacher I mentioned earlier that was moving to the high school last year. She rocked it, of course…cause she’s got this!