I am a pastor. I am also a 19 year veteran police officer. The events of the past few weeks have weighed on me heavily not only as a cop but also as a pastor. I mourn the loss of my brothers in blue and I hurt for their families who will sit at a dinner table with an empty chair tonight.
Today I attended a memorial service in our city for the fallen officers from Dallas. It was very respectful and an honor however as I listened to the names being called and the prayers offered I could not help but feel uneasy. I was uneasy to the point I was uncomfortable and almost sick. I looked around at all the people and could not help but think this would be the extent of their efforts to cope and deal with the things that have transpired. I thought, is this it?
Maybe this was compounded by the rage of social media of so many amateur experts offering their sure fire way to solve the problems that plague modern day society. As I read through many I found myself more perplexed, frustrated and heartbroken because none offered any real hope. So in my hypocrisy I took to my computer and this is the result.
We are at war! Make no mistake about it. The events that have occurred in the past several weeks, even a few years, should be a true wakeup call that there is a horrendous war raging and we are in the middle of it. This war is not one that is cops against the black lives matter movement. This war is not one that is Democrat against Republican. It is not a war for justice in our corrupt government. It is not a war of Americans against radical Islam or ISIS. It is much bigger. This war has just manifested itself in these facets. This war has reared it’s head as racial tension, religious tension and political tension. This war is spiritual.
My fear is that we have been oblivious to it. The enemy has done well to trick us into fighting it wrong. We take to social media and rant. We march or block roadways. We wave signs with intent to “bring awareness”, whatever that means. We have vigils or rallies or simply just sit on the porch and complain all the while our anger and frustration builds. None of this does much good if any at all. It is because we fight this war wrong. And it is because we do not understand the war we are in.
Ephesians 6:12 says “ For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
This war is spiritual and the enemy wants to keep us off the spiritual battlefield and distracted on the battlefield of flesh and blood where we have no hope of victory. Instead the Apostle Paul says to take up the armor of God which are elements of our spiritual defense so that we may withstand in the evil day. Our problem is we exchanged the armor of truth for lies, righteousness for pride, faith for anger, salvation for destruction, the Word of God for our own agenda and the greatest one of all the Gospel is nowhere.
It is time we pull our heads out of the sand of the physical battleground and get our hearts into the spiritual realm. We need to pray, and I don’t mean simply for protection and safety. We need to pray for boldness to confront our enemies with truth. We need to hold fast to our faith knowing that whatever comes our way we have the glory of God to look forward to. We honestly need to open our Bibles and see the God of the Bible and obey His commands and stand on His promises and not some short tweet or Facebook share and be blessed tidbit of misused scripture.
Lastly we need to be about the Gospel. We call ourselves a “Christian” nation then we need to prove it by being about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is how we fight and win the war we are in. Share the Gospel and live the Gospel. We must stop looking to destroy those that hate us and seek to rescue them from the wrath of God with the Gospel. After all Jesus came to seek and save the lost, Jew and Gentile.
So my encouragement and challenge is to get off the couch or porch, turn off the social media, stop ranting and go to those around you and give them Jesus. Just give them the Gospel, that which the gates of hell will not overcome.