Much has been written about the “Armor of God” as found in Ephesians 6:10 and many of these writings have often made comparisons between a police officer and an officer’s equipment to putting on the armor of God. But do we as peace officers (and the public) really under the comparison?
Let’s first take a look at Ephesians 6:10; “ 10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. 19Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should”
I would like to place into bold highlights a few of these outstanding Bible verses as found in Ephesians 6 for further discussion; In verse 11 the verse states;11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes So, what exactly does this verse mean? In short, it means that you can not stand up against the evil in this world alone, which translates to “the devils schemes”, and without having a strong level of spiritual maturity.
Part of obtaining spiritual maturity means that you need to spend time reading God’s word (which is the Bible) daily. It means that you need prayer partners and strong Christian fellowship with other believers, which means that you should belong to a Church. Did you know that the word “Church” comes from the Greek word; “ekklesia” which translates into “assembly” or “congregation.” It is used to refer to a group of persons that are organized together for a common purpose and who meet together. It is properly utilized to describe the Church as “the body of Christ”. Just as you cannot survive if your head was disconnected from your body, likewise, your heart and mind, cannot be disconnected from the spiritually body that is the church.
So, don’t think that you can stay out of church and still have Godly strength and character. That would be like an alcoholic trying to go sober without the help of family or an AA group.
In verse 12 we see some specific writing regarding “spiritual warfare”. The Bible states; “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Simply stated this is a key verse found in the Bible to describe satan’s attacks against us (Christian or otherwise) and one in which every peace officer should understand to the fullest. As police officer’s on the job, we see our work as one in which we are found in the middle of a war between “good and evil”. Every officer regardless of what religious rearing from atheist to believer will confirm that we as police officers see both “good and evil” in our jobs. Additionally, they will agree that as police officers we can find ourselves right in the middle of this “war” between ‘good and evil’.
Unfortunately, most police officers while recognizing this concept do not fully understand it and as a result, the consequences of failing to understand it are all too great. Once the devil begins to play his “schemes” (as found in verse 11) against these “warriors of good”. (Read Romans 13:1-7) Without a strong spiritual foundation (and spiritual maturity) satan’s schemes will be manfestiated against the officer and in turn leads to a number of issues that we are all too familiar with. Here are a few listed here;
our divorce rate is 60-70% higher than the national average
our alcoholism rate is 2 times the national average
our domestic violence rate is among the highest of all professions
our suicide rate is 3 times the national average
Personally, I love what is written in verses 14 and 15; “14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
As Christian peace officers, we should walk proudly and with our head held high and have the full knowledge that we are a child of the highest King and as such we should view ourselves as “ambassadors” for the Lord. Additionally, we should view our jobs as peace officers as a gift from the Lord in which we are expected to do “good” (Read Romans 13:4 ” 4For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer”) When we can understand these verses in it’s fullest, we can begin to stand tall, without fear, bold in our faith, and know that we can bring a peace about our beat (area of responsibility) no matter where we are assigned; patrol, investigations, community relations, School Resource Officers, training, etc. these two verses should give you the authority and understanding to police with Godly authority.
Verse 18; 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Prayer. For many, prayer can be confusing but prayer is simply your conversation with God. It does not need to be formal, rather it simply needs to come from the heart. Our instructions for prayer can be found in Matthew 6:5; “5”And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Some Christians refer to the following as breaking strongholds. A ‘stronghold’ can be any area of sin. It can be an internal sin in your own life such as pride, greed, drugs, alcohol, or pornography
Or it may be in external sin such as a physical location like a strip club, bars, drug houses (or street corners), or maybe even a city block.
As law enforcement officers we should be praying daily for these strongholds not only in your own life (or the life of your partner) but also in your area of responsibility. I can personally testify as to what I have seen God do with the prayers that I have uplifted to Him in my various assignments, as well as to a peace and calm that He will install over your beat area whenever you pray specifically. As a peace officer please do not discount the power of prayer. It is one of the necessary tools that you can have on your “tool belt” in order to combat the evil that we encounter on the job.
As God deals primarily with individuals, we do see throughout Scripture that He also deals with regions. He gave Abraham a geographical region. He foretold the regions in which Jesus would minister. He sent prophets to certain cities, such as Jonah to Nineveh, and some prophets to the Northern tribes and some specifically to the Southern tribes. Some prophets prophesied against cities such as Babylon and Tyre. The Great Commission ordered the Apostles to go to certain cities and regions. We can clearly see that God is concerned about geographical regions because of His concern and love for the people that live in those areas. In short, you are a “gatekeeper” for God in your specific city, county, or state.
But how do I do this you ask? It is simple. Here are some examples;
Pray specifically for His protection and guidance over you during shift.
Pray specifically for “bo-bo” the drug dealer who you see selling drugs on the corner of 5th and Main every day. Claim that sidewalk as God’s terrority as you walk along it all the while pushing “bobo” out of the area.
If you are a School Resource Officer (SRO) you should be praying for God’s peace and protection over your school. Don’t be afraid to also hook into any student lead Christian groups or clubs and invite them to pray for their school as well.
Pray for any bars or nightclubs in your area to close, and claim those buildings for the Lord. Hold on to see what miracles that God will perform!
All Christians and especially “Christian Cops” must be aware that God has equipped them to overcome Satan’s power. The Apostle Paul said that “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (of a fleshly or earthly nature), but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds” (2 Cor. 10:4).
You may also recall the time in the Bible when the seventy disciples returned to the Lord rejoicing about the results of their ministry. They remarked, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name” (Luke 10:17). But then Jesus pointed out that the great marvel of this was that the devils were subject to them because their names were “written in heaven.” In other words, because they were saved — because of their relationship with Christ, they had authority over the Devil in the name of Jesus.
Jesus has given all His followers, and specifically all of us who know Jesus Christ personally as their Lord and Savior — the authority to use His name to expel the forces of evil. To all believers, Jesus said, “In My name they will cast out demons…” (Mark 16:17). This doesn’t mean that you have to actually lay hands on people or “Bible thump” someone over the head, or having them fall to the ground, and do all other kinds of physcial battery but rather it is simply asking God to do his will in the person or persons that may need the spirit of the Holy Ghost to be involved in the life of that person in an immediate way.
Yes, peace officers! Ephesians 6 and Romans 13 are just two of the many scriptures found in the Bible for you to use while on the job as a ‘peacekeeper’ for God. Once you learn to police with Godly authority your job as a peace officer will begin to open new doors and bring about a peace in your community like you have never experienced before! Step out on faith and give it a try!
In Jesus’ name!