“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” -Philippians 4:8
A police officer has a job to serve and protect. I cannot help but think of athletes in a locker room getting pumped up for a game. Their coach tells them the plays, reminds them of the same plays their opponent has used for decades, “Watch out for the stinger! You know they have been using the duck and tuck for years…” The players take in and hang onto every single word. Then they all put their hands in and the coach says something to the effect of, “Eagles can’t lose on three!” And the team roars on the three count, “Eagles can’t lose!” Then the team runs out of the locker room to get in the game and as they head out, they usually slap the top of the door because their slogan, “Eagles can’t lose” or their mascot of an eagle is painted on the top of the door. They connect with it again as a reminder of the mission… to not lose or simply, win.
A police officer has a job to protect and serve. How, you’re probably wondering does the image of guys in a sweaty locker room prepping for a game connect to police having a job to protect and serve? Well, this is how…
I woke up this morning reflecting on a sermon My Elizabeth preached last Saturday. I was reminded of the rebuke in the message, well needed in fact, but I was struggling to move past the rebuke to hearing the love that was so intricately and intentionally woven throughout. I was in the shower and crying out to God about wanting desperately to ENJOY intimacy with Him; to graduate from duty to delight. That is a desire of my heart. I felt myself sinking. QUICKLY. Then God reminded me of a picture He showed me years ago… before I tell it, yes, I told it before, but sometimes we need reminders so here it is again:
I was in church in worship and God showed me a vision. I was looking at the inside of my body. I saw men on scaffolds and ladders and all over the place washing dirt and grime of the inside of me. They washed and scrubbed and made sure every square inch they were assigned to was SPOTLESS! They washed my eyes, my mouth, my hands and feet, my heart, my joints, EVERYTHING. When they were done, they laid what looked like wall paper all over the inside of me. then they sealed it with blood that dried clear. I looked on the wall paper and it was Bible pages. Then the vision was finished.
As I was in the shower, i yelled out, “Why are you downcast oh my soul? Why are you disquieted within me?” Then BOOM this vision came back to me. I repeated the vision aloud in prayer to God and the sinking feeling started to rise. I thought next, police protect and serve (this is the mission, this post is not to debate any inconsistencies… stay with me). Protect and serve. I need to police my thoughts! How do I protect and serve my thoughts?
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.Philippians 4:8
I have to remind myself of the things God has ALREADY said to me and do it with JOY! He already said He cleaned me! (You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. John 15:3) He already gave me instruction and reason for His instruction! (Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15:4) He already gave me reward and a reminder! (I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5) You see!? I have to let this truth reHEARse in my HEARt. I have to let it impress so deep in my heart that I respond! What is my response?
Psalm 34 King James Version (KJV)
34 I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
3 O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.
4 I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
5 They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
8 O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
9 O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.
10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.
11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
17 The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.
20 He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.
21 Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.
22 The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.
OH I pray you read this aloud with as much fervor as my heart is reading it! Sis! Police your thoughts! MAGNIFY THE LORD WITH ME AND LET US EXALT HIS NAME TOGETHER!!!!! His banner over us is LOVE! He is no respecter of persons and shows no favoritism. What He does for one He will do for all, but it starts with policing our thoughts. Protect every thought that serves your spirit and causes you to bless the Lord and love His people with joy! Fight of any and every thought that threatens your right view of Holy God! (Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10:5)
Just like an athlete getting ready to face their opponent, remember the plays Coach Jesus told YOU to run. Remember the sorry old plays He reminded you that your opponent, Satan, as always run, and reHEARse in your head over and over, “God has never lost a battle, and He never will!” Remember every single victory he has given you. As you run into the day, ready to face it head on with the words of your Coach repeating through your head, see yourself winning! See yourself maturing! See yourself full of joy because of the truth you CHOSE TO BELIEVE! As My Elizabeth said, “The heart’s job is to believe.” Take that good, lovely, praiseworthy thought and impress it on your heart for as long as it takes until it changes you. Then… remain.
#selah #refreshher #remindher #thoughtpolice