Sometimes our jobs include tasks that weren’t in the description when we signed up. When I applied for a School Resource Officer position at one of our inner-city high schools, I knew there would be gangs, fights, and other challenges. I knew I would have to learn the educational system, how to work alongside administration, and adjust to operating as an officer in a new environment. I didn’t know I’d be a rat chaser and snake handler.
Our school is housed in an older facility built near a levee. After maintenance personnel found a pack of crackers that I accidentally left overnight on my desk, I was quickly warned about rodents. A day or two later, I heard squeals and screeches in the hallway from teachers who saw a baby mouse running in the hallway. I was nominated to help it scurry out of the building. Then, just last week, I was alerted to a small snake in the hallway. We captured one again yesterday – the 5th in a week and most likely from a nest. Given the cold weather, they are most likely coming in for warmth…and following the food supply.
The good news is that the snakes have been identified as black rat snakes. The bad news, and rather humorous side of things, is that we must now decide whether we prefer to live with snakes or, in getting rid of them, deal with rats and rodents.
Leave it to me to be all super-spiritual and find a lesson in everything, but that’s just the way God deals with me. Aside from dealing with the snakes, my partner at the school and I have had to deal with several volatile situations that has left me reviewing, reflecting upon, and reconsidering the use of force continuum and our options as officers. The first level of force is called “Officer Presence.” Just by virtue of our position of authority and the uniform we wear, officers are exhibiting a certain level of force just by showing up to a situation. Our presence is often all that is needed to resolve situations.
Riding home a few days ago I heard the Lord remind me to face overwhelmingly stressful and frustrating situations by walking in the authority I have as a child of God. In Luke 24:49, Jesus instructs His disciples to tarry or wait in Jerusalem until they are “clothed with power from on high.” Then, in Acts 1:8, they are told, “You shall receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” The Scriptures are clear that the anointing of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God are powerful (Isaiah 10:27, Hebrews 4:12, and others), that the enemy of our souls is overcome at least in part by our testimony as the redeemed (Revelation 12:11), and that we are more than conquerors through Christ (Romans 8:37). I remember singing a song in Children’s Church that repeated the line, “I’m a born-again, Spirit-filled, Word-believing, faith-talking, armor-wearing, child of the King!”
Many of us have been living with the spiritual attitude that we must choose to live with either snakes or rats. We must endure this vice or that temptation. We must struggle with this sin or that and deal with constant oppression from the enemy of our souls. Sure, we will face trials and struggles in our spiritual journey – things for which we didn’t necessarily “sign up.” My journey over the past 5 years is overwhelming to even think about. But living below our means as the anointed ones, the saints, the holy nation and royal priesthood, as the adopted and beloved of the Father, and joint-heirs with Christ, is just not acceptable. It may be easy to get down, distracted, sidetracked, or even forget, but I am a born-again, Spirit-filled, Word-believing, faith-talking, armor-wearing, child of the King! I have been clothed with power from on high, and when I “show up” in the presence, power, and anointing of God, situations have to change. Maybe we need to exhibit a little more “officer presence” in our spiritual lives. I am not talking about radical triumphalism, but rather victorious living according to the Word of God.
Just for encouragement, it bears repeating again: You are a born-again, Spirit-filled, Word-believing, faith-talking, armor-wearing, child of the King! You don’t have to constantly struggle. The victory Jesus Christ accomplished at the cross of Calvary and through His life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension is our victory. Whether it’s deliverance from sin or faith for a battle, I pray that you will experience, live, and walk daily in that victory. Amen!