BY PASTOR TONY REA | March 30, 2020
I Can! (Part 2)
Last week I sent out a note encouraging you to dig in spiritually and modify your mindset from a position of “I can’t” to “I can.” This suggestion wasn’t just my attempt to be positive in a bad situation, it’s biblical advice and instruction. In Philippians 4:13, Paul said, “I can—that’s right—I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
Well, in an effort to use a personal experience to illustrate this mindset, I told a war story, or rather, a story from my police officer days. Many of you enjoyed the story. I’m not sure you followed my advice, (smile) but you got a big kick out of the story. Some of you asked for more—one person even envisioned me as a TV Blue Blood. LOL. So by popular demand, I’m going to tell another war story.
One evening I was working the midnight shift, and I was riding shotgun; which means my partner was driving the scout car, and I was the passenger. About 2 in the morning, I found myself fighting to stay awake. I had not been able to sleep my normal midnight schedule that day because, at the time, I was the volunteer student pastor at our church. So prior to my shift, instead of sleeping, I was preaching and reaching out to high school students.
Shortly after 2 a.m., because it was an extremely quiet night, I succumbed to my sleep deprivation while on patrol—and momentarily closed my eyes. I didn’t even have a chance to hit a full REM cycle before hearing what sounded like gunfire. I opened my eyes and sure enough, my partner confirmed it. We radioed for back-up and not more than a few seconds passed, when a man came running out from between the houses. He took one look at us and ran back into the alley. My partner stopped the scout car and began staring at me. I said, “I guess you want me to get out and chase him?” Keep in mind I was still trying to wipe the sleep from my eyes and regain my composure. I finally stumbled out of the car and gave chase on foot while my partner sped around the corner. Well the bad guy must have heard the police car acceleration and figured we were giving chase in the scout car, so he doubled back and ran right into me. I think he was more surprised than I was! There in the alley, I was able to arrest and handcuff the man by myself without incident. Apparently, he robbed a man at gun point and then fired the gun at him. Those were the shots we heard. When I arrested the gunman, he had a revolver in his jacket pocket along with the victim’s wallet.
How many know God protected me that night? I was tired and vulnerable, and I quickly found myself in an extremely dangerous situation. Evil was coming right at me—at full speed, and this story could have easily had a much different ending…. but God! Make no mistake, evil is on our case these days—no doubt... but God is on our side! God is for us not against us. God has revealed Himself as Jehovah Nissi, our Banner (Exodus 17:15). Not only will God cover us with His banner of safety, He will protect us from evil.
2 Timothy 4:18
The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen.
2 Thessalonians 3:3
The Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.
2 Samuel 22:3-4
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and salvation.
He is my stronghold, my refuge, and my savior…
I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise
and have been saved from my enemies.
You are my hiding-place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.
(Jesus speaking.) "Heavenly Father, I ask by
the power of your name, protect each one
that you have given me, and watch over them
so they will be united as one, even as we are one."