Are you in the faith?
By Chris Amos
FAITH is one of the most important attributes in a law enforcement officer’s arsenal: Faith in his or her training, abilities, peers; Faith that if in a questionable incident, his superiors will support him; Faith that if she was following the rules and regs, she will be covered; Faith that no matter what happens, if done in good faith, all will be okay.
However, in this day and age, sometimes our faith pays off and sometimes it doesn’t.
I want to share with you another kind of faith that is 100% effective 100% of the time no matter the outcome of a given circumstance. It is a faith that pays off big time–if we don’t somewhere along the journey of life lose or misplace it; a faith that will lead to the ultimate promotion. I’m speaking about a faith firmly placed in Jesus Christ’s finished work on the cross which paid the penalty, the price for our sins. But, what exactly does that faith look like, how is it fleshed out in my life, and how do I know if I even have such a faith? I want to answer those questions using the acronym F-A-I-T-H. If you can say yes to these 5 attributes of faith my friend, you have it!
F – FOLLOW: True Biblical sin, forgiving, life-transforming, eternal life-giving faith involves a change of course. Quite simply, we make up our minds to follow Jesus Christ and not the crowd, the latest fad, the lusts of our own flesh. No, we turn from those things [repent] and follow Jesus. I assure you this doesn’t mean we become everyone’s doormat.
In ’96, as a follower of Jesus Christ, I was forced to kill a suspect that had shot me twice. Just last month, my son, a police officer and follower of Jesus, shot and killed a suspect that seconds earlier had shot his sergeant. His sergeant was wearing a vest–thank God and is okay. True faith involves following Jesus into some pretty precarious situations at times!
A – ALLEGIANCE: True Biblical faith instills within us an allegiance, devotion, and loyalty to Jesus Christ. Not just in a church when surrounded by other Christians but in roll call, on a Friday night, at the bowling alley, the golf course, or whatever you do and wherever you go to unwind. It’s easy to see fanatical devotion displayed by fans of the Giants or Jets. Large sums of money are spent to attend games and to eat. Horrific weather is endured in November and December and yet a true fan doesn’t quit when the going gets tough. Our allegiance and devotion to Jesus should make that of a football fan’s pale in comparison. I’m not talking bumper sticker faith, I’m talking deep-seated, unshakable convictions and beliefs that will not be compromised no matter the cost.
I – INSTRUCTION: The Bible IS NOT a book of recommendations or advice. It is a book of God-given instruction to help us navigate this thing called life. The instructions provided on a medicine bottle are meant to be followed. The instructions given by your Range Master or Armorer are meant to be followed. The instructions for disassembling and reassembling your firearm are meant to be followed. Failing to follow the instructions provided in the instances above can get someone seriously injured or killed. How much more important is it to follow the instructions provided in the Bible? True faith understands this and takes the Bible seriously, going to it early and often.
T – TRUST: True Biblical Faith trusts in what Jesus did on the cross. We do not have to earn our way into Heaven by trying, by hoping, by praying we will do more good in our lives than bad. Faith encourages us to TRUST in what Jesus did on the cross. When he said “It is finished”, He meant, “It is finished!” Faith understands the folly of trying to earn our place in Heaven by good works. No, we receive Heaven as an unearned, undeserved gift from God by simply placing our unwavering faith in Jesus Christ.
H- HAPPY: True faith will lead us to be happy, happy, happy. Psalms 144:15b tells us “yea, happy [happy, happy] is that people, whose God is the Lord.” Once we fully grasp the significance of FOLLOWING Jesus, pledging our ALLEGIANCE to Jesus, consuming the INSTRUCTION of Jesus, and TRUSTING in the finished work of Jesus, we can’t help but be HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY as we live life in the very presence of Jesus.
Friend, if your FAITH in Jesus looks like this, then relax and keep on believing in Him. If it doesn’t, the Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 13:5 to “examine yourselves to make sure you are in the faith”.
We examine our equipment and car to make sure everything is functional before each shift because we know our lives may depend on it. So too, should we examine our FAITH because I assure you, our eternity does depend on it. Take care and be safe. God bless and see you at the finish line.
Chris Amos is a retired officer and former spokesperson for the Norfolk Virginia Police Department. He is currently the pastor at Chr1st Fellowship Church in Norfolk. He is married for 30 years and is the proud father of three children, two of whom are police officers. He serves as the volunteer Chaplain for Norfolk Police Dept. and Norfolk Sheriff’s Office.