Casual Christianity or Ready for Action?

I observed something interesting in a church service recently. A local police officer was sitting in front of me (that’s not the interesting part!) and what he did has really stuck with me.

Throughout the service, I noticed the officer’s actions. He was dressed in full uniform, along with all the tools an officer carries. As we stood to sing, he frequently placed his hands along the side of his uniform to verify the handcuffs and baton were secured.  As we sat down, he adjusted his walkie talkie and earpiece to hear important instructions. In fact, he slipped out once to accept a call then returned to his seat.

What fascinated me about this man’s actions was how he seemingly participated in the service yet was fully an officer the entire time. Hmmm . . . made me think.

How often are we as Christians truly in our uniform—ready for action at any time?

Three challenges come to mind:

  1. Always listening for the next command.
    This officer was on duty. Yes, he could attend a church service, but he was also connected to the dispatcher and ready to respond at any time in an emergency. As a Christian, am I so connected to the Father to be ready to respond wherever and whenever He wants me to?
  2. Always suited up.
    This officer was in full dress—pressed uniform, handcuffs, baton, radio, and handgun. If an emergency arose, he could respond immediately. As a Christian, what is the condition of my uniform? Ephesians provides a wonderful description of how we are to be prepared for battle through our spiritual armor. Would I be ready at a moment’s notice when the time comes?
  3. Always on duty.
    This officer accepted a call during the church service. He is always a police officer—always on duty, always a public servant. As a Christian, could the same be said of me? As I go about my daily activities, whose agenda takes priority? My wants and goals or those of the Father?

I must admit, I’ve never really observed a police officer. But I do believe it was no accident he sat in front of me that particular Sunday morning.

God gets our attention in many ways. Don’t miss His message for you today.

Comments

comments

You Might Also be Interested in …

16 thoughts on “Casual Christianity or Ready for Action?

  1. Wow, what a great illustration! To be constantly ready requires practice and discipline. Thanks for the word picture because this is a great reminder to train to be ready to go, at any given time. We never know where or when we'll be called to action in His name!

    Blessings,
    Mel
    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

    • Thanks for your comment Mel. God really got my attention that day. I wonder often He is ready to use us but we don't hear the command?

  2. Hi all, just a few questions from a confused outsider in which certain language disturbs me a bit and it might just be context.
    What do you need to be ready at a moments notice for? To respond immediately. Do you have an example?
    By what means does God communicate 'specifics' to you that you would know to leave your office for example like in the above case?
    You described a battle, what is the war? How is it manifested?
    What do you mean by 'when the time comes'?
    What message are you sending my having 'OR DIE' in your heading and how do you resonate?
    What message is being sent by having 'OR DIE' in your heading.

    Apologies, despite having been a Christian for years i still do not understand the message you are trying to convey here. Many thanks.

    • Hello Dan. Thanks for your comments. Your questions create dialog which is a good thing. The police officer was ready to do his job at a moment’s notice. That’s the point I was trying to make in the article. It means a willingness to postpone something that may be on my personal agenda for the day and stop and help someone in need. Whatever that “thing” is really depends on where and what your circle of influence is – listening to an employee issue instead of working through emails or spending time with a neighbor and investing in that relationship versus watching TV. Paul (in Ephesians) actually makes an analogy to war in our spiritual readiness. Knowing the Word, seeking Truth, etc as we engage in the world around us who do not know Christ. My perspective on ResonateOrDie is this: We either help others connect (resonate) with the Gospel or we hinder it (die). The title of this page is bold and I like that. It challenges me to think about my calling (as a Christian) and remember what I say and do does impact others.

      I hope these thoughts/explanations make sense. I apologize for the lengthy response but I wanted to address each question.

  3. Excellent, thanks for the response. That clears things up.
    I should clarify after reading back what i wrote. I 'used' to be a Christian but i do co-host a religious podcast called The Skeptics Testament. Have you heard of it? I have just been recently chatting with Brad White from Changingthefaceofchristianity.com and they deal with others perceptions of Christians and what Christians can do to be more Christ-like in their lives. Its why your page interested me. Particularly your use of Pauls analogy and whether this might aid or hinder your dialogue with others outside your brand of Christianity (obviously not all Christians use the language you do, hence my confusion) .

    Can i then be bold and ask one more question. Your responses about helping someone in need, listening, investing in relationships with others all fit beautifully under the Humanist belief system. Do you recognise these deeds you mention are very human traits no matter what beliefs you have or culture you live or indeed time you live in? I am interested in knowing whether personally you actively do good because you are good or because your beliefs suggest it is good?
    Thanks once again for the thoughtful reply.

    • Dan, I haven’t heard of The Skeptics Testament. I agree that sometimes the words we use as Christians can be confusing to the world which is one reason ResonateOrDie is such an important resource. It’s so important to continually look for ways to connect with others in a genuine way that also introduces Christ.

      Meeting practical needs for others is important regardless of religious beliefs. While there can be many motives for helping others, I believe the most important need a person has is a relationship with Christ. The more we know Him (not religion), helping and investing in others becomes a natural desire. And that interaction goes much deeper than simply doing good deeds.

      Thanks for creating the dialog Dan.
      Kayla

  4. @Dan needn't be concerned if this all intended and read as metaphor. Mel and Bryan seem to have picked up on this.

    Christians don't have a physicially uniform. Kayla isn't physically connected to the Father. Etc. Treating a metaphor as literal is a mistake known as reifying.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reification_(fallacy

    Scholarly opinion on Ephesians is that the theme is peace within Christianity. Not preparing for a physical war. So metaphors in 6:11-8 refer to a non-violent "clashing" of ideas.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistle_to_the_Ephes

    I found this to be an interesting bit of trivia "In the context leading up to the American Civil War (1861–65), Ephesians 6:5 on master-slave relationships was one of the Bible verses used by Confederate slaveholders in support of a slaveholding position."

  5. First of all, Kayla GOOD STUFF! Very visual and simple.

    Dan, I here you. The fact you have responded, demonstrates the power of a good illustration. As a pastor, I see the we need to do a better job in communicating that there is a connection between who you are and what you should be doing. I can't imagine being drafted in the NFL and not connecting with the idea that you are here to play football.

    One of the authors of the NT experienced the same thing in his culture. Take a look at James 2 and see how he addressed it.

    Dan I am determined to do a better job. Thanks for the shove, and Kayla, thanks for the illustration.

    Have a Great Day!

  6. Hey Bro Mike!
    Thanks for your comments. By the way, want to know the crazy thing? My observation happened at Pathway!

  7. Powerful thoughts that are also central to Randy's stated goal of making Moore County a hard place to go to hell. I also enjoyed your "Christian Nation" post. Keep up the good work.