So I was chatting to a mate of mine recently who is a police officer. As part of his job he has to ‘brush up’ on his PSU (Police Support Unit) training once in a while and it just happened to be this month.
If I am honest, PSU training is the type of thing I would like to do all the time. If you’re old skool like me, you will know this as ‘riot training.’ The training, my mate was explaining, consisted of a day’s classroom activity to go over current rules and policy etc ect. Not interested in that bit at all. However the next few days involved running into a strobe lit, music pounding room with a bloke in full combat armour wielding a fake knife and needing to be detained! YES! Then you have to undergo various kit tests which involve walking in unison with your team mates equipped with PSU shields into a torrent of bricks and petrol bombs.
You might be thinking, I couldn’t think of anything worse! That’s ok, but I get excited about that stuff, and even though the slightest whiff of aggressive confrontation leaves me looking for the fastest escape route, something in me loves hearing my mate’s stories about the adventure and excitement of it all.
The other day he was talking about strategic set ups and formations for moving forward, ‘you are always moving forward Nath with the PSU stuff, always taking ground’ he said. I asked him about what happens if you get flanked by an angry mob of brick wielding heavies? What is the formation for defence like that to shield yourselves and take the barrage?
He looked at me as if I had totally missed the point! ‘We regroup, notice the new threat Nath and we charge at them. We never give our enemy any time to set up a baracade, strong hold or fortified position, we attack and move forward all the time.’
I don’t know about you but I get loads of attack and it can come at any time and in a load of different ways. It can be my own fault and stuff I am doing that opens the way, or just that fact that I am human and life can deal me a curve ball.
We do know that from reading the Bible, we have an enemy and he works hard to derail us. This spiritual battle is real and going on all the time, but the question is ‘what do we do when it hits?’
I have always defaulted to the defensive shield formation, head down, protect vital organs and wait for it all to end and maybe that is where you are right now. But is there another way? Can we sight the attack, organise ourselves and our brothers around us to launch back and move forward once again? Yes I think we can. It is so easy for us to lose ground as Christian men, to be pushed back by guilt, shame, failure, disappointment, frustration or vulnerability.
Imagine as the attack comes you turn to it, face it and go at it head on, not in your strength and capability but in the power of the Lord Almighty with your Christian brothers. What does this look like for you? What’s your default formation when attack comes? Could it be time to stand and move forward again?