Getting Caught Off Guard
- Friday, May 09, 2008
My friend "Bill" (not his real name) works in a counter-terrorism center. Here's the stated mission of his team in their handbook:
To integrate threat intelligence and provide for intake, analysis, fusion, synthesis, and dissemination of that information. The center will convert that information into operational intelligence to detect, deter, and defend against terrorist attacks within the seven counties assigned to this unit.
Bill’s whole job is to integrate, analyze, and synthesize "threat intelligence" so that he can identify patterns, trends, and what he calls "potentials" which might indicate an emerging threat. When Bill gets a “hit” and the information coalesces into an emerging threat he supplies the relevant and actionable intelligence to prepare a preemptive response to the threat. The next time you hear about the threat level being raised to Orange or Red by Homeland Security think about the men and women like Bill who focus solely sifting through complicated and convoluted data to get a threat picture. Then think about having the personal courage to act on that data without hesitation or trepidation. This is what a counter-terrorism agent is trained to do. They are good at putting the pieces of suspicious activity together related to terrorist plots.
God's man and Bill have this is common: both are tasked with integrating intelligence on terrorist threats. Then they must have the courage to sound the alarm and put a preemptive response in motion. Intelligence provides the clues and smells they need. In fact, the Apostle Paul acted just like the spiritual counter-terrorism expert we are describing in helping the Corinthians. As he gathered information about all the conflict amongst believers and over various issues, he saw an emerging pattern and trend as he analyzed the data. Low and behold the fingerprints of the Evil One were popping up in his mental database. Finally, after various roadside bombs had gone off in Corinth with the intention to divide and destabilize unity amongst believers, Paul integrates and then acts on his intelligence to combat the terrorist threat against the body like a true Terrorism Liaison Officer (TLO). He supplies actionable intelligence for the believers.
“The reason I wrote to you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes,” (2 Corinthians 2:11 NIV italics for emphasis).
Translation: based on the intel, we know who's really behind this and we are going to take the necessary steps (join in forgiving people) to stop this terrorist threat. The sledgehammer application is this: if you are unaware you will be outwitted by evil. If you are outwitted, people around you get hurt and the cause of the Kingdom suffers. The opposite scenario is equally valid. If you are actively integrating your intelligence and matrixing that intel with what you know to be true about how evil operates, you will preempt and shut down the Devil’s terrorist schemes against you, other believers, the church, and the world. Here’s the scary part, we have the actionable intel straight from Jesus himself, the terrorist playbook in the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit available to help discern and coordinate the tactical pieces. And yet, we are unwilling and/or failing to integrate these resources in order to take preemptive action against "the" Terrorist and his schemes.
God’s man is duty bound to integrate the intel God has provided. Versus what? Neglect, dismiss, or be ambivalent about it. God hasn’t provided Satan’s file to us for nothing. We need to learn everything we can about him and his methods of operation. Then we need to raise our threat level to RED and keep it there.
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