There were a band of thieves working a neighborhood. They were greedy, crafty, and ruthless. No one ever saw them in operation, only the destruction left in their wake.
One man who lived in the neighborhood never read or watched the news, so he knew nothing of the crime wave which had hit his neighborhood. He had too many problems of his own to worry about his neighbors. As he slept one night, the thieves broke in and took everything he had.
Another man had read about the local crimes and was shocked that his neighbor was so foolish as to be taken unawares. One night he was awakened by a noise downstairs. The man confronted the thieves but found himself greatly outnumbered. Amused by his foolishness, the thieves made an example of the man, killing his entire family in front of him before beating him to death and taking all his possessions.
A third man in the neighborhood had been reading about the crimes as well. He immediately went to the local authorities, who were happy to teach him how to protect his family and property. He ordered an alarm system for his home, armed himself with a weapon and body armor, and became more aware of what went on in his neighborhood.
The man’s neighbors laughed at him, accused him of going a little “overboard.”
When the gang broke into this man’s house, he was ready. Some of the gang, startled by the alarm, ran but were quickly apprehended. A few, angered by the man’s boldness, attacked, challenging his strength. But they could not overcome him, and were also apprehended.
When others in the neighborhood saw that the man had overcome the gang, they came to him, and the man shared his knowledge. Together they formed a neighborhood watch and, in spite of those who did not join, the neighborhood became one of the safest in the city.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”—Ephesians 6:10-18
God’s grace and peace be yours,