My great-grandfather was a conductor on our city’s streetcar line for about five years, starting in 1913. My hometown has a rich history that includes many wealthy barons of enterprises such as railroad lines, theaters, and even the distilling of whiskey. Most of its citizens during that heyday were respectable, hardworking people who belonged to local churches. But when evening fell, there was another side to many of the city’s streets. Protecting oneself was a concern for the wise.
Part of my great-grandfather’s responsibility as a conductor was to carry his earnings back to the depot each night after his shift. In order to assure his safety while also seeing that all monies were accounted for, he carried a pistol with him each evening as he walked down the middle of the street towards the depot, avoiding the shadows. One night, a man came out of an alley and approached him. His slurred words made it obvious that he had been drinking. That night, the man came close to being shot by my great-grandfather. Thankfully, he did not attempt to take the money, walking away at the first warning. The realization that he had nearly shot a man caused my great-grandfather such fear that he never carried his firearm after work again.
Self-protection comes in many forms and is our right. Some learn self-defense techniques, others carry varying types of protection on their person. Our personal safety should be a legitimate concern to us. But there is another part of our lives that needs protection every bit as much as our physical being. It is our spirit, and our concern for our spiritual welfare should lead us to use the wise weapons that God provides.
Ephesians 6:14-17 reminds us of what those weapons are: truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation in Christ, and the Word of God.
When we face fear, our weapon is God’s Word that reminds us not to let that fear immobilize us. When we face deception, God’s truth is our defense. When Satan attempts to condemn us, our righteousness found in Christ is our weapon. When doubt comes in like a flood, faith fights for us.
Are you using your spiritual weapons to protect that most important, eternal part of yourself from what seeks to bring harm? Although they cannot be seen with our eyes or held in our hands, they are the wisest weapons we have!