“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” –Dorothy, The Wizard of Oz

True story. It’s mid-afternoon, and I’m sitting in a coffee shop in downtown Rock Springs.

Quiet like a library, nobody else in the place. Fresh coffee, working wifi. A perfect place to get some work done.

Some time later the bell on the door tinkles and a pair of heels tap-tap-tap their way across the floor. A professionally dressed 20-something with slacks and a blouse breaks the silence to place her order and chat with the barista.

This thought crossed my mind: “Detectives in Rock Springs are a lot younger than the detectives in Los Angeles.” And back to work I went.

Minutes passed. The quiet returned. What a great place for a remote office!

Then—like a punchline that hits you in the middle of the night—I began to laugh. Yes, out loud.

I called Becky and told her about it. And she asked, “Why did you think that girl was a detective?”

“Why else would she have a pistol strapped to her hip?”

Yes, you’re laughing at me. In exactly the same way I was laughing at me.

Because in an open carry state, young ladies being strapped is what y’all call NORMAL.

Laughing, I told my wife, “Nothing says, ‘Don’t mess with my daughter’ any better than teaching her to shoot and carry”.

To be clear, our families have always been pro-gun. We value people being able to protect themselves. But the protection a gun provides only goes so far.

Guns have their place. But they’re of no value whatsoever when facing spiritual warfare.

So when I was recently asked to help a family that was being scared by ongoing spiritual oppression, I didn’t reach for my pistol.

I grabbed my Bible. And the hands of the believers next to me. And together we prayed. We read scripture, and we anointed a family and their home with oil. And we turned to Almighty God on behalf of people who needed His protection.

In chapter six of the book of Ephesians, verses 10-18, we are given an EFFECTIVE strategy to help us stand firm in the face of spiritual attacks.

I encourage you to spend the two minutes it will take you to read it.

Because we’re not in Kansas anymore. This isn’t even California.

The moment we decide to follow Jesus we draw a line in the sand against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world. Against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in heavenly places. And they play for keeps.

It would be foolish to carry a knife to a gunfight. And just as foolish to carry a gun into a spiritual battle.

ESPECIALLY when we have the ability to arm ourselves with God’s protection—the whole armor of God.

Seriously, go read it. Ephesians 6:10-18. Yes, right now.

—Pastor Steve