I grew up in Wardensville, West Virginia, in a house located just outside the town limits. From our house, one had a clear-shot look straight into the town.
One of the town characters was a man nicknamed “Highpockets.” He was a very tall individual. He had a short torso, but long legs. He got his nickname because he wore his pants so high on his belly.
Highpockets was a known peeping tom. On Friday nights, he would walk home from the White Star restaurant / saloon located downtown, after spending most of the evening there drinking. His route home took him right by our house. His place was at least a couple of miles from town. Apparently, he took a notion to take a peep in our house as he passed by.
My mother was a very beautiful woman. She was probably the reason he thought he should peep through the bedroom window. However, he was tipsy, and he bumped slightly against the outside wall. Mom promptly alerted Dad about the noise. He went out the backdoor and around the house. Sure enough, there stood Highpockets with his face close to the window.
Dad hollered at him, scaring him badly. Highpockets took off running down the bank behind the house and across the lower flat of our property. Dad could see him splashing and stumbling through the creek that cut across our property. Dad got the Sheriff to arrest him.
Dad figured that Highpockets would try to peep again. He was almost right. The next Friday Dad and I were ready with a plan. He situated me behind the car in the driveway with my 12-gauge shotgun (however, he would not let me load it). If Highpockets crossed the road to our house, I was supposed to walk around and put a scare into him. Dad took position down along the creek with his pistol. If Highpockets ran the same way as the week before, Dad planned to shoot in the air to make a sure impression as he passed by.
About ten o’clock, we could see him coming out of town. We took our positions. But, things did not work as expected. I saw Highpockets walk past our house. He stopped and started across the road. But, a car was starting out of town. So, he changed directions slightly. When the car passed, he started again to cross the road, but another car appeared coming toward town. Four times he did the same only to be thwarted by oncoming traffic. Finally, he gave up and continued up the road toward his place. Sometimes you have to fashion a plan to protect your well-being.
The same is true spiritually, for as the Scripture says, “Be sober. Be vigilant. For the devil walks about seeking whom he may devour.” At any given time, the devil may be walking down your road to look for a reason to take advantage you. He will try to catch you off guard. But, usually, he will make some sort of racket to alert you to his presence.
The thing about the rascal is that you can expect him to try again. This is where you need to fashion a plan to catch him off guard. Some considerations are spiritually typical, but needful and necessary.
An integral point of the necessary plan is to read and be well- versed with Scripture. The devil always shies away from the one who can apply Scripture to adverse circumstances stirred up by the devil. In every point of the Lord’s temptation by the devil, Jesus cited applicable Scripture to deal with him. The same will turn out well for us if we expedite the same plan.
Another point of the important plan is to get and stay prayed up. There is strength and wisdom to be gained with a steady prayer life. The Scripture adamantly urges us to be prayerful at all times. The Lord Himself demonstrated a regular prayer life for His spiritual support against the “wiles” of the devil. Emulate Him.
When Highpockets was nabbed by the Sheriff after the first incident, Dad graciously drove him to his place. Before he got out of the car, Dad warned him with, “I will be looking for you if you try this again.”
That is the same attitude we should have.
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.