Good morning, Lord Jesus. Be at the center of my heart and every moment of my day.  ...

“Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

"On that day the Lord with His cruel and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and He will kill the dragon that is in the sea" (Isaiah 27:1).

The "twisting serpent" -- who tries to twist my words so that others don't hear what I've truly said and how I said it, who tries to twist the understanding of motives and intentions of my heart to mean something else in the mind of the hearer, who tries to divide and conquer, who tries to deceive and confuse, who tries to harden hearts in opposition to Godly unity to keep us from speaking the truth in love or hearing the truth spoken in love, who locks it's teeth around our most vulnerable members and drags us down under the water where there is no breath of Your Spirit to guide our hearts and give us help -- is a wicked serpent. It's a wicked spirit of darkness "looking for someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8).

"Who could pry open its jaws? For its teeth are terrible! The scales on its back are like rows of shields tightly sealed together... They interlock and cannot be penetrated.... Its eyes are like the red of dawn. Lightning leaps from its mouth; flames of fire flash out.... Its breath would kindle coals, for flames shoot from its mouth. The tremendous strength of Leviathan's neck strikes terror wherever it goes. Its flesh is hard and firm and cannot be penetrated. Its heart is hard as rock, hard as a millstone. When it rises, the mighty are afraid, gripped by its terror.... Leviathan make the water boil with its commotion... Nothing on earth is its equal, no other creature so fearless. Of all the creatures, it is the proudest. It is the king of the beasts" (Job 41:14-34).

This evil entity of darkness is wildly at work in our world -- within our nation, within our relationships, even within our own hearts, seeking to steal our faith, our hope, and our love to make us broken and divided, "double-minded and unstable in every way" so that we can no longer "receive anything from the Lord" (James 1:8). It's full of pride and instills the pride of hardened hearts that can no longer hear truth. It convincing its victims with a certainty they are right in their twisted beliefs and justified in their opposition to all who would deny or fail to embrace their version of truth -- twisted and distorted, though it is. It stirs up strife with its fury and wrath to intimidate and accuse, to judge and condemn, and to crush the life out of its prey.

So give us eyes to see, ears to hear, wisdom to understand, and humility to allow You to search out our hearts and our minds to reveal its grip upon us -- upon our nation, our relationships, and our own hearts. And let the "cruel and strong and great sword" of Your Word and Your Truth cut off its head, break its teeth, and silence its voice (Psalm 3:7 and 74:14). Wield Your mighty "Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God" as You empower us to "pray in the Spirit at all times" to "keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints" (Ephesians 6:17-18). 

This is a spiritual battle -- to be fought with the spiritual "weapons of our warfare" -- weapons of humility, faith, discipline, obedience, and hope; weapons of the Word of God, the Name of Jesus, the Power of the Blood of the Lamb, and the word of our testimony (2 Corinthians 10:3; Revelation 12:11). "For our struggle is not against enemies of flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly place. Therefore (we must) take up the whole armor of God, so that (we) may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm" (Ephesians 6:12-13).

Come, Holy Spirit. Give us eyes to see the nature of the battle around us and even within us. Come pierce this writhing dragon, this twisting serpent who seeks to "kill and steal and destroy" (John 10:10). Even in the midst of the battle, let us "Praise the Lord! ... For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He adorns the humble with victory! ... Let the faithful exult in glory; let them sing for joy.... Let the high praises of God be in their hearts and two-edged swords in their hands ... to execute (Your) judgment decreed. This is glory for all His faithful one. Praise the Lord!" (Psalm 149:1-9) 

Come have Your way in us and in our world. Displace the darkness with Your Light. You're the God to proclaims Your Good News of into our hearts and our world, who comes in Your power and love and truth to "bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God!" (Isaiah 61:1-2) 

We are witnesses of Your glory and warriors in Your Kingdom, with our faith and hope and love in You. "Blessed be the Lord, my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; my Rock and my Fortress, my Stronghold and my Deliverer, my Shield, in whom in take refuge, who subdues the (spiritual enemies of my soul) under me.... Bow Your heavens, O Lord, and come down; touch the mountains so that they smoke. Make the lightning flash and scatter them; send out Your arrows and rout them; Stretch out Your hand from on high; set me free and rescue me from the mighty waters, from the hand of (my spiritual enemies), whose mouths speak like, and whose right hands are false.... (Blessed) are the people to whom such blessings fall; (blessed) are the people whose God is the Lord!" (Palm 144:1-15)  In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family, I pray you take up the whole armor of God and stand firm to withstand the twisting serpent in every form it manifests itself in your land and your life, to see the victory of the Lord who has defeats our foe with the piercing of His Word the power of His Spirit, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends!

Please share your comments, reflections, and prayers from today’s reading with us in the comments box below.

 

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website:https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC

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