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Hedonism flooded our nation. It surged from the eastern and western shores, with cyber-rivulets stretching inland across the plains. The moral decay reeks more of death’s stench with each passing day. Its mire snares billions of citizens who sojourn through life with inadequate protection for their souls. Many have grown so accustomed to the devastation that their senses don’t recognize it as a disaster zone. 

A remnant crowd of disciples can still smell the rancor. We sift through the rubble, grieving over lost treasures. Sanctity of marriage, childhood innocence, religious freedom for Christians–the list of our tragic losses seems endless. A nation founded upon divine truths now worships pleasure. Some pause to leverage blame or question how such a thing could have happened. As if the tsunami crashed through overnight. 

These decades of apostasy began, as such things tend to do, with small concessions. A pathway of brick-sized allowances paved the way for our country to believe Hugh Heffner’s revolution offered freedom. Long before schools forbade prayer, we stood by and let other things distract us from the significance of God’s protection. Culture denies scientific evidence of cannabis-related brain damage and encourages us to legalize gambling in order to fund our schools.

“‘You will not certainly die,’ the serpent said…” (Genesis 3:4).

Despite America’s widespread deception, hope remains. We can pray. Not as a last resort, or the one small effort available to us. Prayer offers access to world-changing power and stands alone as our wisest first response. America thirsts for darkness-shattering light and fear-conquering love, but these can only be obtained by reaching for the Light and Love Himself. In the midst of these ominous shadows, Christ is never far away.

We need not believe the slithering lie that God has forgotten us. Our Heavenly Father waits, with eager heart and searching eyes, to hear us call upon Him. The Lord longs to restore our relationship with Him, as has always been His nature. 

As the Lord advised His people long ago, our united prayers can affect transformation throughout the country. May each day become a national day of prayer. Will you join me to pray for America? 

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land... my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place” (2 Chronicles 7:14-15).

A fawn strays from its sheltered bed toward the creek. It bows to sip without waiting for parental guidance. A flouncing bit of fur catches its eye. The fawn abandons the water and bounds into the tall grasses to investigate. Deep inside the cool maze of reeds, the game darkens. A delightful tail reveals its other side, brimming with sharp teeth. Unless a wiser deer comes to its rescue, the tempter will devour its prey.

Gullible. We’ve all found ourselves fooled by something, our faces soiled with varying degrees of regret. One ruse might result in laughter, while the next leads to a dark labyrinth with sinister teeth at its center.  Survivors resolve to avoid further deception. How do we protect ourselves against the guile? Against our own folly?

1. Remain sheltered. Straying from the fortress of God’s presence and the influence of Truth opens our vulnerable minds to the enemy lurking outside.

2. Wait for parental guidance. Do not take steps beyond the Father’s leading. When we prance off ahead of God’s will without asking for His guidance, we ask for trouble.

3. Beware of distractions. Beautiful, delicious, promising thoughts lead us astray one day, while negative attitudes draw us off course the next. Any focus taking God’s place devours the soul.

4. Resist temptation. Submit notions to the Holy Spirit. The earlier we surrender an urge, the easier our journey back to true satisfaction. For those deep in the thicket as well as those sniffing at its edges, Living water awaits to quench our desires for joy.

5. Keep wise friends close by. Stay in touch with the Wonderful Counselor, and with those who remain intimate with the Wonderful Counselor. Retain security in your faith by surrounding yourself with seasoned believers who have a personal relationship with the triune Lord – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

 “My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” — James 5:19-20

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