O Father. I pray that I will not be “deceived by the serpent’s cunning as Eve was”, and that my “mind would not be led astray from a pure and sincere devotion to Christ.”
The serpent used deception to lure Eve into sin. He approached her boldly, the better to distract her. He called into question what You had really said, the better to confuse her. He cunningly suggested that what You wanted for her was not enough; was even bad for her, the better to entrap her.
Father, help me avoid falling into whatever traps the evil one sets for me. Let me see through them; beyond the lure of the sound of his words, to the hook buried beneath. The answer to this ‘serpent speak’ is ‘God speak’. I need to be listening, really paying attention to all that You are saying to me. In Hebrew, the word is sh’ma. It means to listen so closely, so deeply, so diligently, that the words change the listener from the inside out. The meaning also incorporates a response to those words as being similar to that of a mother who recognizes her baby’s cry and drops everything to respond immediately to it. Father, let me sh’ma You, listen deeply and respond to You.
For my mind to be guarded enough so that I am “not led away”, I need to take some action myself. You give me, and every believer, armor: protection against the enemy. One item is the Helmet of Salvation. I believe that this helmet bears Your insignia so that all who see it will know I fight on Your side. And it protects not only my head, but my mind inside: my thoughts. In doing so, many lies the evil one would have me believe simply bounce off and never even enter my mind.
However, some lies are disguised, or they have a little bit of truth in them, and I listen to them. But it is a twisted bit of truth, or a half truth. So before I accept it, I need to “take every thought captive to God”. This means I need to examine it and hold it up to Your truth. When I don’t, problems begin. Even the little things I accept that are not true can pull me away from a “pure and sincere devotion to Christ”. And I may not even realize it until I have strayed significantly off course.
So Father, help me remember to examine any thoughts and compare them to what You have told me. I will use Your Word as a plumb line. That string with a metal weight at the end is pulled by gravity so that the resulting line is absolutely straight. Anything can be measured against this line to determine if it is ‘true’, or not.
Your Word is truth. Your Word is the absolute. Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the Helmet of Salvation. Thank You that when I sh’ma You, I will not be deceived by the serpent or led astray, away from You. Amen