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“[A]nd the light of a lamp will never shine in you again; and the voice of the groom and bride will never be heard in you again; for your merchants were the powerful people of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your witchcraft” (Revelation 18:23).

The once mighty will fall. The crafty people who deceive with trickery will rule no more.  The ingenious who deceitfully lead astray masses of people will go down to the pit.  The glamorous are glamorous only for a while. Their influence is fleeting.  The merchants who count their wealth go down to the pit and their wealth gathered goes to another.  Do not look to these as your example.  Look to the saints who have been faithful and follow their lead.

Why do I listen to the “beautiful” people who give opinions about everything? Lord, shut my ears from the advice of the wicked.  Close my eyes to the wicked people who would lead me astray.  Shut my ears to not hear the enticements of the wicked one.  Let me not toil for things that do not matter.  Turn my heart to You, O Lord, so that I may grow as You have created me to grow in Your likeness.

Lord Jesus, I can do none of these things without You.  You have purchased the grace I need with Your own shed blood.  Help me in the power of Your Holy Spirit to be wise and discerning.  Lead me according to Your goodness this day to see through the wickedness of this world.  Guide me now and always, looking to You alone as the source of my being.  Guide me, Lord, into true living.  Amen.