Angela and I recently had the pleasure of attending a stage production based on C.S. Lewis’ classic, “The Screwtape Letters.” If you ever have the opportunity to see this play I would highly recommend it. This work, first published in the early 1940s, is still so relevant and fresh; the issues it seeks to expose are timeless. It frankly could have been written yesterday. The story is conveyed through a series of letters written by a demon named, “Screwtape,” to his nephew “Wormwood,” who is assigned to tempt a new Christian. The world of Screwtape that Lewis creates is inverted; evil is good and good is evil. “The Enemy,” for Screwtape and his pupil, is God. In these series of letters we see a fictional glimpse into the mind of our enemy and how he seeks to tempt people away from Christ.
We are reminded in 1 Peter 5:8 to, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” We are living in dark times, we need to be keenly aware of the schemes of the enemy. But we also have every reason to hope for we serve a God Who has already won the victory.
Screwtape writes to his nephew:
The long, dull, monotonous years of middle-aged prosperity or middle-aged adversity are excellent campaigning weather. You see, it is so hard for these creatures to persevere. The routine of adversity, the gradual decay of youthful loves and youthful hopes, the quiet despair (hardly felt as pain) of ever overcoming the chronic temptations with which we have again and again defeated them, the drabness which we create in their lives, and the inarticulate resentment with which we teach them to respond to it— all this provides admirable opportunities of wearing out a soul by attrition. If, on the other hand, the middle years prove prosperous, our position is even stronger. Prosperity knits a man to the World. He feels that he is “finding his place in it,” while really it is finding its place in him. His increasing reputation, his widening circle of acquaintances, his sense of importance, the growing pressure of absorbing and agreeable work, build up in him a sense of being really at home on Earth, which is just what we want.
Don’t be lulled to sleep by the wiles of the enemy. Trust in the Lord. Be encouraged today.