Earlier this year, my dad contacted me and wondered if I had a copy of C.S. Lewis’ book The Screwtape Letters. He happened to be working on a sermon in which he wanted to quote it, so it pained me to tell him that I don’t have it in my possession anymore. Though I once had a really cool first-edition print that I got from my grandpa’s cabin, I think a friend of mine “borrowed” it in college and never gave it back. Though that’s irrelevant, I bring it up to let you you that reading this book early in my life helped to greatly increase my understanding of spiritual warfare. Though it’s not one of C.S. Lewis’ more well-known works (and interestingly, he dedicated it to J.R.R. Tolkien), it offers a clever glimpse into the mind and schemes of the devil. Structured as a series of letters written by a senior demon named Screwtape to a junior demon named Wormwood, it depicts an exchange of information in which the target is an unsuspecting English bloke. As he seeks to live his life, this poor gentleman has no idea that all of his moves are being studied and watched by Satanic messengers whose goal is to get him to turn from divine truth. However, instead of plotting ways to terrorize him or stop him dead in his tracks, they aim to steer him slightly so they can subtly lead him astray. By planting the seeds of a lie, their scheme is to get him off course so that he ultimately harms or destroys himself. And so it remains today.
My friend, the devil is cunning, and his primary goal is to get you to adopt a lie that eventually grows into something larger. By taking advantage of your wounds, insecurities, and incorrect views of God, he attempts to slowly and strategically lead you down a wrong path. This is why it’s imperative to guard your mind. The Holy Spirit, who is your Advocate, lives inside to help you take every thought captive so it can be made obedient to Christ. As you apply yourself to the truth of Scripture and listen attentively to His voice, He will keep your ways aligned with His heart and faithfully lead you to abundant life.