The Screwtape Letters Chapter One; Review

The Screwtape Letters Chapter One; Review

Last Christmas I asked for and then received a book by C.S Lewis called The Screwtape Letters. I knew then that this was a book quite unlike anything I’ve ever read before, a book containing the fictional letters between a demon and what he calls his nephew and their conversation about how to win souls from their enemy i.e God.

Admittedly I was a bit hesitant due to to my ignorance in regards to spiritual warfare. I thought it wrong to talk about such things, to read such a book where demons are the main characters. Nevertheless I asked for it, I had to, it was written by C.S Lewis after all and he wrote Mere Christianity! A book I fell in love with after just a few pages.

Even after reading the first few chapters of Screwtape Letters the thought that it must be wrong to read such a book kept creeping back into my head. Then, I believe The Holy Spirit nudged me in a way I was quite unfamiliar with – He showed me that my hesitation is talked about in the very first chapter! My enemy, Satan and his demons do not want me to reason my way to the truth. They don’t want me to see them for what they truly are, they don’t want me thinking. That’s exactly what happens in the first chapter when the target of the demon (the book calls him a patient) begins to argue with his friend the ‘materialist’. Arguments, Screwtape tells us are bad, and for him they are, but in this instance the argument is more of a debate between a guy who believes in what he can see and touch and another guy who’s questioning the possibility that this life is not all there is and that it’s possible that God does indeed exist. Arguments are bad for our enemy because reason (despite what our culture tells you) is actually on the side of our Lord.

Needless to say, after just the first few paragraphs of Screwtape I was hooked. Yes, it takes a little bit of adjusting and what I mean is usually you read a book and it’s a story from the perspective of the main character. In Screwtape it’s a series of letters from the perspective of a demon. The adjustment comes when you read that he refers to God as the Enemy (capital E), where when we Christians use that word, we’re talking about Satan. Also when you see the word ‘good’ it’s used in the context of what the demon sees as good, not what we would see as good. So all of this can be a little confusing but once you move past that it’s hard to see anything but C.S Lewis behind the typewriter, and a brilliant writer he is.

Having said all that, my chapter one review is this – it’s spot on! If he (the enemy, small e) can get us thinking about things other than absolute truth, then his foot is in the door. If he can distract us with real life like he does his patient in chapter one, then our foothold begins to fade. If he can get us to believe assertions made by non believers instead of letting us argue our way through them, then he’s already won.

You’ll see all of those things happen in chapter one and I must say, to read this from my perspective, at this time in my life, with the circumstances I’m in right now, it truly is no coincidence that eleven months after receiving this book, I’m beginning to read it now.

The spiritual battle for my house has been waging on and never before have I been so aware of it. It’s like God opened my eyes to it not unlike He did for Elijah’s servant in 2 Kings 6.

I have read the first three chapters and then I read them again, Lewis is truly a wordsmith. My plan is to go through this book, twice or even three times if I have to because I want to understand what it must be like to be my enemy and try to get me to forget about God’s plan for my life. I want to frustrate whatever evil is lurking in my life, I want to follow Jesus so closely that the evils have no choice but to stay far away.

My summary of chapter one if I’m not using the five star rating system I’d like to, is that it’s brilliantly written! It will make you think about the spiritual war like you never have before. This book is going to open your eyes to the schemes of the enemy and yes, of course the Bible already does that and the Bible isn’t fiction like Screwtape but C.S Lewis has a gift from God that allowed him to put in such a way as to be helpful to us who chose to follow Jesus.

“ that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.” 2 cor 2:11

My favorite quote from chapter one is this “…they find it all but impossible to believe in the unfamiliar while the familiar is right before their eyes.” Distractions, or as the book calls it ‘real life’ is the enemy’s best tool. Keep us thinking about what we can see right in front of us so we aren’t thinking about spiritual things, keep us busy so we don’t have time to sit and read God’s word or pray or go to church or have fellowship with other Christians or go to a Bible study.

Sadly, it’s worked. We are so busy these days that we’ve turned being busy into an idol – we ask people “keepin’ busy?” sometimes it’s said “stayin’ outta trouble?” which is ironic because apparently we stay out of trouble by keeping busy but by keeping busy we make no time for God.

Satan doesn’t care if we don’t worship him directly, as long as we don’t worship Jesus, he’s in. That’s why real life, or the things of this world are Satan’s greatest and most influential tools, he can use it to distract us long enough so we don’t have time to think about God.

Take for example when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness – Satan offered Jesus the kingdoms of this world, Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

Matthew 4:8‭-‬9 NIV Satan does this to us all the time. He promises fame, fortune, power. He promises us all the things we want if we just worship him. If we worship the One thing he can’t give us, he has no hold on us, he has no power and he can’t tempt us into anything.

Anyway, I could go on forever about how real life and the things right before our eyes can be used against us, but I really do want you to keep reading so I try not to ramble. Next time we’ll talk a little bit about how our habits and pet peeves can get in the way between us and Jesus, we’ll go over how Satan actually wants us to be religious.

Thanks for reading.

My Letter to Anxiety: You Don’t Stand a Chance!

My Letter to Anxiety: You Don’t Stand a Chance!

Dear anxiety,

Recently you kidnapped and held for ransom the person I hold most dear, you took her peace and her joy, you robbed her of her comfort. You stripped her of laughter, love and at times, life.

You took from me my wife, my love, my better half. You made her feel like a hostage in her own body, a captive in her own mind. You enslaved her to thoughts that aren’t her own, to ideas she never would’ve come up with, to fear and doubt and lies.

You took from two boys a mother who personified strength, courage, perseverance and patience. A mother who knew what her boys needed before they ever felt the inkling that they had a need. A mother who would lay her life down for her family.

Anxiety; you locked in chains and put in bondage one of God’s warriors and I’m here to tell you that your numbers up, I’m coming for you, I have you in my crosshairs and you won’t survive my wrath.

You might be a Goliath, big and strong and vicious. You are intimidating and scary and frankly? I don’t know how to take you down, but I do know I’m going to. So I’ll tell you again, I’m putting you on notice, your time is short.

You see, you’re acting like a Goliath but I know that you’re really just a coward who attacks those who let their guard down, you’re a liar who lies so much you believe them yourself, you lure away the innocent because they’re trusting people. But you see, wannabe Goliath, I see you for who you truly are, a devil.

I have news for you you thief, I too have been posing, I have been posing as a meek little shepherd boy, much like the shepherd boy you’ve encountered before, you remember the one? Yeah, him. The one who beat you with a slingshot and cut off your ugly head. Yeah, he’s a sweet summer day compared to what I’m going to do with you!

Wanna know how I know? God has been grooming me for this day for a long time now and I admit, I didn’t always know what His plan for me was but He has revealed Himself to me in the last few weeks and even though I don’t know His whole plan, I know enough to know that you and I are going to end up in the ring together, and you know what else devil? I know that I win!

It all started when I began to obey God’s call on my life, you know I’ve been a Christian for a while now, albeit a disobedient one but a Christian nonetheless. But one day I decided that God knew better than me so I started doing things that I would never have done before, I began going to social functions at church or with people from church and I think that looking back, that’s when you (Goliath or whatever you wanna call yourself) realized you were going to lose this fight so you also upped your game, not enough, but hey you tried.

After conforming to God’s will in my life I got to know other Christians, strong ones, men who also let God lead. These men spoke life into my existence and meaning into my life, purpose into my work and Jesus into my family. In other words, I got to know other warriors who would one day help me take you down.

These warriors have families who’ve also taken up the sword of truth and they too stand on the front line between you and our loved ones. You cannot penetrate this line Goliath, no matter how big you try to make yourself seem. Actually, you kinda now remind me more of a peacock, you’re small but when threatened you spread out your wings to make yourself look bigger when in reality, you’re still just a bird who can’t even fly.

I know God’s been grooming me for this because I now see why all the podcasts I listen to have talked about strong manly leadership in the home. I see why the sermons I download have been telling me the hard truths about what it takes to lead. I see now why certain books were placed in front of me, I see why certain people were placed in my life, I see now how God has been putting the pieces together, I see how far back this plan has been in place, I see you, anxiety.

You wanna know the funny thing about it? I’ve been fighting from my place beside my bed, on my knees. I’ve been calling on the One who is and is to come, calling on He that is living in me who is greater than you who lives in the world. Calling on someone who can flick you away without batting an eye, I have on my side the One who created you and can end you with a word. It’s funny because I didn’t think about it before, but you never stood a chance.

So listen here, liar. I know now that I really had no reason to fear you. You manipulate and scheme and deceive and steal but I have as a savior who gives that which you can’t take away – life!

You can attack one of God’s people hoping to knock them down, you can attack my wife hoping to take her from me and that must’ve taken some gall, I’ll give you that, but I don’t know if you realized that by coming after her that you’d be faced with the force of her friends and family. We are ruthless, we won’t give up, we see the lies you’ve been telling us and we’ll counter them with the truth. We recognize the fear you’re trying to make us feel, but we rely on a God who tells us to have no fear. We see you for what you really are – a soon to be distant memory crushed by the feet of God’s kids.

One last thing oh enemy of ours, your attack on my love is going to make us stronger and don’t think I’m thanking you, I’m not. I’m thanking God for being that strength when we are weak. Due to the events you forced us to deal with, this group of Christians is even stronger, even more equipped to handle whatever you can throw at us. You tipped your hand and I know how to beat you, I won’t give up, I may grow weary, and tire of your antics. I may get angry and I might even become discouraged, but remember, Jesus doesn’t. Jesus is stronger, better, more powerful. He loves us and already did what I could never do, He doesn’t just have my back, He fights for me, He fights for everyone who belongs to Him and you can’t beat Him. You’ve tried before and you lost. I’ve read the Book and you know what? You lose!

Until the day comes when I get to fire the kill shot, you should know that I won’t let you sleep, I’ll keep speaking the truth, I’ll keep getting down on my knees and thanking God, I’ll keep praying and reading my Bible, I’ll keep getting together with other believers because I know you prefer us to be divided and alone where you can spin your web of lies. I will keep leaning on my Savior and when I beat you, be warned, that woman you came after, my wife, she’s going to come back stronger and better than ever, and if you had a hard time with her support team, you don’t stand a chance with her!

I actually kinda feel sorry for you, but this was your choice now deal with it.