Posting Date: 10/25/2014
C.S. Lewis wrote a fantastic book titled, “The Screwtape Letters.” Screwtape is a senior devil, writing to his nephew, an apprentice, named Wormwood. The goal of this mentoring is to teach Wormword how to tempt people away from God, thus getting them on the devil’s side. In one section, Uncle Screwtape makes a startling statement: “The goal is not wickedness, but indifference. I don’t want BAD PEOPLE! I want people who DON’T CARE!”
There is perhaps nothing worse than being disconnected from God, and from the people that God gives to us. In fact, many spiritual writers call this very disconnection: “HELL!”
The fact is, no matter what we’re going through in life, no matter how bad things get, we don’t have to live in a “hell on earth.” Amazingly, some people make this choice to disconnect from God, and miss out on a lot of peace, joy, and love.
Over the years, I’ve heard many people wish they could pray better, or feel closer to God, or be more holy. We can get very self-critical about where we’re at spiritually. St. Paul (at the end of his letter to the Philippians) taught that, at some point, we need to stop focusing on shortcomings, weaknesses, and problems and simply REJOICE in the faith we have. Paul repeats, “Again, I say, rejoice!”
That’s pretty hard to do in troubled days! But to rejoice isn’t the same be “being happy.” Rejoicing is recognizing and appreciating the presence of God, and the faith we’ve be given to recognize God. Even, I believe, in this midst of a depressing time, we can rejoice (again, not necessarily being emotionally “happy”) but praying something like, “Dear God, I know you’re here. Thank you.” A cry for help may follow, but you’ve rejoiced in the depths of your soul that God is with you.
When we rejoice this way and connect ourselves to God, Paul writes, “the God of peace will be with you always.” Who in their right mind would answer this by saying “Who cares?” Screwtape would love to hear that! Wormwood would feel successful!
But guess what? God, in Christ, is victorious over Screwtape, Wormwood, and every devil. God shouts to the universe, to the world, and directly to you and me: “I CARE! I AM HERE! I LOVE YOU!” That’ll drown out the temptations of the devil! Listen well to this word from God! Know this: God wins!
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