Weather Report From Heaven: Sunny and bright, with an abundance of light and lots of singing and rejoicing.
Scripture- ““Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8
Insight: “Middle aged apathy makes for great campaigning weather.” – I love this quote from the book by C.S. Lewis called “The Screwtape Letters.” It is one of my favorite literary works. It portrays in a genius way the spiritual battle we are all fighting in, whether we even know it or not, and how our adversary the devil craftily uses everything at his disposal to destroy us. Lewis talks of the multitudes that will be taken down into eternal captivity by the crafty devil not even aware of the battle they were in until it is too late. They will be too busy or distracted chasing temporary pleasures or dreams to even listen to the still small voice deep in their soul that cries out for a relationship with Jesus. All of us can feel this “bondage to sin,” as Romans 8:21 says that is keeping us enslaved at some point in our life, when we realize that we are not living the way we were meant to. Because of our preoccupied minds and deeply embedded pride, Lewis also describes how the devil uses our midlife apathy against us if we are not constantly aware of the battle.
You can envision how the devil can entrap the person who has seemingly made it, has a lot of material possessions, money and free time, but who hasn’t yet obtained any meaningful satisfaction or contentment. In their emptiness, the enemy can lead them astray into a whirlpool of destructive choices. It seldom happens quickly but takes place subtly, over time as the devil establishes a toe-hold in our life, which becomes a foothold and eventually a stronghold that leads to our destruction. So, what can that look like in your life or mine? I have had to work through many subtle strongholds I have allowed to fester in my life, and they are hard to eradicate. Only persistent and deep prayer can help remove the strongholds that exist in our lives. It could be an innocent seeming conversation that leads to an adulterous affair down the road. It could be a small wager on a sports game that becomes a full-blown addiction to gambling. It could be a hit on a pipe, that leads to a serious drug addiction. It could be a win at all costs personality that leads to a lack of humility and a rough-edged demeanor that pushes people away and leaves you isolated and vulnerable. It could be the love of money creeping into a place of idolatry in your life, displacing God at the center of your life. Or it could be simply getting lazy about the reading of scripture, prayer and fellowship in God’s presence. If Jesus is not Lord of all in our life, then He is not Lord at all. In any case, it makes the text above from 1 Peter 5:8 become very real in understanding how fierce this battle is. Ephesians 6:12 puts it this way: For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” The antidote for this war is understanding how fierce of an enemy it is we face and praying constantly for God’s intervention and protection in helping us to stay hungry for His word and His truth in our life. We must stay thirsty for God and His Word, or the devil will find a way to use our apathy to destroy us, little by little. As the man in the Dos Equis beer commercial on T.V. implores us, stay thirsty my friends!