Thought- “Middle aged apathy makes for great campaigning weather.” – C.S. Lewis The Screwtape Letters
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: In day 16 of learning to apply biblical principles to our daily life, what we are referring to as Practical Christianity, let’s consider what it means to be aware of the spiritual battle that we are a part of and how in Christ we can gain victory. Make no mistake, we are all a part of the battles taking place in the heavenly realms whether we know it or not, whether we chose to acknowledge it or not. 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 book by C.S. Lewis called “The Screwtape Letters,” is one of my favorite literary works. It portrays in a genius way the spiritual battles we are all fighting in, whether we admit or know them or not, and how our adversary the devil craftily uses everything at his disposal to destroy us. In fact, one of the biggest and dirtiest trick the devil uses to destroy us is to make us believe he doesn’t exist at all. He can also use our strengths and turn them against us for destruction. For example, an extroverted and highly gregarious person can be easily destroyed by using those same personality traits to lead to corruption, adultery or betrayal. On the other hand, a shy, introverted person can chase the “allure” of excitement by being involved with the “cool” people which likewise can lead down a destructive path. In other words, our enemy can take our strengths and turn them into mortal weaknesses. He often shows us the worm, but not the hook. He shows us the pleasure but hides the pain and the consequences.
C.S Lewis also describes how the devil uses our middle life apathy against us if we are not constantly aware of the battle. You can envision the person who has it seemingly made, a lot of material possessions, money and free time who in their boredom is led 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? 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, praying and fellowship in God’s presence. This apathy always leaves us vulnerable. In any case, it makes the text above from 1 Peter 5:8 become very real in understanding how fierce this battle is. The antidote is always realizing how fierce of an enemy we are up against and praying 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, or the devil will find a way to use our apathy to destroy us, little by little.
Prayer: Lord, help us to always put your first in our lives, and to remain hungry for you at the center of our lives to protect us from the enemy’s plans to destroy us. We have no hope without you Jesus, so please protect us and keep us strong in you and your precious Word. Amen!