How do you find one-month challenges? Like Active April, H2October or Movember? They’re catchy and can be a good way to keep up with good habits.
For me October has been Screwtape Lettersmonth, where I read 1 of the 31 chapters a day. And while I’m still reading it, I’m glad I took the challenge. It’s such a helpful book to read.
For those not aware of the book, it’s written by C.S. Lewis and contains a collection of fictional letters written from Screwtape, a devil, to his nephew and apprentice Wormwood. Screwtape advises Wormwood on how to render a believer’s faith ineffective. They are written from Satan’s perspective in tearing down a believer’s faith. Despite each chapter/letter being quite short and simple to read, they are confronting and make you assess your own Christian life in regard to different temptations and situations in life.
In chapter 12 Screwtape speaks about changing the direction of a Christian’s course so they’re led away from God. But that the Christian “must be made to imagine that all the choices which have effected this change of course are trivial and revocable.” Screwtape is glad that the Christian maintains the external habits of a Christian, thinking they’re still Christian, but where in fact their spiritual state is actually like an unbeliever.
He ends the letter saying
You will say that these are very small sins; and doubtless, like all young tempters, you are anxious to be able to report spectacular wickedness. But do remember, the only thing that matters is the extent to which you separate the man from the Enemy. It does not matter how small the sins are provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing. Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.
This is confronting and reminds me of 1 Peter 5:8-9, be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith…
We are in a spiritual battle with Satan seeking to destroy. How are you going in keeping God the focus in your daily life? If you’ve been challenged by this and aren’t already using the REAL Journal, let me encourage you to embrace this tool to daily preach the gospel to yourself, read the bible and pray each day. And perhaps you’ve been compelled to take it one step further and take up the Screwtape challenge?!
David Shannon – Discipleship Minister