Screwtape Letters #6

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June 18, 2016 by Joseph Krohn

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

Rejoice”  (v.4)

  1. What does it mean to rejoice? [a command to be glad in the Lord – Psalm 34:1]
  2. NLT Psalm 146:5 But happy are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the LORD their God.
  3. How does rejoicing in God, keep us from worry?

“Moderation” (v.5)

  1. What does moderation mean? [reasonableness; gentleness; yieldness]
  2. How does letting our moderation show, keep us from worry? [Keeps our concentration off of ourselves and unto God and His plans for us]

Be careful for nothing” (v.6) – don’t worry at all, especially about things that you cannot control.

  1. What does worry mean? What is the opposite of worry? [Doubt, doubting God = wickedness]
  2. NLT Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths.

Prayer… Supplication… thanksgiving…”  (v.6)

  1. How do they keep us from worry?
  2. “No one can pray and worry at the same time” ~ Max Lucado

Peace of God” (v.7) – to enjoy God’s personal presence and favour.

Think on these things” (v.8)

 The Battle for the mind

  1. The devil delights in your uncertainty.
  • “We want him to be in the maximum uncertainty…” (p. 25)
  • He wants you to think about what will/could happen to you.
  • Why does the devil want you to focus on uncertainties? [Keeps you from trusting God; robs you of joy – Philippians 4:9, 11, 13, 19]
  • God wants you to focus on what you’re presently doing. (Philippians 4:8 “Think on these things [instead of]”
  • What do can you do when faced with fear/worry/uncertainty? Hebrews 12:2

2. The devil wants you to think of the impossible as real and the actual as forgettable. This results in doubting God.

  • Does Satan want us to be anxious about things that may never happen?
  • “Contradictory pictures of the future… there is nothing like suspense and anxiety for barricading a human’s mind against the Enemy” (p. 25)
  • Why would imagining worse case scenarios be a tool of the enemy?

3. The devil delights in sidetracking you from trusting in or thinking about God. worst case(Matthew 15:21-28)

  • Why does Screwtape encourage Wormwood to keep the patient’s mind off the Enemy?
  • He wants you focused on a wrong concept of God and so when your demands are not met, you begin to doubt.
  • When we pray “Thy will be done” – the devil doesn’t want us to think of our REAL problems or difficulties that we are currently facing, rather he would have us insert imaginary ones. (p.25-26)
  • “You can weaken his prayers be diverting his attention from the Enemy Himself to his own states of mind about the Enemy” (p. 26)
  • How does side tracking our thinking let the devil get victory over our mind? How does a wrong view of God affect our trusting of Him?

4. The devil wants to attack your mind, by making sure you are “unself-conscious” so that you do not concentrate on the preventative measures to keep your mind and heart pure, p. 26-27

  • “State of anger and lust; self-righteousness”
  • Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
  • Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
  • How does thinking affect our spiritual life? (Philippians 4:8)

5. The devil wants you to be prejudice and harbour hatred in your heart

i.e. against the Muslims for their attacks – p. 27

  • How does prejudices or hatred affect our mind?
  • Matthew 5:46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
  • Hebrews 10:30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

 

6. The devil wants you to project bad attitudes to neighbours 28

  • “Malice; habit of personal instead of corporate charity.”
  • 1 Corinthians 14:20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.
  • Colossians 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

 

7. The devil wants you to keep going around in circles. He wants to keep you from establishing any stable spiritual habits. 28

  • How do you make malice real and benevolence imaginary?

8. The devil wants you to practice some “good virtues” – p. 28-29

  • “You can hardly hope to exclude all good virtues from the Enemies camp… but work on pushing it outward…”
  • “All sorts of virtues painted in the fantasy or approved by the intellect, or even in some measure loved and admired…” (p.28-29)
  • The devil wants us to be kind to strangers, but not to our families at home è BUT GOD SAYS: “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
  • The devil wants us to forgive with words but not with actions. BUT GOD SAYS: “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven” (Luke 6:37)
  • The devil wants us to only do good to those who do good to us. BUT GOD SAYS:   “And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.” (Luke 6:33)
  • The devil wants us to give with expecting in return. BUT GOD SAYS: “And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.” (Luke 6:34)

Our Will must be = to God – Why is this important?

 “There is a war going on to enslave the human mind.  The enemy of man’s soul will stop at nothing to capture and control the thinking of men and women in our generation.  If he can control their thinking, he can control their destiny, which is his objective.” (A.W. Tozer, God’s Power for your life)

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