Midweek Wake-Up, March 14th, 2019
(C.S. Lewis preface to the Screwtape letters)
The question for us is; which side do we err on? Within western, conservative evangelical Christianity I think it is usually more the former (myself included). It is not that we don’t believe, theoretically, in the existence of demons, but we just don’t comprehend the real nature of our spiritual battle. In Mark chapter 5:1-20 we see a powerful demonstration of demonic oppression by a dark army of Satan’s soldiers seeking to ruin and destroy the likeness of God in one man. They so nearly succeed, but King Jesus is infinitely stronger than the most powerful forces of evil and spectacularly and wonderfully delivers the man.
However, Satan is well skilled in his trade. In our context, he and his workers often work best by keeping us unaware of his existence. C.S. Lewis gives us a glimpse into what this dark work “might” look like in his fictional tale of letters from a senior to a junior demon:
My dear Wormwood, I wonder you should ask me whether it is essential to keep the patient in ignorance of your own existence. That question, at least for the present phase of the struggle, has been answered for us by the High Command. Our policy, for the moment, is to conceal ourselves. Of course, this has not always been so. We are really faced with a cruel dilemma. When the humans disbelieve in our existence we lose all the pleasing results of direct terrorism and we make no magicians. On the other hand, when they believe in us, we cannot make them materialists and sceptics. At least, not yet……………
If you would like to read about Lewis’ thoughts on some of the other ways demonic powers may work when we aren’t aware of them I would encourage you to read the Screwtape letters. But, whichever way our enemy attacks us, he has but one objective – and it is at total odds with the objective of our Lord Jesus:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)