Dr. Rikki Permenter, Ph.D., Th. M.
“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.”
Screwtape, C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters
In C.S. Lewis’ fictional Screwtape Letters a young demon, Wormwood, is being discipled by an older and more experienced demon, Screwtape. Screwtape tutors Wormwood on how to trip up a would-be believer and new believer. When it comes to spiritual warfare most people give the devil way too much credit or nowhere near enough credit. They either assume a demon is hiding behind every bush or they don’t think about demons at all.
According to Screwtape, “It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality, our best work is done by keeping things out.” The best work of the devil is to keep you from thinking of spiritual things. In Romans 12:2 we’re reminded “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” We must re-new our mind to think upon spiritual things. In psychology, this is known as cognitive behavioral therapy - or changing the way you think, to change the way you feel, to change your behaviors. One of the only things you can really change about yourself naturally is the way you think. You can actually change how your brain works by changing the way you think.
This month, take time to remind yourself to think of the spiritual realm. Are you thinking too much of it or not enough? Do you give the devil and demons more credit than they are due or not enough? Take time to make habits to renew your mind and help you to remember things of the spiritual world.
This article can be found in print in the monthly Baptist Association of Southeast Louisiana newsletter.