Lewis makes a very important observation when speaking through the senior demon Screwtape. Often, we as Christians, fall into an apathetic lifestyle where we go to church, hang out with our friends, and leave our spiritual walk at that. We easily forget that in another world there is a constant spiritual battle for our souls. The tragic mistake that can be made is to forget about this war and fall asleep to God’s will.
Screwtape warns his nephew Wormwood, as a tempter, that one of the most dangerous things he could do is cause his human to commit some horrible sin. Although it brings the most glory and recognition to a junior demon to bring a human to commit a great sin, it might awaken the human from apathy. Screwtape writes “Murder is no better than cards if cards do the trick.” He says that the best way to bring a human to hell is sometimes to do absolutely nothing. The human’s own mind will distract him from his prayers, and studies. Eventually this will bring such a disinterest in Godly things that the human will search for other things to do, anything, rather than focus on what he should do. He may not have committed murder, lied, or stolen anything. But the easiest way to his is to do nothing.
This is an awakening in my own life where I often tell myself that I can pray to God later or study his word later. Sometimes my motive for going to church isn’t to worship God but to see my friends. This, I realize, is exactly what Satan wants me to do. He wants me to corrupt good habits and become spiritually lazy. He wants me to push Christ out of my mind and focus on playing my guitar, watching movies, hanging with friends, anything to disrupt God’s work in my life. Thus, I must maintain discipline. Not only remember to pray and spend time with God but to actually do it. Not to think about going to church, but to really attend, and not to attend reluctantly, but with passion for the Lord. The safest road to hell is indeed the gradual one and so we must be diligent in our walk, encouraging one another for the glory of God.