Have you ever wondered about the silent war raging within each one of us? A war between good and evil, truth and deception, and it's all unfolding within the pages of C.S. Lewis's 'The Screwtape Letters.' Join us, in this episode where we unpack the cunning deception of Satan and how he artfully twists truth to lead us into temptation, and how the ever-present Holy Spirit strives to deliver us from the wicked one.
We delve into the enemy's tactics that sway us away from our faith in God. From politics to religion and social justice, every tool is employed to derail us from focusing on our relationship with God. In these trying times, we highlight the importance of focusing on our families, avoiding being overwhelmed and discouraged by the world around us. The enemy uses these distractions to lead us further and further away from God and our faith until we are so overwhelmed and downcast that we lose the will to pray.
But do not lose heart! Remember, when the world puts you down, "Cheer up! Jesus has overcome the world." So tune in, listen, and get ready to fortify your faith.
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Hi and welcome to the Cheer Up Podcast. I am your host, kara R Hunt, and with me is the lovely Sherry Swawa. How are you doing today, sherry?Speaker 2:
I am doing fantastic. I cannot believe that it is already September. I know I say that every single time we start an episode, but this year is just flying by. I can't believe that we're on the tail end of 2023 and we're already looking towards the holidays coming up and then starting flipping the calendar to 2024. What about you?Speaker 1:
Okay, so I'm missing a month here and a couple weeks there. Okay, it has just been insane how fast time is moving. And you know, it's like what? Christmas is around the corner, Like how did that even happen? Didn't we just do Christmas? You know, that's how fast it just seems to be going. But yeah, you know and we've talked about this in this time before I love the fall, so I have no complaints, Me too.Speaker 2:
Okay, I have a confession to make. So when summer started this year usually I love summer and I do, I love summer. It's a chance for us to just kind of relax a little bit. We still have kids in school, so it's a definite mark for us we have lazier well, I say lazier days. I just say I'm not driving as much. They're not lazy by any means, but in fact I think I work harder in the summer because I'm not driving as much. I don't have that intentional break every afternoon. But at the beginning of the summer this year I was like, can it be fall yet I love fall. Like I was so looking forward to fall already. But at the same time I felt guilty because I'm like no, I want this 11 week break off of school, so I don't want fall yet. But yes, I'm just like you. I am not complaining because fall is by far, and I think the older I get Kara, the more I love it. I don't understand, but I do.Speaker 1:
I know and we love being blessed by the fourth season. Then, of course, all the fun stuff that comes with fall right the cozy sweaters, the scarves, the heads give me any excuse to wear a hat, and you know I'm good, I don't know or scarf and everything else. But for those of you who are just joining us for the very first time, welcome to the Cheer Up podcast. We are so glad that you're here and if you're a listener then you are now a part of Cheer Nation. And we would just like to thank everyone who has followed us for the past three seasons. I believe right, sherry, as we put our weekly podcast to help Eqab, encourage Edify, exhort the Lord and just encourage everyone in their relationship with Him. So thank everyone so much for the love we've had on social media and for those who faithfully listen to us every week. We want to know we see you, we appreciate you and thank you all. And for those who have not yet subscribed to the podcast or downloaded it, please go and do so. It's on all major podcasting platforms and if you can hit like or download and subscribe, that will help us out a lot, especially in the algorithm and people getting to know more about the podcast. So if you've been blessed by it and you really really like it, please just share it and tell your friends about it. We will be so happy and it will be such a blessing. So thank you so much. Well, as most of you know, we have been for this summer series, which is now kind of going into the fall. This month we will be wrapping up our series that we started in June called the Screwtape Letters, based on a book by CS Lewis. And yeah, for those of you who haven't gotten a book again, it's an old book, it's a classic novel. To find it digitally, it's only a couple of bucks, maybe, I think maybe $2.99 to $5.99, depending on where you get it. And I don't think the paperbacks or whatever are that much more, because it was originally written, I believe, in 1941. So, yeah, so if you get the book, it is really we can't recommend it enough. It also has some study guides that can go along with it, several study guides that you can also download to go along as you read it and things like that. So we just highly recommend it. It is so apropos for our times, even though it was written so long ago. So this is your first time tuning in. Please go back and listen to. Oh, my goodness, sherry, because of the June 7th episode where we started, where we first started the Screwtape series. And the book is just, it's a very short book 31 chapters. Each chapter only has like so many paragraphs, maybe five to six paragraphs each, so it's not a very, very long book and the chapters are not really chapters, they're letters and their number like letters one through 31. And again, it is about two demons. I had a demon and a new demon and the one demon is Screwtape. That's the name of the book. It's referring to the Screwtape letters and so he's writing letters to his nephew Wormwood, who is a new demon, who is kind of like under his mentorship or guidance, or whatever you want to call it, and everything. And so his nephew, wormwood, has just been assigned a new patient, as it's referred to in the book, and his patient is a human who he's been trying to manipulate, deceive, trick and all the other stuff into walking away from his faith and and then up in hell. Basically, that's it so, but he's new, and so his uncle, screwtape, is trying to tell Wormwood how to go, what to do. You know, when it comes to this patient, it's a man in his 30s, I believe, but he's never really given a name. They just refer to him as like the patient, or human, or his human patient, since they are spirits. Oh wow, we are now this month. We'll be wrapping that up with the last 10 letters and today we are going to be starting with letters 22, 23, and 24. But before we get into that, sherri wanted to share something. Go ahead, sherri.Speaker 2:
Yeah, so I read this. But I was reading this it's a devotional and I just thought that it really tied in so well because I think the thing that I have, or the theme, or the truth that I've gotten more than anything throughout this whole summer, is just how Satan is the father of lies and how he just twists things just a little bit. He twists the truth just a little bit to get you to believe and then you fall down that slippery slope. So this devotional was talking about how to handle temptation and it says in the Lord's prayer Jesus taught us to pray lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil. One Understand this Satan is always trying to lead you into temptation, whereas the Holy Spirit, who lives within you, is always trying to deliver you from temptation. It is informative that while the devil is named the tempter, he is also named the accuser, for the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God, day and night has been hurled down Revelation 12, 10. There is no such thing as fair play with the devil. As soon as he gets you to give in to temptation, he will switch hats and try to convince you that, because you have yielded to it, you're beyond God's grace and redemption. But Satan is a liar and there is no trust in him. It's only when you deny your sin and reject God's mercy that you're beyond redemption. The Bible says if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. Some people are delivered from temptation instantly. Others battle it for a long time before finding deliverance and victory. It's never a matter of God's unwillingness to extend grace to us, but of our inability to receive it. So whether you come the easy way or the hard way, as long as your desire is to come to God, he will also provide a way out. 1 Corinthians 10, 13. I just thought that that was so fitting, because what I've learned so much from just the overarching theme of this is that Satan. I guess it just really puts it right in my face. Why do I want to serve somebody who wants nothing but my demise and my destruction and God? So many people resist serving God because they think that he is just no fun and he wants to squash all joy out of your life. When it's just so the opposite, that's just one more lie that the devil wants us to believe. When it's the joy it's found through Christ and through following his ways and the blessings are found through Christ and Satan or the devil does nothing but destroy, kill, steal and destroy. Anyway, it just really struck me and so I just wanted to share that with everybody today.Speaker 1:
And it's so empty that the writer of that devotional refers to him as a tempter, because that's actually what Uncle Scoot tape calls his nephew sometimes in the letters is like you, young, tempter and everything else. And when we really think about that, what is tempter? Short for Someone who tempts you? Short for temptation right? And why would we want to get in as someone who's constantly tempting us, trying? to get us to fall, you know, and fall badly, fall eternally. So that is the perfect devotional to start this off with, especially since and the letters recovering today letters 22, 23 and 24, and the Scoot tape letters by CS Lewis, l-e-w-i-s. Is very interesting because we're now at the point in the young human's life where things are about to get quite interesting. And but Uncle Scoot tape, as always, is furious with his nephew Wormwood. As always, he's always been kind of mad and sarcastic with him and calling him incompetent and a whole bunch of other things, because he just kept letting his human get into things that he shouldn't have, which basically means get into things that would not help them but help you know him further in Christ. Well, now Scoot tape is just had about, had enough of Wormwood, because he has allowed Wormwood has allowed his assignment to this young Christian man to. He has allowed him to fall in love with someone dangerous, and by dangerous I mean a good, godly Christian woman, you know. And Scoot tape is furious. He's like how in the world, under your watch, you, young tempter, did you let this happen? So I just want to read a few excerpts from some of it. And now remember this was written in 1941, so the wording may be a little bit different, you know, and things like that. But just one of them. He's like, like I said, he just really just rants against Wormwood about how did this happen, how did you let this happen? And, like I said, he goes on and on and on. He attacks Wormwood, but then when he gets to the girl, he's like I have looked up this girl's dossier. Okay, no, I have pulled up the file on her. And he says I am horrified at what I find. Not only is she a Christian, but she's such a Christian that she's a bio sneaking, simpering, the mere monosibolic, mouth-like, watery, insignificant, virginal bread and butter mist. The little brute. She makes me vomit. She stinks and scalds through the very pages of the dossier, meaning she stinks because she smells like God, the kingdom, you know, and everything else. And so she's like all these things that they did not want wormwoods, assigned human to fall in love with, and screwtape goes on. And he's like we would have had her type in the arena in the old days. That's what her sort is made for. Not that she'd do much good there either. The toothpaste little cheat who looks as if she faint at the sight of blood and then dies with a smile. She's a cheat in every way, looks as if butter would melt in her mouth, the sort of creature who'd find me funny, filty and sippid, little prude. And so he goes on because he's very, very upset, you know. So he's calling her all these things because wormwood is really, really made a mistake here, like letting his human fall in love with her, he said. And then of course you know, you let her get to know this woman's family and her whole, and her, her whole circle. Could you not see that the very house she lives in is one that he ought never to have entered? The whole place reeks of that deadly odor. The gardener, though he has only been there five years, is beginning to acquire it. Even guess, after a weekend visit carries some of the smell away from them. The dog and the cat are even tainted with it. And a house full of this impenetrable mystery. We are certain it is a matter of first principles that each member of the family must in some way be making capital out of the others. But we can't find out how they guard as jealousy. They guard as jealousy as God himself, the secret of what really lies behind this pretense of disinterested love, the whole house and garden is one vast obscenity. So basically, he's just saying you never should have won, you never should have let your human falling in love with this girl. And not only that, her whole house, okay, her parents, the people that she hang around, all of them are just like covered in this scent, you know this fragrance of God and godliness and Christianity and everything else, so much so that even a the dog and cat, the dog and cat are tainted with it, like could you have made a worse mistake? And so, and that is what he's going on and on about it there, and he gets so, so upset, but it's, and that just talks about our Christian life, right, just, are we that type of person that makes the enemy mad, that makes him spit, you know? I mean, he got, he goes on in a letter about how he, he got so upset, uncle Screwtape, that he turns himself into a centipede because he just cannot believe that his young nephew, timpter Wormwood, has made such a huge mistake. And the goodness Cherry, that's the type of person we want to be, right, someone to where they, the enemies, are like, no, you can't have to meet that person, okay, you can't. The whole house, even the dog and the cat and the gardener that's only been there five years, who wasn't a Christian when he got there, but now he is. Isn't that awesome to be that kind of Christian. That's what we should strive for, am I right?Speaker 2:
Oh, amen and amen. I'm not sure if my one dog would classify as that and I feel so bad. She's the work in progress. She's better.Speaker 1:
She was two years ago Well you must have an awesome household if you can get any cat to be taken. But I digress, I digress. I'm not going to go down to where my cat lovers mad at me, so go ahead.Speaker 2:
But yes, I completely agree with you. Oh, to have that kind of a description said about me.Speaker 1:
Amen and amen I know, right, and to where he gets so upset. You know that he turns himself into an adipotent therapy. And when I say he goes off with his nephew, I mean he really does. You know in that high way that they talked, you know, and back then, so he really did not want this young man to meet this girl and everything else. And so basically he's saying, okay, so you've screwed this up and you've screwed up royally, but since now this is the situation we find ourselves in, how are we going to fix it? And so one of the ways he wants to do it is to create disagreements and confusion between him and this new circle of friends that he's found, and not his girlfriend between him and his girlfriend between him and the new circle of friends who all carry this vast odor of godliness, right, and her parents and everything else. He's like okay, okay, okay, now that I've laid into you never you warm wood about how huge a mistake this is, Okay, now we got to find a way. He was like so and some of the best ways. First, we're going to start with creating disagreement. We're going to start with politics. We're going to insert politics and religion, because there's no better way than that to start off with, to create disagreements and confusion. And as we sit back, you know, and we look at this, you know it is, you know. Well, let me read a few, just another quick clip. It says he says, through this girl and her disgusting family, the patient is now getting to know more Christians every day, and very intelligent Christians too. For a long time it will be quite impossible to remove spirituality from his life. So very well then, that means we must corrupt it. And then he goes in and says the thing to do is to get a man at first to value social justice as a thing which the God, excuse me, as a thing that God demands. Okay, so he says the thing to do is to get the man to at first value social justice as a thing in which God wants him to do, and then work him on the stage at which he values Christianity, but because it may produce social justice For the in it, for he I'm replacing the word enemy here for God because this is a demon talking. So to him the enemy is God. So he says, for God would not be used as a convenience man or nations who think they can revive the faith in order to make a good society might just as well think that they can use the stairs of heaven as a shortcut to the nearest chemist shop. Fortunately, it is quite easy to coax humans around this little corner. A Christian writer once recommended his own version of Christianity on the ground that only such a faith can outlast the death of old cultures and the birth of new civilizations. Do you see the little rift wormwood? The whole point is to get them to believe this, not because it's true, but because for some of the but for some other reason, that's the game. So basically he just wants him to just get them involved in so many other things like social justice and saying that it's a godly thing to be able to get into social justice and all this other stuff, and then kind of corrupt him from there, get him to believe that that's okay, and then he won't focus so much on getting closer to the Lord because you see all this social injustice that he feels is going on. So you want to give him a reason to believe that and nothing else. So we're going to distract, we're going to corrupt, we are going to throw all these thoughts into his head Anything at this point to get him away from really growing in his faith in God, and that's the game that we're going to start with. Is what he's telling his nephew wormwood Wow, sherry, doesn't that just have? So much? Sounds like so much in today's society. It really does, it really really does, it does. And it's just so scary how, today, you just see, I think a lot of Christians just get distracted and confused about, you know, a lot of things. And here, in this case, screw tape is asking his nephew to use like politics and religion. And that's the same today. You know, it's the same. Today, people get so wrapped up in politics, or they get so wrapped up in quote unquote religion not a relationship with God, but religion that they just, you know they get sidetracked by it and it's, but then they think that is the right thing. You know there are those out there who are you know, who say, well, it's okay for homosexuals, right, because they just love each other. You know it's all about love, it's all about justice, it's all about this and everything else. And you can see how little things like that can be Used by the enemy to get them to think and focus on one thing and they're missing the big picture entirely. What are your thoughts on that sherry?Speaker 2:
Absolutely. I was just listening to a Well respected pastor the other day and he was saying that, well, this lady was talking to them and and saying that you know, she, her, her family was falling apart, but she felt like she had to pray for, I don't know, the Ukraine, or for America in general, or whatever, and he said wait a minute. He said the Holy Spirit big enough to take care of the Ukraine and the United States. Your focus needs to be on your family and getting things right within your family. The enemy is trying to distract you from the most important thing, and right now, the most important thing is your family. So you need to get your house in order and then you will be able to pray for Ukraine and and whatever else. So I think it's the same type of a thing. The enemy does whatever he can to distract us so that our prayers are ineffectual or ineffective and so that we are not. So we're too burned out and we're too tired to do anything. Well, because we're trying to do everything.Speaker 1:
Right and to me, the real Issue Problem. I guess that can happen with distraction, especially as Christians and as believers. When I think we get to focus On what's going on around us, that becomes a problem because it starts off as a distraction and it can end in depression and what you're just like oh my goodness, the economy is going crazy. What is this presidential administration doing? Oh my goodness, that's happening over here. And then these people that's doing this is happening over there oh no, the schools. Oh no, parents nowadays, oh no, the money. You know, you get so focused on what's going on around you that you're not looking up To God, the Father, and so it starts off as a distraction in the enemy, tempts you and tempts you like can you believe that this is going on? Can you believe that that happened to that, that elderly woman how awful is that. Can you believe that that happened to that young child? Can you believe that these people are doing this bully in the streets? Can you believe it? And if, the longer you allow that tempter to place those thoughts in your mind, the more it weighs you down and the more depressed you become, and then eventually it's like you didn't pray anymore because you're like what's the point? What's the point? The world is getting worse and worse every day. No one seems to be getting better. The world is falling apart, you know. And then you find yourself slightly falling into depression, and when you become depressed you give up on hope that anything would get better. And that's the danger of letting distraction in your life to me, because it just doesn't stay there right. It's like in the devotion you read earlier, sherry his goal is to steal, kill and destroy, and he's not just going to stop at the distraction, he's going to take it deeper and deeper and deeper. So far as you let him take it. Next thing, you know, you're not even able to get up out of bed. You're not even able to get up out of bed, you know, because you just, and then when someone say, oh, hey, good morning, and you're just like, yeah, you know you're not like, hey, yeah, it's a good morning, it's a blessed day that the Lord has made, you're just kind of like, yeah, whatever, because you have allowed the enemy to steal your joy and Destroy your faith to a point where you don't even see, you can't even pray anymore, or you feel like they're, that God isn't listening, that he has other bigger things to do, because surely he's not paying attention to you and the social in in stability that's going on around you and it's just, it goes deeper and deeper and deeper and the enemy is just sitting back laughing, going oh my goodness, that was easy, right. And you're sitting there just like hopeless. Does any of that make sense, sherry? Absolutely, absolutely. You know, and it's just one of those things that we have to be very, very careful and very intentional about to not let happen. Right, it's just one of those things and I know a lot of Christians and believers are like. They're like I no longer watch the news. You know they'll say that. You know they go, I don't, I don't watch the news or I don't start my morning off with the news anymore, you know, because it just put you in a different state of mind, right, and they're like I don't start the morning off with the news anymore. I really decreased my intake of the news and my decreased social media and you know, and things like that, and but then there are sometimes things are going on where you're like yeah, I probably need to pay attention to this, you know, like, you know what's going on, but something I found myself doing the other day, sherry, and Tell me if anything similar has happened to you, because I'm one of those where I try to very limit my intake of the news right, and I have it to where I may get highlights on certain Things that I'm like I should probably be aware of, like on my phone. But I, you know, seriously trying to limit my intake of news, but I do watch it, like every now and then. Maybe on the weekends that may be like, okay, what happened this past week you know in the news. But I found myself the other day, you know how, on some news channels they have a crawl that goes across the bottom oh, yeah, yeah, and it tells you about, you know, all the other things that they're not covering at the moment. So while watching the news, I find I found myself praying For each, every little item that came across that crawl. You know, and everything else. Like Lord, may your will be done in a situation oh my goodness, you know, lord, like I did not know that that had happened, or they're talking about doing this. You know, lord, please intervene divinely. And as the crawl was just crawling away, I was just praying for it. Has anything like that ever happened to you, or similar?Speaker 2:
No, but I love it. I don't watch the news. I stopped watching it years ago because I do have a tendency to have that depression, depression type thing, or I just get really angry and I don't want to start my morning angry. Yes, so I or anxious, right right. So my husband watches it and he fills me in On what, what I need to know about. But I like that idea. I like that idea a lot actually.Speaker 1:
Yeah, and I don't even think I thought about it right, it was just it was just going across. You know, they were covering something, so and I'm just I was just reading the scroll, like I say, I'm trying to catch up on the news from the week past because I'm ignoring it. And you know, and they tell you all sorts of stuff that's going on on the crawl, whether what's happening storms I ripped through a certain state or flooding, you know, and everything else, and what's going on, and a current, you know, the White House, politically, what's going on, like with other people, you know, and things that are just, you know, very newsworthy that's on its Scroll or crawl. And I just saw myself praying for them and I'm like, you know, and it just hit me and I'm like what am I doing? I'm like I never even thought about it, right to do it. So it's just amazing how that happened. And so next time I watch the news, I'm going to be doing it again. This time I know about it, right, but I'm like maybe Holy Spirit, just, you know, prompted me to do that without even me thinking about doing it, you know, just just praying for it as I'm watching it. And you know what else. I think it also helped Helps when you're watching the news, when you're praying while you're watching it, to not get so tense, right and uptight about it. You know and everything and so and you know the crawl eventually repeats itself. So you can just stop then, because you already prayed.Speaker 2:
Wonderful takeaway for today. Kara, I think that is absolutely fantastic, yeah, and it's just well.Speaker 1:
Anyway, I'm gonna leave it there that because, yes, so just for those who may be interested, or you do watch the news and if you happen to watch a news program, that does have that crawl at the bottom, you know. Just just, just, just just just see what the Lord has wants you to do in that situation, or Even pray while you're listening to the news, as they cover each topic. So I'm just going to end it there, sherry.Speaker 2:
Well, john 1633 tells us that these things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace in the world. You will have what Tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. I think that that ties things in so well To our verse, our theme for the cheer at podcast. We are here not to Be sucked in to the enemy scheme. God, in his grace and mercy, has given us a guidebook and a Blueprint of how to well, first off, what kind of a creature that the enemy is. He came to steal, kill and destroy. In John 1010 it tells us that. But God has come to give us life, and life abundantly. So we have the, the key play. We have the answers, the, the answer key to life, and that is we're not going to get sucked into his scheme. So I absolutely love the fact that we don't have to sit there and watch the news and spiral downward, but instead we can take it to God and we can have victory In that area. I you've kind of actually gotten me excited. Man might start watching the news again now because I have a, a weapon, and I have a game plan and I have Something to do about it proactively, instead of just passively Watching it. If you need prayer or encouragement, please email us at cheer up podcast at gmailcom. Head over to carers website, carerhuntcom and you will see her Habakkuk series. She has videos over there. They explain a little bit more about the background of the stories of Habakkuk. You can head over to my website, sherry swalwellcom. Also join us on our Facebook group cheer up podcast on Facebook. We would love to connect with you in our community there and we would love to connect with you individually if you want to give us A shout out through an email, if you have a personal prayer Request that you don't want shared in the general public. We are so glad that you are here. We hope that you'll come back next week because we have three more episodes to wrap up the screw tape letters and we are so excited. I have really, really enjoyed the series. I'm getting excited about our October series too, but I'm I'm loving our September series too, but I'm I'm loving our September wrap up of the screw tape letters. So have a great rest of your week. We will talk to you in another week and until then, remember, be of good cheer because Jesus has overcome the world.