Letter 15

“Fear, avarice, lust and ambition look ahead.” Screwtape

“We want man hag-ridden by the Future…” Screwtape

The enemy uses “time” to his advantage sadly better than we do. He is really good at getting us to focus on the past and wish it was in our present or getting us to focus on the future with either hope (of our own making) or fear. If he can get us focused on either – he has us, for when we do that we negate the focus God wants us to have.

God wants us to focus on today, this moment and eternity – which for us is in the future.

James 4:13-17 speaks to this –

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

This day is the day we look at and say, “if the Lord wills I will engage in these activities. Though I have a direction I’d like to go in tomorrow, and there are some future goals I am working toward, I am not so focused on those goals that I forget to consider God’s will for the current moment I am living in and I do not loose the idea that His will might not allow me to make it to “my future goals.” Which is fine, because our future isn’t in the achieving of future goals we have set before ourselves, our future is in where we will be living in eternity.

Philippians 3:13-14 speaks to how we should approach things that are past –

 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

So we press on toward the heavenward future God has set before us, leaving the things we have done in the past behind. BTW – it is today that we press on toward that prize. A prize that is not rooted in the achievement of some future we are headed toward in this world but is rooted in the promises of our Savior in the next…

“Therefore” (a good biblical word) watch out for the schemes of the “evil ones” who want to get you focused on things that don’t matter.

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