Jesus said in John 15–“Abide in Me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in Me.“ I think we all understand that our fruitfulness depends upon our abiding in Christ but Lewis carries the idea one step further: not only does our “Productivity” depend on our abiding but also our “Protection”. We are much less vulnerable to Satan’s attacks when we are abiding in Christ. Christ is our refuge–our safe haven. In Letter 13, we have a list of things that the Devil fears.
- The devil fears abiding. There is little he can do if he is not able to draw us away from Christ. Our rule of thumb is simple: stay close to Jesus.
- The devil fears real pleasure or JOY. First of all, he has nothing to equal authentic pleasure. It is God’s invention, not his and he has nothing like it. The devil will twist pleasure until it becomes something destructive. But in its original state, pleasure is good and the devil does not want us to truly enjoy anything.
- He has a phobia about us being alone. He hates contemplation. Any form of quiet time or solitude freaks him out. He does not want us to thing deep thoughts. He is against good books or quiet walks in the evening. This is where he uses the world as a distraction.
- He obviously is frightened to death of the truth: the devil does not want anyone to know the truth. Screwtape told Woodworm–“He [God] really likes the little vermin and sets an absurd value on the distinctness of every one of them.” Did you catch that? God loves each of us and values our uniqueness. The devil does not want this truth understood. Screwtape says, “When He [Jesus] talks about them losing their selves; He only means that they abandon their clamouring self-will. He really gives them back their personality because when they are Wholly His, they will become more themselves than ever”.
- The devil hates, he loathes repentance. He will do everything in his power to keep anyone from repenting. It does not bother him for us to feel bad about our sin as long as we don’t repent. We can wallow in the shame of our sin, writes books about it, confess it to others or whatever…just as long as we don’t repent.Habits are strengthened by repetition and the devil knows this to be true. The more we shun repentance the easier it becomes until we become unrepentant and of course, that is his goal.