Screwtape felt pretty happy with himself. He was one of the top devils in Hades because he was so good at fooling Christians into committing sin. So when the assignment to disrupt one of the most Christian families on their hit list came from the top man of all the devils, well he felt very pleased. He immediately called his nephew devil, Wormwood to tackle the assignment.
“Wormwood.” Screwtape said looking at his pointy tail and red horns, the pride and joy of any good devil. “We have a big job to do. The Smiths are devoted followers of Jesus. The dad and mom make sure they are in church every Sunday. The little boy, Christopher sings in the youth choir and the older daughter, Stephanie is planning on doing missions work after high school. The top man of all devils has assigned us to ruin this family.” He said pacing back in forth in front of a blackboard like it were a military exercise. Screwtape never wrote on the blackboard but he thought it looked cool.
“The top man of all devils? Who is that?’ Wormwood asked because he was a little slow sometimes.
“Satan, you goof!.” Screwtape finally told him clearly frustrated with his nephew. “Now you know what will work. Split them apart. Use anger, jealousy, hurtful remarks, rumors, irritations. I will clue you as you go so get up there, they are getting ready to have family devotions. This is a good time to get in the way.”
“Yes sir!” Wormwood said saluting and hurting his hand on his own devil’s horns and off he took.
“Mom, are we about ready for devotions?” Christopher said to his mom walking into the kitchen. He was excited because tonight was his turn to pick the scripture to read.
Wormwood arrived just in time. He whispered in Christopher’s mom’s ear.
“Just slow down young man. You don’t set the pace around here, dad and I do. We will have devotions when we are good and ready.” The mom snapped at her son and as soon as she did, she was alarmed at what she said. She ran to Christopher and hugged him. “I’m sorry sweetie. I don’t know what got into me.”
“Excellent Wormwood.” Screwtape said to his nephew, “That is just what we want, pour it on now.”
Stephanie entered the living room where Christopher was reading his Bible, looking for a good passage. While she could not see or feel him, instantly Wormwood was at her side whispering in her ear.
“You think you are so cool with all your Bible reading.” She hissed at her brother who she loved so much. Stephanie couldn’t believe these words were even coming out of her mouth. “Well let me tell you something. All the kids at church think you are a phony and they hate you.”
“MOM” Christopher’s cries went up like a fire alarm. Dad came running from the back room. Zeke the dog started barking, the cats ran for cover and mom was trying to out shout the two children to find out what happened. Somewhere Screwtape was smiling and muttering, “Family devotions is looking pretty unlikely tonight.” Wormwood was on the move all over that house.
“You kids are driving me crazy.” Daddy shouted. “I would be ashamed to be seen in public with this bunch of animals.” Daddy immediately slapped his hand over his mouth. “Where did that come from?” He muttered.
“You have always been jealous of me!” Christopher screamed at his sister feeling like someone else had taken him over entirely. “It’s because I am the youngest and you want all of mom and dads attention.” He shouted and then he began to cry and he ran to his sister and hugged her. Even though she was furious, she hugged him because her love of family was stronger than whatever this is that is attacking them.
Suddenly, Christopher and Stephanie’s Daddy’s face changed and everyone knew that he knew something. “OK HOLD IT!” He shouted.
It was that voice of authority that nobody anywhere would dispute. Even Wormwood, in the spiritual realm and unseen by the family, froze in his tracks at the commanding authority of the spiritual head of this household. “Everybody, let’s sit down.” Daddy instructed. Mom was so glad to hear his tone because she felt that the Holy Spirit was using him to fix whatever was wrong.
“The enemy is attacking us to stop us from having our devotions. Let’s sing.” And he began to sing, “Jesus loves me, this I know…” Soon the whole family was singing.
“OW OW OW OW OW” Wormwood held his head and writhed in agony crying out for help. “Uncle Screwtape, I can’t endure the songs of praise to Jesus. Help me!!!”
“Abort, abort! Get yourself out of there.” Screwtape instructed his nephew and in seconds, Wormwood was gone. As the Smiths embraced, loved each other and Jesus and apologized for all that was said, Screwtape and Wormwood cowered in Hades.
“They did it again, Uncle Screwtape. They defeated us with the name of Jesus and by singing God’s praise.” Wormword said sounding very unhappy.
“I know.” Said the crafty devil Screwtape. “But we will let them alone for a while and attack again. They will have to stay close to Jesus to avoid our attacks. Just wait, Wormwood, just wait.”
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. [James 4:7-8]