I couldn't help but think of this verse while reading:
"Since you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I am going to spit you out of my mouth." - Revelation 3:16
Screwtape is not giving advice to make the patient 'cold' towards God, but lukewarm. The patient will think that he is okay going to church and making new friends, although his spiritual state hasn't changed in six weeks. It seems so clear and evident to us (the readers) yet many many people fall into this trap. I would even day to say that many Calvin students fall into this trap. I feel I have even during class.
We are talking about God so much and really learning a lot of really good wisdom to help me live a christian lifestyle. But then as I was falling asleep last night, I thought; "When was the last time I prayed?" It certainly had been a while. I feel into the trap that my demon set for me. I got distracted feeling so close and learning so much about God, that I forgot the relationship with Him. I'll tell ya, it's such a good thing that God is graceful and merciful.
Reading Screwtapes really helped to notice that.
"Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one - the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turning, without milestones, without signposts."
As Christians, we all need to walk on a tip toes, constantly being on the look out for gradually getting away from God. The small sins count just as much as the big ones. This is one reason fellowship and community are so important in a Christian's life. When you have good, honest, 'not afraid to tell you the hard truth' kind of friends in your life, it's hard to slowly stray away from God. We need that honest accountability in our lives.
I think I would like to read more of The Screwtape Letters. I don't know what more can be said, so much was in this one letter. I would be interested to Lewis' creativity.
Spiritual Warfare is real.