Humans are Amphibians

C.S Lewis himself said it. Well, through one of his character’s, Screwtape. In “The Screwtape Letters,” about which this devo is a reflection on, Lewis takes on the identity of a demon named Screwtape writing letters of advice to his nephew Wormwood about how to win a human’s soul.

“Humans are amphibians-half spirit and half animal”

Before I dive deeper, I want to backup his claims with scripture discussing our dichotomous nature.

“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”-Genesis 2:7
“You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.” –Proverbs  39:5

By these scripture we can support Lewis’ claim, and even elaborate. The spirit put within is directly from God and, therefore, eternal. But our human nature of life, is limited, therefore not eternal and bound by time.

“This means, that while there spirit can be directed to an eternal object, their bodies, passions, and imaginations are in continual change, for to be in time means to change.”-Screwtape.

We can just back this up by personal experience. While I, and no one else, am not the same person I was even a year ago, God is constant. Although my aspirations, health, and even something as simple as taste in music has changed as time has gone by, our God is the same he was been before he set the world in motion.

Let’s deal with the eternal part of our amphibious nature, our spirit, first. God cannot override our spirit and force it to draw to him, He can only woo it. Doing so would cancel the freedom He has promised us, and frankly, be of little use to Him. How far could His kingdom truly extend if we were all mindless copies of Him? We can enjoy His presence, and reveal His love in a much better capacity when we are united to Him, but distinctly our own. So, it is up to us to direct our spirits to His open arms, His intervention would ruin the integrity of our following.

“He wants them to learn to walk, so He must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is there He is pleased even with their stumbles”-Screwtape

How can I direct my spirit towards God? Much of this comes through active decisions made with our non-eternal side. That non-eternal side, the body, the mind, the passions, the desire, all live within time, and are therefore cyclical in nature. Everyone experiences peaks and troughs in every aspect of life-whether it be with school, friends, or interests. And it is the troughs where we are given opportunities direct our spirit to Christ occur. This is when God makes it hard for us to follow him, when will alone drives duties that have lost all relish. It is the active decision to spend time with Him even when you don’t desire to that we begin to grow into people He wants us to be and contributing members of His family.

“Do not be deceived Wormwood, our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do His will, looks round upon the universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, asks why he has been forsaken yet still obeys.” –Screwtape
-Travis Ford

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