The following is an excerpt from the Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. For those of you who haven't read the book, it's kind of a kind of "backwards" story creatively penned by C.S. Lewis to teach us about ourselves, God and the Devil. The book is a series of letters written by Screwtape to Wormwood. Below is a review from amazon.com (you really need to know the premise of the book to appreciate today's quote).
According to amazon.com:
"Each letter is a masterpiece of reverse theology, giving the reader an inside look at the thinking and means of temptation. Tempters, according to Lewis, have two motives: the first is fear of punishment, the second a hunger to consume or dominate other beings. On the other hand, the goal of the Creator is to woo us unto himself or to transform us through his love from "tools into servants and servants into sons." It is the dichotomy between being consumed and subsumed completely into another's identity or being liberated to be utterly ourselves that Lewis explores with his razor-sharp insight and wit."
Screwtapes writes to Wormwood about the Enemy's (God's) intentions for His creatures:
"...He leaves the creature to stand up on its own legs--to carry out from the will alone duties which have lost all relish. It is during such trough periods, much more than during the peak periods, that it is growing into the sort of creature He wants it to be. Hence the prayers offered in the state of dryness are those which please Him best...He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away his hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles. Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy's will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys."