Evil is very powerful and pervasive; but must be invited-within if evil is to damage our souls. Otherwise, we can grow and develop by our interaction with evil - we may build our strength against its resistance.
Protection (spiritual protection) is universally available, but must be asked-for. The Good Shepherd, the Holy Ghost, are always there; but we must choose to follow them.
This is because we are all mini-gods, gods in embryo; spiritual beings of (in some ways) immense power.
Especially in a negative sense. We can defy any amount or intensity of evil, simply by knowing evil and repenting it in our-selves. We can also - alone, unaided - deny, defy, or reject God the creator! (Many do.)
Of course, such inviting and asking is not merely verbal; but is an act of thinking; what is more, a conscious act of thinking. And because it is an act of thinking; it cannot be compelled, nor can it be prevented.
(To invite evil or ask for protection is a free act - which it could not be if it were unconscious.)
The devil cannot take us against our explicit wishes; and also God cannot shape our lives without our request; not even 'for our own good'.
We must consent. This is how it is.
Always I am reminded of Poirot's little talk to Jacquie on the deck of the boat about inviting evil in and it makes its home - vigilance, awareness of portals.
@James - Yes.
But the verbal stuff is not necessarily the essence (unless the individual chooses to make it so). Somebody (a child for example) may be compelled to consent verbally. From a spiritual perspective, the crucial thing is whether they consent in thought, with their real self.
Conversely, the world is full of people who have consented internally to all kinds of evil that they have not actually Done in 'real life', in actions. These are spiritually damaged, self-damned.
This has been one great harm of the sexual revolution. Not so much what people actually do - which is mostly a matter of circumstances and strength of character - but what they have internally consented to do, what they want to do, what they regard as Good.
Also bureaucracy. Maybe few have the strength to say No to The System; but it seems that a majority (esepcially women) have embraced bureaucracy/ totalitarianism/ systemic-evil In Their Souls - and that is The Problem.
Perhaps what the evil powers most fear (here and now) is that the mass of people who verbally consent; are in their hearts repenting - that 'in their hearts' (the thinking of their real selves) they know they do evil, and repent it, and keep on asking for the protection of Christ.
Then the vast Global System of Evil would be in vain.
"As a man thinketh, so he is."
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