Whenever I read about the battles through the centuries, whether they be religious or not, I’ve always noticed one mistake they make. The Castle under siege would be very well built, but it always had a weak point somewhere the enemy would exploit in order to invade and take down the entire Castle. In these battles I was surprised to see how the enemy knew more about the foundations of the Castle than those defending it.
For example they would have foreknowledge of a small piece of the wall in the structure, aiming their cannons here and blow a small hole to enter through. Or the people defending the castle, as was the case with Constantinople, (pictured above) would leave a small door open after returning from a secret night raid on the enemy.
It is the same with the demons and us. Our souls and bodies are the castle. Some Christians may have taken care of those big sins. Their walls are built strong and they pray and fast a lot. They go to Liturgy every Sunday, and are very involved in their parish. But there’s always that small door or weak point in the castle the enemy exploits. And it’s this the enemy uses to overthrow the entire kingdom of God within us.
We often don’t think anything of venial sins, yet they remain to be the small door through which the enemy enters. If we can’t be obedient in the small things, how can we expect to be obedient in the big ones when they come upon us? When the devil sees the castle well fortified, he gets his demons to focus his cannons on the small piece of the wall that has been left untreated. He fires his cannons there, invades and gradually this well fortified castle of ours has been reduced to utter ruin.
Another thing I’ve taken note of is that most of these invasions upon Christians by the Turks took a lot of time. Months of encampment, constant night raids and skirmish’s would wear down the people on the inside of the castle. The invasion wasn’t always an overnight mission, and the devil operates in pretty much the same way. Wearing down the soul is a gradual process that can take not just months but years. When the devil finally discovers the souls weakness, he will creep through the door we left open that is our venial sin, and overthrow the well fortified kingdom of God within us.
It’s at this point all our fasting and prayer stops. We become overwhelmed with sudden onsets of depression that cause us to withdraw from our attending Liturgy altogether. When left untreated, the wound gradually becomes bigger over time, turns gangrene, and what first looked like a scratch, is now in need of an amputation. Fixing it is more difficult than it was in the beginning. We need to refortify that part of the wall within us that is weak. We need to close the small door of venial sins through which the enemy creeps in. In doing this we keep the Kingdom within intact.
When it comes to spiritual warfare lets take St.Paul’s advice on this.
Finally, grow strong in the Lord, with the strength of his power. Put God’s armor on so as to be able to resist the devil’s tactics. For it is not against human enemies that we have to struggle, but against the Sovereignties and the Powers who originate the darkness in this world, the spiritual army of evil in the heavens. That is why you must rely on God’s armor, or you will not be able to put up any resistance when the worst happens, or have enough resources to hold your ground.Ephesians:6:10-20
So stand your ground, with truth buckled around your waist, and integrity for a breastplate, wearing for shoes on your feet the eagerness to spread the gospel of peace and always carrying the shield of faith so that you Can use it to put out the burning arrows of the evil one. And then you must accept salvation from God to be your helmet and receive the word of God from the Spirit to use as a sword.
Pray all the time, asking for what you need, praying in the Spirit on every possible occasion. Never get tired of staying awake to pray for all the saints; and pray for me to be given an opportunity to open my mouth and speak without fear and give out the mystery of the gospel of which I am an ambassador in chains; pray that in proclaiming it I may speak as boldly as I ought to.