I didn’t know she was evil. I thought she was cute with her meticulously hand-beaded dress and braids. I bought her for next-to-nothing from a girl in a South African market and brought her home in my suitcase.
She escaped the purging of my home two years ago. That was when my husband and I prayerfully scoured the house for anything remotely connected with the dark side. Between us – in our world travels, we’d managed to collect a pair of ancient fertility dolls, replicas of masks that represented spirits of the dead, sun gods in various forms, and even some images of Peruvian white llamas and other animals that were used in sacrificial rituals. Who knew, right? I mean, we’re Christians. A pastoral couple. Why didn’t we know better? How did we end up with so many not-so-innocent travel souvenirs?
I’ve learned that the saying, “What we don’t know won’t hurt us” isn’t exactly true. What we don’t know can cause havoc in our well-ordered lives. I believe it’s a Christian’s job to be diligent about what is brought onto our property and into our homes. I learned this the hard way years ago, when evil spirits gained access to my space because of the “open doorways” of drug paraphernalia and other items brought under my roof unbeknownst to me. I re-learned it when the Holy Spirit revealed the reasons behind the constant harassment in my new home after my pastor-husband and I merged our belongings together under one roof.
It was only after we prayerfully scoured our home and burned the offending objects that we were able to breathe easier and make order out of the chaos in our busy lives. How I missed that little cloth doll remains a mystery. She remained “under the radar” – until yesterday, when I came home to discover her sitting innocently on my kitchen table. “She’s a voodoo doll,” announced my visiting friend. “I Googled her because I didn’t like the way she was staring at me.”
“What are you talking about?” I said, picking up the little black doll.
“Since I’ve arrived, that little doll has given me the creeps. So, I Googled her and discovered that she is a Zulu Voodoo doll.”
I was surprised, but not shocked. The doll had been sitting on a shelf in my guest room, a place I don’t often look. She hadn’t really bothered me, but she bothered my guest. Her presence was disconcerting. Evil.
“The graven images of their gods you shall burn with fire. You shall not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, lest you be ensnared by it, for it is an abomination to the Lord your God.
Neither shall you bring an abomination (an idol) into your house, lest you become an accursed thing like it; but you shall utterly detest and abhor it, for it is an accursed thing.” (Deuteronomy 7:25-26 Amplified Bible)
Some may think that a bit extreme. But, I’ve learned that these things cannot be taken lightly. The “roaring lion” does not rest. Thankfully, neither does our powerful Father in heaven. His Name and His Word does not fail. He redeems our innocent mistakes and frees us from the bondage of ignorance.
When we live with people who are reading, listening to, watching, and using things that go completely against the culture of heaven, we become vulnerable to the spirits that attach themselves to those things. Spirits of chaos, rebellion, fear, suicide, and depression feel at home in the dark places where idols are worshiped. If you’ve ever lived with or loved a person caught in the traps of addiction, you cannot argue that their “drug of choice” quickly becomes an idol in that person’s life; an idol that must be sacrificed to on a regular basis.
Here’s what I know: The enemy of our souls is always looking for access to us. Sometimes we unknowingly open doorways that allow evil into our space. Sometimes other people in our lives make us vulnerable to attack because of their activities. Either way, we do not need to be ignorant of his devices. The name of Jesus is a powerful weapon in a Christian’s arsenal. So is a trash bag and a burn barrel. We don’t have to live with darkness in our camp. We can Spring clean in a deeper way than ever before. Let’s ask God to reveal the doorways from the dark side that are open in our lives. Let’s take back that ground and live in freedom!