If you’ve ever had the flu, then you know what it feels like to be hit with a virus. Most viruses take hold quickly. One minute you feel fine, the next… not-so-fine. Then your muscles ache and you begin to get dizzy. Someone – maybe your mother, friend, or spouse – touches your forehead, quickly pulling their hand back as if burned. You find yourself in bed, sucking down the Advil and praying for time to pass quickly.
Evil has the same effect.
Humor me for a minute while we talk about the physical structure of a virus. All viruses have two main parts: the genome (either DNA or RNA) and the capsid, which is the protein coating around the virus. Some viruses also have an extra membrane layer called an envelope. The proteins in the capsid (and sometimes the envelope) attach the virus to specific host cells, and interact with the host so that the genetic material has time and resources to replicate.
It’s a two-punch system. The virus protein layer first binds to the host cells – attacking them, if you will. Then the virus releases its genetic material into the host cell, and uses the host to multiply.
Without a host, the virus eventually dies. The influenza virus, for example, only survives a few minutes on dry, inanimate objects without a host. However, moisture increases the survival time. Think about this next time you hear someone sneeze: a single sneeze can effectively disperse up to 20,000 virus-laden aerosol droplets, and these droplets can then infect an entire room with influenza for hours.
Two-punch system. Must have a host. Needs moisture.
Evil spirits work the same way.
“When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid (dry) places seeking rest and does not find it.” Matthew 12:43
(This is the first post in a series. Stay tuned…)