Imagine a narrow winding pathway, stretching off into the distance. The sides of the pathway are steep and slippery. On one side of the path is a bog, on the other a desert, from either of which it is most evidently difficult to escape, should you find yourself in them.
The morass to the one side is ruled by powers hostile to God, which demand a definite and increasing control in the lives of those who live there. These powers have agendas to which they demand allegiance. These agendas are promoted through human institutions and systems.