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-- © GodSpeak International 2001 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

Rodney Hogue <RodHogue@aol.com> http://www.restorationdepot.org
Teresa Seputis <ts@godspeak.net> http://www.godspeak.net
Editors: Teresa Seputis & Bob Hawley
Transcriber: Nichole Marshall

Prayer-School Course #17

Getting In God's Order

Lesson Eleven

God's Order and Enemy Strategies

By Teresa Seputis

We have spent nine lessons looking at God's order in our relationship with Him. We examined the overall picture so we can understand how we each fit into God's plans and purposes. We looked at how important it is to be in right relationship with each other and with authority. Then we examined what it means to put our finances under His Lordship. We saw that we need to have our personal life in God's order if we want to be effective in prayer. We saw that we must be under God's authority in our day-to-day lives to have His authority in intercession. The we discussed the concept of "holes in our armor" -- how we become vulnerable to enemy attack when we have portions of our life out of God's order.

If you are advancing God's kingdom -- if you are effective in prayer and intercession -- then the Devil considers you his personal enemy. And he will look for any little opening to get at you. He will look for legal right to attack you in some area. Our protection comes from living under God's order and in agreement with His principles. If we choose to step out of His order in some area, even in seemingly little things, we can give the enemy an inroad to counterattack us.

Two elements are involved in this. One element is that we have a place where we knowingly step out of God's order, even if it seems like a little thing or even if it seems justified by our own reasoning. The second element is that we actively participate with God in tearing down Satan's kingdom and advancing His kingdom. The two in conjunction make a bad combination, because we have just gone into battle with holes in our armor. And we are likely to get hit with one of the enemy's fiery darts.

I would like to share a very recent example of this from my own life. The first element in my life began on Monday, Sept 24. BART is San Francisco's equivalent of a subway. I had just purchased a $50 BART ticket that morning on my way into the city. On the return trip, there was a problem at the toll booth. It "double stamped" my ticket. I went to see the agent, but she refused to help me. She said that I was lying, that I had taken three trips on the ticket. She believed the system was incapable of double charging anyone. But I knew the value of the ticket that I'd just purchased and I knew that I'd been charged too much for a single round trip. The agent did not believe me. I had just been cheated out of $2.70 and I was angry about it. It seemed unfair to me.

The agent would not help me, so I decided to take matters into my own hands. I decided to treat myself to one free ride to make up for the fare that was "stolen" from me. People "cheat" BART all the time and I have seen them do it many times. There are ways to get in or out of certain stations without paying. I learned about them by watching others do it, but I had never used them before because I wanted to please and honor God in all I did. But since I had just been cheated out of a one-direction fare, I felt justified to do it to make up for the fare. In the back of my mind, I knew that I should leave these things in God's hands instead of trying to take care of them myself. But it was just a little thing, so I choose not to listen to those thoughts.

So on the way home Tuesday, I slipped into the San Francisco station through an unattended gate. I got on the train and seemed to be surrounded by particularly disagreeable people who would push and shove on the crowded train and then make snide comments about the people they felt were in their way. (Most of the time most BART riders are pretty civilized.) On this particular trip, I was pushed, shoved and snapped at by an inordinate number of people. I finally reached my station and exited the train with a sigh of relief.

The way to get off the platform without paying was to take the elevator. It was intended for people with baby carriages or luggage or those in wheelchairs, but people take it all the time. It lets you out just outside of the toll booths, so you have to backtrack to the toll booths to pay. There is nothing to prevent you from simply walking out of the station without paying, and that was what I intended to do just this one time.

As I waited for the elevator, a homeless looking man in a wheel chair came up. I smiled at him and said hello. He did not return my greeting. He appeared to be drunk and irrational. He told me that I could not use his elevator, that I should walk down the stairs. I offered to let him go first and I'd wait for the next one. He said he did not want to use it, he just did not want me to use it. He was rude and irrational and seemed so offended that I wanted to take the elevator. So I finally ignored him and got into the elevator. He pushed into it as well even though he had just said that he did not want to go down it. It is a very slow elevator and the ride takes about five minutes. He began ramming me with the wheel chair and also running over my foot and swearing at me until I had to physically restrain him by holding the handle of the chair so he could not ram me any more. Then he began screaming that I hadn't paid for my ticket and that I was a woman of God and that God's servants weren't allowed to cheat like that. I was shocked that he would know this, then I realized that I was dealing with a demon. Just then the elevator door opened and he rushed out of the elevator and out of the station.

I was stunned by what happened and realized that the enemy had felt he had a right to harass and attack me because I was doing something that was "slightly" out of God's will. I had felt justified because I had told myself that I was just getting back the money I'd been cheated out of. But I had stepped out of God's order in trying to "cheat" to get back what was stolen from me. The enemy knew it and he came after me.

About a week later, something happened that I had never seen in seven years of riding BART. The gates were all open due to some mechanical failure, and they let us go in without paying. I ended up legitimately getting a free ride after all. I felt like God had rubbed it in my face, and I promptly repented. Not long after that, it was time to buy a new BART ticket. The machine debited my credit card $50, but did not give me my ticket. I went to see the agent, who gave me some sort of form that I had to send in along with a copy of my credit card statement, proving I'd been charged $50. I sent the paperwork in and they called me to inform me that they were not going to credit back the $50. They said that it had been charged to my account but that the machine issued a refund (which did not show on my statement) a few minutes later. So I was out $50. The thought crossed my mind to take matters into my own hands again. But I had learned my lesson from last time and decided against that. (This was actually an important decision, because of a spiritual principle called "escalation." But I did not know about that principle at the time. I will explain it later on, but let me continue the story.)

I thought that this was the end of the BART story, but I was wrong. Remember how I said that there are two elements that compose this "bad combination?" On Wed, Oct. 17, element two came into play. I became involved in some serious spiritual warfare prayer and ministry. I wasn't planning to do this, but I unexpectedly ended up leading a GodSpeak online chatroom. There were 35-40 people there when God decided to do something unusual for the room. He decided to break some bondages and besetting things off of the people who were there. It was an unusually powerful session and many of us tangibly felt God's presence or experienced His touch; others felt spiritual things breaking off of us. God showed me a picture of glass being shattered and I knew that this ministry time had dealt a serious blow to the enemy. I could literally feel the power of God going forth as we did this authority prayer. I knew the enemy did not like what was happening, but I did not care. God had shown up and He was moving.

What I had forgotten was that I had this little hole in my armor from when I had taken things into my own hands with the BART fare mischarge. This gave the enemy an inroad against me. The next night I worked late and when I got back to BART station where my car was parked, my car had been broken into. I could tell something was wrong when I was way far away, because the hatch was up and the interior lights turned on. As I got close, I could see shattered glass everywhere, which sort of reminded me of the vision I had seen when doing that authority prayer. I knew the enemy was striking back at me because he was mad at me from the previous night's prayer time. I looked inside the car. Not only was my brand-new stereo missing, they had pulled off a big portion of the dash. And they had pried the hood partially open -- a piece of metal or plastic was sticking out from under it. It looked really bad. I went back to the station and had them call the police. I felt really shaken and wondered why the Lord had not protected me. Usually I have many awesome testimonies of His protection on me. But this time He had not protected me. And the police officer said that this was one of the worst cases of damage he'd seen for someone breaking in to steal the stereo.

It was after 11 p.m. by the time I finally got home. I felt shaken and did not feel like going to sleep. So I alternated between praying and watching late-night television. The Lord told me that it was not as bad as it seemed and that He would explain it to me in the morning. I finally got some sleep. The next morning, God was true to His word. He began to explain what had happened. I saw how I became vulnerable to enemy attack when I stepped out of God's order and tried to impose my own sense of order. God told me that He allowed me to go through this to teach me the principle. While it seemed shaking and unsettling to have my car robbed and vandalized, it was not really that bad or earth shattering of a thing. In fact, God compared it to a vaccine. When we get a vaccine, we get a watered-down version of the virus so we can build antibodies against it. I got a watered-down version of the enemy's strategy so I could experientially know that I needed to be in the center of God's order and how dangerous it is to wander out from it.

Shortly after that, things began to fall into place. My insurance agent called and 30 seconds after we hung up, the claims office called. They expedited getting my car to a repair shop AND it turned out I had rental car coverage and no deductible on comprehensive. In short, the insurance is taking care of most of the loss. So I could see God's signature on the situation. And the experience became merely an inconvenience and a sleepless night, but not a serious hardship. I learned a valuable lesson through this process that will prevent me from making more costly mistakes in the future.

Also, the Lord taught me the principle of escalation as He explained my experience to me. When the enemy wants to build a stronghold against us, he starts with some minor action against us. He would do something really big and major if he could, but we are covered and protected by God (see Psalm 91:9-16). So the most he can do against us is usually something relatively small. But he tries to choose an area that is emotionally charged for us, where he can goad us into an ungodly reaction. That is what happened to me. I was "cheated" out of a $2.70 BART fare and I hate to be cheated. So I reacted by taking matters into my own hands instead of letting God take care of me. My action seemed justified in my own eyes. I figured that I had already paid for that ride when I was mischarged, so I should use it. Then Satan does a bigger offense of the same nature against us. He sort of "ups the stakes," having gained authority from our previous response. In my case it was the $50 charge on my credit card. If we respond in an ungodly way again, this increases his authority to attack us in this area. So the next "reaction-evoking attack" will be even bigger, and on and on. The key to break this cycle is to repent and recommit doing things God's way. We have to choose to walk in God's order and trust Him to take care of us, instead of responding in sin to the enemy's provocation.

The bottom line is that intercessors need to stay in God's order or we make ourselves vulnerable to enemy attack.

-- © GodSpeak International 2001 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from copyright@godspeak.org --

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