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One of the strategies that the enemy will use against intercessors is to try and get us to disqualify ourselves. No one can take an intercessor out of commission (e.g., make them ineffective) more quickly and powerfully than that intercessor himself/herself. The enemy knows this and he wants to try and talk intercessors out of "stepping up" to their place of intercession. He tries to focus them on their failures, their inadequacies, etc. to convince them that they have no right to be praying or interceding because they are too much of a mess.
One of his favorite strategies is to bombard them for weeks (sometimes for months) with temptation in an area of weakness ... until they finally succumb briefly to it. Then, with glee, condemnation and disqualification set in, trying to convince the intercessor that they can no longer intercede because they have "fallen" into this sin. The enemy takes a magnifying glass and focuses it on the person's weaknesses, faults and insecurities. The enemy diverts their attention from God and His greatness and His love, mercy and forgiveness to their own faults. Things begin to look bleak, hopeless. And the intercessor is so focused on their failure that they forget the truth.
The strategy to overcome this type of attack is to let God's light shine into the darkness that the failure and enemy attention has created. Yes, child of God, you sinned, you made a mistake or you blew it. Ok, you know you are human and dependent on God's grace. Now get up, run back to God. Apply the blood of Jesus and receive your forgiveness. God is not a liar. He said that if you confess your sins, He would forgive you and make you clean and righteous again in 1 John 1:9. Let's look at the text: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Did you think that applied to everyone but you? Are you somehow disqualified from God's promise of forgiveness and restoration because you are an intercessor? Do you need to be separated from God for a season? Do you need to be punished for a period of time before you can be restored? Guess what? If you are hearing and of these type of things, these are not from God and them are not true. These things are the voice of your adversary, the voice of condemnation and disqualification whispering into your ear to try and get you to disqualify yourself. This is a strategy of the enemy against you to try and neutralize your prayers by getting you to stop praying.
But there is good news. Look at Romans 8:1-3. "1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering."
This means that condemnation and disqualification are already defeated by the blood of Jesus! They have no power over you!
(Please note that I am not talking about those who use the blood of Jesus as an excuse to keep sinning, to do whatever they like. They occasionally repent to be "right with God incase they die," so that they can go back and sin again. If you are living like that, you have no interest in God's Lordship in your life, and I am not talking to you in this lesson. In fact, I have a Scripture for anyone who thinks they can sin however they want and go through a formality of repenting later to keep their "eternal life insurance policy" active. Look at Romans 6:1-4, which says, "1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.")
However, the vast majority of intercessors do not fall into the "Let's keep on sinning because there is grace" category. Rather they are men and women of God who love God and desire to live holy before Him. From time to time they fall, make a mistake or blow it. Then the enemy tries to come in with condemnation and get the intercessor to disqualify himself or herself. This is a very common strategy the enemy uses against intercessors. I have fallen prey to it many times, through I am getting much faster at recognizing and combating this strategy.
Let me share a somewhat recent example with you. My husband, Ed, and I have a fairly good relationship. We do not fight very often. But one time, about a week before our 11th wedding anniversary, we got into a real bad argument and both said terribly hurtful things to each other. We both said things designed to make the other feel bad. Well, a few hours later it was time for my regular evening devotions, but I felt too dirty to get into God's presence. So I stayed up all night watching TV in an attempt to avoid God. I finally fell asleep on the living room sofa with the TV still going. The next morning I woke up late and rushed to work, not having time for morning devotions with God. I was lonely that day because God was not in my day with me. Shame and condemnation had a field day with me.
By that evening, I knew I could not avoid God any longer. I knew I'd blown it and was not looking forward to what God might have to say to me. But I was determined to come to Him. I did not care what His terms and conditions were, I was willing to meet them because I wanted to be right with Him again! I sat down and told Him so, repenting for my behavior in the argument with Ed and also repenting for avoiding Him. Within minutes, He told me to get a paper and pencil and start writing, because He wanted to talk to me. (God frequently does this with me -- when He wants to speak to me, He tells me to "start writing" and He speaks to me as I write.)
This is what God said to me. It is very private, and I would not normally share something like this. But I feel that He wants me to share it with you, so that you can be encouraged and know of His goodness and grace in this type of situation:
Welcome daughter, come into My presence. You should not have allowed the incident to push you away from it. Now come back to Me and find My blessings.. for they are surely upon you.
Now, Teresa, who moved? Did I pull away from you or did you pull away from me? (I did, Lord.)
Well, guess what? If I want to withdraw My presence from you for a season, I can certainly do it on My own... I don't need your help! Sweetheart, don't decided to withdraw your presence from Me, it is not good for you. It causes you unnecessary pain and suffering. It is not My way. Never punish yourself by deciding you are too dirty to come to Me. Instead come to Me and let Me wash and clean you. Let Me shine My light on you and dispel any darkness. Let Me shower you in My truth. Teresa, I am much safer to run to when you feel dirty than it is safe to run away from Me. You cannot survive apart from Me, don't even consider it. If I wanted you separated, I would separate you. This is a season of intimacy, so run to Me no matter how dirty you feel. Have I not told you over and over that I am safe? Yes, I am a safe place. Will I not forgive you freely?
Yes, daughter, I am a safe place and My arms are wide open to embrace you.
So, child of God, if shame or condemnation is trying to get you to disqualify yourself, run to God. Embrace His truth and light and His forgiveness. Let Him reinstate you as only He can do. Run to Him!