Obedience is the requirement for not only staying clear of curses, but also for having God’s favor, blessing and provision. You will find out that it only takes four R's to break free and stay free from any curses in your life: recognize, repent, renounce, and resist.
It’s good to be with you again, as we continue with our theme for this week, “From Curse to Blessing.” I trust you have been finding it helpful.
But first, let me say “Thank you” to those of you who have been writing to me. Before I finish this talk, we’ll be giving you a mailing address to which you may write. Feel free to share with us your personal needs, your problems, your prayer requests. Each month our listeners write in to tell us of prayer requests that have been wonderfully answered.
Now, back to our theme, “From Curse to Blessing.”
Today I am going to explain in specific practical terms how you may pass from curse to blessing. But first, let me quickly go over some of the main points that I have covered in previous talks. First of all, let me remind you of the common indications that there may be a curse over your life.
First of all, in general, something like a dark shadow or an evil hand that seems to be stretched out over you from the past and somehow you never can fully escape from that dark shadow.
Then, specific indications, I listed seven. I will repeat them again quickly. They are so important:
First, mental or emotional breakdown.
Second, repeated or chronic sicknesses, especially if they are hereditary or without clear medical diagnosis.
Third, repeated miscarriages or related female problems or barrenness.
Fourth, the breakdown of marriage or family alienation in general.
Fifth, continuing financial insufficiency, especially where the income appears sufficient.
Sixth, being accident prone.
Seventh, a history of suicides or unnatural death in the family.
And then I also gave a number of common sources or causes of curses, remembering what the Bible says: a curse does not come without a cause. And I actually listed twelve such possible sources or causes of curses:
First and foremost, idolatry, false gods, the occult.
Second, dishonoring parents.
Third, illicit or unnatural sex.
Fourth, injustice to the weak or helpless. And the supreme example of that in our society today is deliberate abortion.
Fifth, trusting in the arm of flesh.
Sixth, stealing or perjury.
Seventh, being stingy with God financially.
Eighth, words spoken by persons with relational authority; such as parents, husbands, teachers, etc.
Ninth, self-imposed curses, curses which people pronounce upon themselves.
Tenth, words pronounced by persons representing Satan: witch doctors and so on.
Eleventh, soulish prayers, utterances, gossip, spoken in wrong attitudes.
Twelfth, unscriptural covenants—being united by covenant with people who are united with forces that are evil and alien to God. And I gave the specific example of Freemasonry.
Now I’m going to tell you today how to pass from curse to blessing. I am going to speak in clear simple practical terms and I want you to listen carefully. First of all, the basis of all deliverance from a curse is the sacrificial atonement of Jesus. This is stated very clearly in Galatians 3:13–14—the key verse for this whole theme.
“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus...” (NKJ)
There’s the transition from curse to blessing that’s made possible because on the cross Jesus was made a curse with the curse due to us that we might in return receive the blessing due to His sinless obedience. This is stated very generally in Isaiah 53:6:
“All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him [Jesus] the iniquity of us all.” (NKJ)
Where the word “iniquity” means not only rebellion but all the evil consequences of rebellion and one of those evil consequences is the curse that comes from not hearing and not obeying God’s voice.
Now, once you have met these conditions and claimed your deliverance, I want to remind you very emphatically that thereafter God still requires obedience. Let me remind you of the words of Moses in Deuteronomy 28:1–2:
“And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God.” (KJV)
Now, that is the ongoing condition. That’s the way we have to live. Once we have been delivered from the curse and entered into the blessing, to remain in the blessing, we have to meet those very simple, basic conditions—that we listen carefully to God’s voice and we do what He says. If we again turn away and refuse to hear God’s voice and refuse to obey Him, once again, we automatically expose ourselves to the curse.
“Now this requirement is not something specifically for keeping clear of curses. This requirement is the universal requirement for having God’s favor, having the light of His countenance upon us, living in His salvation, His blessing and His provision. Jesus said the same for all who want to follow Him and serve Him, as Christians and disciples. In John 10:27, He enunciated the same principle in very simple language. He said, ‘My sheep [that is, My true followers] hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.’” (NKJ).
What is the basic requirement for being a Christian? It’s not the church you attend; it’s not your denominational label. All those things are secondary. The primary requirement is: hearing the voice of Jesus and following Him. You see, this runs all through the Bible. “If thou shalt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God and do that which is right in His sight all these blessings will come upon thee.” “My sheep hear my voice and they follow Me.” You cannot escape from that basic requirement. What I can help you to do is come out from under the curse and commit you to the grace of God. Then you are responsible thereafter to live your life in such a way that you continue in the grace of God, you continue in His blessings.
Now, in order to come into the blessings and out from under the curse, we have to move from what I call the “legal” to the “experiential.” Jesus has already made the provision. That happened more than nineteen centuries ago. On the cross Jesus was made a curse so that we might receive the blessing. That’s already provided but we have to make it real in our personal experience.
This is true of every aspect of what Jesus did on the cross. He was punished that we might be forgiven. He was wounded that we might be healed. All that has been done. But in order to receive forgiveness, we have to do what God requires. In order to be healed we have to do what God requires. And so it is with this provision. Jesus was made a curse that we might receive the blessing. That’s done. That doesn’t have to be done again. But we have to appropriate this provision in our own personal lives—what I call “passing from the legal to the experiential.” And often, in order to do this in the case of curses, we need to ascertain the cause or the source of the curse. That’s why I have taken so much time in these talks to deal with the various possible causes or sources of curses.
Now, once we have identified the cause, the source, the point in time and in experience where we (or, in many cases, our ancestors or others associated with us) were exposed to the curse, then there are four things that we need to do and they all happen to begin in English with the letters “R-E.” So, I’ll make it easy. They are: recognize, repent, renounce, resist.
Recognize: We have to recognize our problem and its source.
Repent: We have to repent of whatever initially exposed us to the problem, whether it was our own sin or the sin of our ancestors.
Renounce: We have to say, “It no longer belongs to me. I don’t accept it. Through Jesus I have the right to be free from it. It’s not my problem any longer.” And then,
Resist: We have to take a very definite active sand against the power of Satan.
Let me say those four words again: Recognize, Repent, Renounce, Resist.
Let me give you this Scripture from James 4:7 about resisting the devil. It’s one of the things the Bible tells us we have to do. “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (NKJ). Notice the order. What is the first thing we have to do? Submit to God. Then, when we have done that, we can resist the devil and the Bible says he will flee from us. Do you believe that? I tell you, I believe it for two reasons: first of all, because the Bible says it; and second, because I have proved it in my own experience. When I’m submitted to God and on the basis of Scripture, I resist the devil, he will flee from me.
Now, in order to make this happen in our experience, we need to pray a prayer which fulfills God’s requirements. I am going to close my talk for today because our time is up but I’ll be back with you again tomorrow at this same time. Tomorrow I am going to share with you the precise form of prayer that you will need to pray, so please, whatever you do, tune in again tomorrow because I am going to put in your hand the key that will open your jail and let you out.