As I slide my key into the lock of my office door, I reached over and grabbed the handful of notes waiting for me in my message box.
It was Tuesday, my first day back in the office after the weekend. The day I deal with church business, check with the treasurer to see how the finances are, and do most of my appointments with people for the week.
I took my days appointment schedule from the handful of notes and laid it out on the desk. As I ran my finger over the list of the names I would see for the day, I subsequently stopped at #3 and moaned out loud–half to myself and the other half to the Lord when I saw the name. I knew exactly what I would be dealing with when they came in.
“Oh, God,” I said out loud, “I don’t have time for this today.”
I knew what our discussion would be about. Not by the Spirit of God or the Gift of Prophesy, but by personal experience. Several years of listening to the same old story over and over.
Oh, there would be some variations–different name and different dates, but the same problem. It would be one of three areas:
#1 personal relations–fighting with someone, or someone offending them.
#2 Emotional crashes–I’m no good, nobody loves me.
#3 Physical sickness or accidents that never seem to go away.
Of course these are always tied together with the lack of money.
Standing there, I was reminded of what Dick Joyce told our church some years ago. He said: “Prophets (speaking of himself) don’t make good pastors, because they would put all of the people with problems against the wall and shoot them.”
Today, I caught myself wishing I could find “Dick’s gun”. Why is it that the church has the amount of “high maintenance” people that it has?
If the Name of Jesus is so powerful, the cross so real, and the “Word works”, why do we have so many repeaters? One more time around the mountain of trouble and we’re hoping and praying that something changes–but it never seems to change! This led me to meditate this past week on how we can reach this hurting generation and turn their curse into a blessing.
The most powerful revelation that a child of God can carry in their spirit is that their heavenly Father loves them. This is the greatest reason that He will help us! The scripture tells us in Deut. 23:5 that the reason God turned Baalim’s curse on the children of Israel into a blessing was because He loved them.
First of all it is important that we identify the curse. What is it in my life that could be considered a curse?
How about being accident prone? Always hurting myself.
Or the plans that I make always seem to turn sour.
Is there something wrong in my relationship ability if I can’t keep a friend more than six months, or I keep changing churches because I can’t get along with people. Would repeated depressions or a “high anxiety” be a blessing or a curse?
When Jesus said in John 10:10 that He came to give life more abundantly, that is a wonderful description of a blessing–abundance: something that increases.
If that be true then the opposite of that would be a curse. But, why the curse? Where did it come from? How can it maintain power over my life? Solomon said in Pro. 26:2 that the cause didn’t come without a reason. And in Ecc. 10:8 he tells us that, “He who breaks through a hedge will be bitten by a serpent.”
In Solomon’s day much of the fencing system that would decide the boundary of fields would be hedges that were planted forming a solid wall. Over time birds and spiders would make nests in them and that would attract snakes up in the hedge. If a traveler tried to break through the hedge, instead of going through the appropriate gate, he would invariably be bitten.
The point of truth is that as long as we stay within the boundary of God’s Laws and go through the designed entrances, we will not be bitten by the serpent. In other words, the curse will not come our way.
#1 way a curse may come to the Christians: Disobedience to God’s commands will open us up to Satan’s ability to bring a curse in our life.
#2 Jesus tells of two sons in Matt. 21:28. One son said he would not work in his father’s field but later repented and did. The other son said he would, yet did not.
Jesus said the one who obeyed and went into the field did the will of the father. So it’s not just “lip service”, but action and obedience that puts us in line for protection and blessing.
James says (1:22) it is the doer of the Word, and not the one who only listens, that receives the blessing.
Jesus said it is the man who hears My saying and does them that builds his house on the Rock. (Luke 6:48)
Then the number one way to open ourselves up for the curse, is disobedience to the will of God in our life. Perhaps, not so much doing the wrong thing, but in many cases, doing nothing.
The most common sin in the church: Of the many clear commands and guidelines that Christ gives the church, none is more important nor more widely abused is that of right relationship among the Brethren.
The reason that murder and having hatred in your heart for your brother is on the same level is because they are both a broken command-a disobedience to God’s law.
In Jer 34:17 there is a shocking statement by God spoken to Israel: “Behold I proclaim liberty to you says the Lord–to the sword, to pestilence and to famine! And I will deliver you to trouble among all the kingdoms of the earth.”
Why would a loving God speak a curse on His own children such as this? Notice the first word in verse 17: “therefore”; in other words God is saying, what I have just explained to you–because of that this is what you get.
What was the problem? The command was that no Hebrew should take another Hebrew for a slave and if they had one they were to let them go. This they did willingly, only to change their mind and bring them back into bondage.
I am convinced that this is that greatest sin that the church commits. God has commanded us to forgive others as we have been forgiven. (Luke 11:4) This we do, until something else comes along and we put them back under bondage by our attitude of unforgiveness.
This is what Jesus meant in Matt. 18: When Peter ask how often do we forgive our brother–7 times. (He thought he was really thinking big) No, Jesus said, 490 times. In other words–just keep on forgiving!
Then Jesus tells of the man whom the King forgives 10 million dollars worth of debt. Soon after that the forgiven man turned around and through his debtor, a man who owed him $20, in prison.
What was the result? The King who had forgiven this gigantic sum of 10 million dollars took this unworthy servant and put him in a tormentor’s prison. That sounds like the curse to me–how about you?
This is exactly where much of the church ends up when they allow bitterness, unforgiveness and critical feeling to prevail among the body of Christ. Because of this the curse is working in the church instead of the blessing.
Remember the scriptures tell us that with the same measure that you measure out–it will be measured back to you. (Matt. 7:2)
What is the answer? The answer is always repentance and obedience to the commands that God set forth in scripture. I Peter 4:8: Love covers a multitude of sins. Pro. 10:12: Love covers all sin. Luke 6:37: Judge not and you shall not be judged–condemned and you shall not be condemned. Forgive and you shall be forgiven.
I am convinced the key to national and world wide revival is a heart change in the church and repentance is obedience of God’s children toward one another. It is never too late to repent and be obedient to God’s will.
Remember in Matt 21: The son who said he wouldn’t work in the field, repented and did the work and was blessed because of it.
I would encourage you as you read this exhortation, to allow the Holy Spirit to illuminate any area of your life that might be under a curse and then ask God for the key to release: Repentance? Obedience? Forgiveness?
Let the Lord turn your curse into a blessing. He will do this for you because He loves you.
Freedom at Last