What is a curse? I am not referring to filthy or coarse language as the modern culture defines “cursing”. The Biblical definition of a curse is to “speak down” about a thing or person, and also the Biblical definition of bless is to “speak well” about a thing or person. So with this understanding of what it means to bless and to curse, we realize that most people invoke curses far more often than what is generally thought.
Now we have been studying this month about the authority of the believer in Christ and also about the power of the words that we speak. Today we are going to move beyond our own words and we are going to examine what the Bible says concerning the words that others – including the enemy – tries to speak into our lives, and how in Christ Jesus, we are safe and secure from such attacks.
As we begin our study today, we must start by addressing a common question that often comes up with the study of this type: “Why is this important?”
There are some believers who feel that ignoring the enemy is actually the highest form of resistance, and I have heard that taught from the church pulpit as well. It sounds good, however, if it were true, then many Biblical figures –including Jesus– were in error, because when Jesus was confronted by the enemy, Jesus didn’t ignore the enemy; He used His authority properly and put the enemy squarely in defeat. This is what so many believers today are lacking… a proper understanding and application of their authority over the enemy in Christ, and that includes freedom from curses as well, which is what we are studying today.
To be clear, when I say “don’t ignore the enemy” I am not advocating a hyper-sensitivity, or a fear of the enemy. I am absolutely not saying that we should live in worry or trepidation of the enemy – seeing the devil around every corner, or attributing more to him than what he has.
What I am saying, is that we as believers in Christ, with our God-given authority should stop allowing the enemy to encroach on our territory. We should stop letting him walk all over us, and we should actually be on the offensive against him rather than the defensive. So many times, we float through life waiting for the enemy to attack us, and when he does, we moan and groan, and beg God to do something and we complain to Him when He Himself has delegated His authority to us. This is precisely why it is so vital for us to understand our place and position of authority over the enemy in Christ today. Because the poverty mindset that so many believers have today towards God has robbed them of stepping into their inheritance in Him and the enemy has been walking over us as one would walk over a carpet, and it’s time for it to stop.
Once, many years ago, I was talking to a genuine wizard, an occult practitioner. And I did not know back then what I am sharing with you today about freedom from curses. The short story is this: the person did not like what I was saying, and he told me with absolute certainty that he was going to place a curse on me that night. I didn’t think much of it, because people say things all the time when they are angry, and within a few hours I had totally forgotten that he even made the threat. Now I want you to really understand this point, I was ignoring the enemy. I didn’t even remember that the threat was made! I was not fearful, nor was I dwelling on it, because I was completely oblivious at that point.
Later that same night however, I had a very sudden onset of an severe headache, this was unusual, and for the first few hours I did not realize what was causing it. I took medication, laid down, tried a cool compress – did everything in the natural to try and make the pain subside, but nothing was helping. Then, I remembered the conversation I had with the wizard. Please understand that I was not strong with the LORD back then, to be perfectly honest I was not even very close to Him, but I knew one thing… that if I called on the name of Jesus, this supernatural attack would have to stop. So I prayed that Jesus would help me… a very simple prayer, and the pain went away.
Now I am well aware that this account goes against what many people think today, that unless you are close with God you cannot call on Him for help, but in truth that idea has no scriptural foundation at all. Most of the people who called on God in the Bible did not even know Him! Yet He still helped them. The man who was blind from birth in John chapter 9, after he was healed by Jesus stated that he does not know whether Jesus is a sinner or not, but Jesus healed him as a free gift. So if you are under the false impression today that before you reach out to God for assistance in a particular area that you must first strive for it by living better or “getting closer to Him” first, please throw that idea away. In-fact, the way that you get closer to Jesus is by receiving more of His love and surrendering more and more to Him, letting Him lift you out of the dirt – not by your own strength.
I said all this first, because as we proceed with our study, there will come resistance from you own mind, and by thoughts from the enemy that as you are hearing the Word of God regarding curses today, these thoughts from the enemy will try to disqualify you, and your own human mind will want to entertain those thoughts, saying “Yes, but that doesn’t apply because…” and if you do not bring those thoughts into the captivity of the obedience of Christ as 2nd Corinthians 10:5 says, then you will argue yourself right out of the freedom of Christ, and sacrifice yourself on the altar of human intelligence.
So let’s read Proverbs 26:1-3:
“As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honor is not seemly for a fool.
As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.
A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back.”
It is interesting to note that verse 2 is sandwiched in-between two verses warning against the fool. As it says in Proverbs 14:1, “the fool has said in his heart, ‘there is no God.’”, and right in the middle of two verses warning about dishonor and a rod on the back of the fool, is verse 2. Verse 2 is a wonderful promise for everyone who is in Christ Jesus today:
Just as the sparrow that wanders, and the swallow that flies back and forth, neither of them reach the destination, so to too will a curse without a reason not reach its target.
There is some confusion in the one word causeless, because I have heard believer’s say “Yes, the curse will not come without cause, but when we sin, we give cause to the curse!” This is actually the predominant viewpoint on this verse of scripture. However this idea totally neglects the finished work of Christ… God is not judging us today based on our performance, He is judging us today based on Jesus’ performance (Philippians 3:8-9). This is the foundation of the matter and indeed everything else as well. We cannot earn any blessing, but in Christ we have them all. And so too with this verse here, Christ is the reason why this verse is a promise to us and not a burden, because in Christ Jesus, there is never a cause for cursing. Jesus Himself cannot be cursed and therefore since we are in Him, we also can not be cursed.
Now if we stopped right here, it would be enough, but wait, there’s even more! Turn with me to Numbers 23:21-23:
“He has not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither has he seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.
God brought them out of Egypt; he has as it were the strength of an unicorn.
Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel: according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What has God worked!”
This is the Biblical account of the words which the LORD put into Balaam’s mouth when Balak the king of Moab had hired Balaam to curse Israel. Notice that in verse 21, Balaam says that God has not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither has He seen perverseness in Israel. I find this fascinating because we know full well just from reading the history of Israel in the Bible, that Israel committed much iniquity and sin, however God did not see it – they were covered by their blood sacrifices.
Then in verse 23, we see that without any doubt, Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel. This is not just wishful thinking here, this is absolute certainty. There is no enchantment, no divination, nothing against God’s people.
Now they had the blood of bulls and goats, which did not remove their sin, but only covered their sins for a single year. We have the eternal Spotless Lamb, Jesus Christ who has shed His Divine Blood once and for all.
You might say, “But James, are you absolutely sure that nothing can get through?” Look at verse 20, which says:
“Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he has blessed; and I cannot reverse it.”
In Christ Jesus today, you are blessed and no-one can reverse it!
Now in verses 25 to the end of the chapter, Balak still has not learned what Balaam has told him, and so he begs Balaam to try it yet again. As Balak brings Balaam to another high place, we continue in chapter 24 and we see in verse 2 something very interesting. Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; and the Spirit of God came on him. And if you take the time to study the encampments of the Israelite tribes, what you find is that they plan-out in the shape of a cross with the tabernacle in the center. This is what Balaam saw, and this is what caused the Spirit of God to come upon him… Jesus was the overall focus, and the real reason for the protection.
Today, you and I have the substance of Jesus while they only had the type and shadow of Him, how much more is this protection from curses true for us today who abide in Christ Jesus! Don’t settle for less when God gave the best. You might be thinking “Sure, but I sinned today, multiple times!” So did Israel! Remember, they committed many sins, but as long as the sacrifices were being offered, their sins were covered. Jesus Christ as both our eternal high priest and our eternal sacrifice has done a complete and finished work which not only covers our sins but removes them completely! (Hebrews 6:20, 7:27-28)
You might also say “Yes, but this was just for Israel.” Friend, don’t you know that when you received Christ, being born again that not only were you grafted into Israel (Romans 11:24), but you are born into God’s royal family (Galatians 3:26) and even made one with Him (John 17:22-23)
So don’t let anyone or anything disqualify you from the blessing and truth that Jesus has qualified you for. It is entirely possible for you t live free from all curse in Christ Jesus today.