BLESSINGS & CURSES
13. THE NATURE OF BLESSINGS & CURSES
“A curse could be likened to a long, evil arm stretched out from the past. It rests upon you with a dark, oppressive force that inhibits the full expression of your personality. You never feel completely free to be yourself. You sense that you have potential within you that is never fully developed. You always expect more of yourself than you are able to achieve. The inner citadel of human personality has been breached by invading hostile forces.”
There is one and only one all-sufficient basis for every provision of God's mercy: The Exchange that took place on the cross.
Jesus was punished that we might be forgiven.
Jesus was wounded that we might be healed.
Jesus was made sin with our sinfulness, that we might become righteous with his righteousness.
Jesus died our death that we might share his life.
Jesus became poor with our poverty, that we might become rich with his riches.
Jesus bore our shame, that we might share his glory.
Jesus endured our rejection, that we might have his acceptance as children of God.
Jesus became a curse that we might receive a blessing.
This list is not complete. There are other aspects of the exchange that could be added. But all of them are different facets of the provision God has made through the sacrifice of Jesus. The Bible sums them up in one grand, all inclusive word: Salvation. Christians often limit salvation to the experience of having one's sins forgiven and being born again. Wonderful though this is, however, it is only the first part of the total salvation revealed in the New Testament.
In the original Greek text of the New Testament, the verb "sozo," normally translated "to save," is also used in a variety of ways that go beyond the forgiven of sins. It is used for instance, in many cases of people being physically healed. It is also used of a person being delivered from demons, and of a dead person being brought back to life. In the case of Lazarus, it is used of recovering from a fatal illness. In 2 Timothy 4:18, Paul uses the same word to describe God's ongoing preservation and protection from evil, which will extend throughout his life.
The total outworking of salvation includes every part of man's being. It is beautifully summed up in Paul's prayer in 1 Thessalonians 5:23: "Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and my your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." Salvation includes the total human personality: spirit, soul, and body. It is normal to progress by stages from one provision to the next. Many Christians never go beyond receiving the forgiveness their sins. They are not aware of the many other provision that are freely available to them.
When we come to God on the basis of Christ's sacrifice for us, we need to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. We cannot impose our priorities upon God, but we must let him work with us in the order he choses. A person may for instance be determined to seek financial prosperity, whereas God's first priority for him is righteousness. If he stubbornly insists on claiming prosperity before righteousness, he may not receive either. Again a person may seek physical healing, not knowing that the root of his physical sickness is an inner emotional problem, such as rejection or grief or insecurity. In response, God will move to bring the emotional healing that is needed. If the person does not open himself up to this however, but continues to beg merely for physical healing, he may in the end receive no healing at all, either physical or emotional. Sometimes God seeks to reveal to us a provision of salvation that is our most urgent need.
FOLLOWUP & ACTIVATION
Loved spending time with you guys last night. As we're studying the Biblical basis for blessings & curses and wrapping our heads around how the spirit world functions, let's be sure to spend all the more time pressing into the Secret Place with God. Knowledge is good, but authority comes from intimacy. You could have zero "official" deliverance training, and still cast out demons if you're tight with Jesus. Signs will follow those who believe.
Every person's situation is unique, so we have to rely on direct revelation from the Holy Spirit rather than methods, knowledge, and educated guesses. Intimacy trumps head-knowledge any day.
We'll get the most out of these chapters if we really take time to lay our hearts open to God, asking the Spirit to reveal everything that has given the enemy access into our lives. If you're really serious about cleansing your temple and fully ending the enemy's patterns and bondages at this time in your life, consider taking this process quite seriously and possibly doing a fast as you seek his voice. It is sooo powerful when you hear directly from the Spirit of God and follow it up with real repentance and obedience.
(Side note: Make sure you don't fast from a place of fear, pressure, or works, and don't be afraid to start small. Even a simple fast will help put the flesh in its place under the spirit. I did a Daniel fast for 5 days. God isn't going to reward you for punishing yourself. Fasting is about teaching your flesh that the spirit-man is in control, and making space to hear God's voice. It should feel like a workout that you are willingly choosing, not a punishment inflicted upon you. If you are prone to striving or self-reliance, it might be better NOT to fast. In that case, God probably wants you to learn how to rest!)
One other thought - don't stress out about hearing God's voice. Just make space and turn off distractions. Spend time in worship, or in silence. That's your part. It's really as simple as that. He will speak; he's fully capable of that. Tell him what you want to be free from, and ask him to instruct you.
If you're still hungry:
Worship songs for deliverance: