MPGC31- THE CURSE HAS BEEN CANCELLED - Part 1
In the remaining studies we will look at how Jesus reversed the negative effects of the Fall. "For the cross is God's complete answer to the fall, but also His chosen weapon for dealing with its effects in the human race." Jessie Penn Lewis
The cross represents the entire plan of God to give man back what he lost and restore him to the original creation. This plan of restoration was implemented apart from us having any say about it. It was done for us. It began with an event in history which we studied in detail in part 1 of this course.
Now, we start our part in the plan. Jesus said, "It is finished." He has finished all that needed to be done for our restoration to be possible. Now it's time we appropriate it for ourselves. Let's look at the first piece of good news!
The Curse Has Been Cancelled -Part 1
Curses & Blessing
Day 1-If you are like me (at the start of my study on this topic) you are thinking "what curse"? Isn't that something done in medieval times? It certainly sounds ominous and spooky. But the Bible makes clear that there are invisible forces at work for better or worse. How does it identify these forces?
Day 2- At the cross Jesus defeated Satan and his kingdom.
Galatians 1:4 / Colossians 2:15
Satan can never undo this defeat. But his strategy now is to keep Christians from realizing what was accomplished at the cross. He knows that if we lose our vision of the cross we no longer have the foundation for God's total provision for us.
THE GALATIANS AND WHAT CAN HAPPEN TO US
Day 3- The Galatians were contemporary, Spirit-filled Christians and yet Paul says they were "bewitched" -- or had an evil spell on them.
Day 4- They had started their Christian lives with the right foundation but as time evolved they had changed this foundation. God's simple requirements for us to be made right with him is found in these verse of Romans.
This is called justification or "just as if I'd never sinned".
Day 5- The Galatians had accepted their justification (right standing with God) by faith in what Christ had done for them but then (perhaps in their zeal for perfection) started to add requirements for being perfected.
This is why Paul accused them of following a "different gospel". Reread
God's provision to restore man is based on what Christ has done on the cross PERIOD! It is Christ alone who is our foundation.
NOTE: The Galatians had become legalistic and there are two definitions of what this can mean. First, it can be seeking to achieve righteousness by keeping a set of rules (which God has forbidden forever). Secondly, legalism can also be adding requirements for righteousness to what God has stated in his word.
Day 6- In their enthusiasm for perfection the Galatians had not only become legalistic but they had become carnal and it manifested itself in some very ugly ways. Make a list of them.
THE CURSE OF THE LAW
Day 7- What had the Galatians fallen under in being both carnal and legalistic?
This is the fate for all who follow the "gospel of good works" instead of the gospel of Christ.
Once they had decided to start keeping the law they had to commit to keeping the WHOLE law or else come under a curse.
Many Christians today who claim to be free from the Law of Moses have only substituted their own rules and regulations to be followed. But if God's law couldn't perfect us, how do we think our own rules can do so?
Day 8- According to Paul, it is impossible to keep the entire law. If God gave us the law but knew that we could never keep it then what purpose did it serve?
Romans 3:19-20 / Romans 7:7 / Galatians 3:24
Remember when you were in school and the teachers said you couldn't talk or whisper to those around you? What did that rule make you want to do? If you're like me, it made you want to talk and whisper! And so the law was given to show us that we clearly want to do what WE want to do even if it goes against what God wants.
Day 9- If we can't keep the entire law, then the curses outlined in these verses will become inevitable for those who say they know Him but still follow the "gospel of good works". Make a list of them as you read.
Leviticus 26:14-39 / Deuteronomy 28:15-45
These verses clearly describe what it means to live under the curse of the law.
Day 10- What is the alternative to keeping the law?
Habakkuk 2:4 / Romans 1:17 / Galatians 3:11
We either live by trying to be good enough in ourselves or we live by faith. It's one way or the other. If we choose to try and be acceptable to God by keeping the law, what is sure to be our master AND have dominion over us?
Day 11- The same alternative is expressed in a different way in:
First we are delivered from the law. Then we can serve in the newness of the Spirit. We can't do "B" until we have experienced "A".
Bible teacher Derek Prince uses an illustration that helps us to see what this means. Let's say we are taking a long trip. We can either take a map (the law) or we can have a personal guide (the Holy Spirit).
So far no one following the map of the law has been able to arrive at their destination of righteousness. Millions have tried and failed. Millions keep trying and fail. The statistics are against us. But the Holy Spirit knows the way to God. He doesn't need a map -- he made the map!
Day 12- Who has rescued us from the curse of the law?
And how do all who believe receive the Holy Spirit?
In other words every curse that might have come on us (because we couldn't keep the law) came on Jesus instead. In reverse, all the blessings that were due for Jesus (because He COULD keep the law) were made available to all who believe.
Jesus was made a curse for us so that we might receive "the blessing of Abraham" (Galatians 3:14). And how was Abraham blessed?
The phrase used in this verse "in every way" covers every area of life!
Remember that the Law and the Spirit can never be mixed. We must make a definite decision that we will no longer rely on a set of rules to make us righteous. Instead let's make a decision to let the Holy Spirit lead us because He will never lead us wrong!
There are two ways to achieve righteousness:
|-by law||-by faith|
|-by our own effort to keep rules||-by the Holy Spirit leading us|
|-we struggle||-we yield to Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit leading us from within|
|-there is no need for Jesus because we are the ones working||-In doing this Jesus becomes my righteousness, my wisdom, my holiness and my redemption|
CURSES AND BLESSING
Day 13- Curses and blessing are essentially words -- written, spoken or thought -- that are charged with supernatural authority and power. What kind of power do these words have?
Proverbs 11:9a / 12:18 / 15:4 / 18:21 / James 3:5-6, 9-10
Words can change people radically for good or for evil and they can continue for generations until something is done to terminate them.
Day 14- Why should this concern us? We may have problems in our life that may date back to a previous generation and we don't even know it. Here is one example:
"A curse can 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. " Derek Prince
While most Christians should be enjoying blessings they are often enduring curses. They don't know how to discern a curse and if they are under one how to be released.
Day 15- God is the supreme and only source of blessings that are poured forth through many channels. Curses also proceed from God but He is not the sole source. Curses that proceed from God are his main way to bring judgment on those who are rebellious, unbelieving and ungodly. Notice in these verses the two sides of God.
Romans 1:17-18 / Romans 11:22
Day 16- There is a reason behind every curse and wherever a curse is at work there is a cause for it.
Day 17- What are the conditions for enjoying God's blessings?
John 10:27 / Deuteronomy 28:1-2
This refusal to listen and obey is called REBELLION and it's not against man but against God.
Day 18- Take the time to read the blessings we will have for obedience to God.
They can be summed up in exaltation, health, fruitfulness, prosperity, victory, and God's favor.
Day 19- Reread the curses that could be ours if we choose to walk in independence and rebellion of God.
Deuteronomy 28: 16-68
These curses might be summed up in humiliation, barrenness, unfruitful, mental and physical sickness, family breakdown, poverty, defeat, oppression, failure and God's disfavor.
Day 20- Derek Prince in his book "Blessing and Curses -- You Can Choose" suggests that there are seven indications of a curse based on these verses in Deuteronomy 28. Here they are:
1. Mental or emotional breakdown
The heart, soul and mind of man is affected by hostile forces leaving confusion, despair and depression.
2. Chronic sickness -- especially that which is hereditary.
Deuteronomy 28: 21-22,27-28,59-61
Every form of sickness isn't the direct result of a curse. But if you read these verses you'll see words like plague, wasting diseases, incurable, madness, panic. All indicate evil forces are at work. Something being hereditary is the most typical mark of a curse at work.
3. Barrenness, a tendency to miscarry or other related female problems.
4. Breakdown of marriage, family alienation, children alienated from parents.
NOTE: Malachi 4:5-6 gives a picture of the world before this age closes. It depicts an evil force at work in alienating families. Yet it leaves us with a remedy.
5- Financial insufficiency -- always struggling and never enough
Deuteronomy 28: 47-48
The sum description of these verses could easily be abject poverty. Poverty is a curse. Some Christians talk of it as a blessing but it is not and the Bible never suggests that God inflicts poverty as a blessing. This verse sums up God's provisions for Christians.
2 Corinthians 9:8
Poverty is not having enough to do God's will in your life. Abundance is having all you need to do God's will PLUS something left over to give to others.
6- Being unnaturally "accident prone".
It seems like a malicious force is working against such people. Statements such as, "I don't know what made me do that" suggests a person is aware that his actions are not under his own control.
7- A history of suicides, unnatural and untimely deaths.
People affected by this curse have a strong sense of foreboding that something evil and dark is ahead. They express a kind of negative faith that embraces death rather than life. For example, "I know I'll never live to see that day."
WHAT CAUSES A CURSE? - Disobedience to God
In curses that proceed from God, He uses them to bring judgment on the rebellious and ungodly. The main cause of these curses is a failure to hear God's voice and do what He says -- i.e. disobedience.
Day 21- What are some of the main forms of disobedience that provoke a curse from God?
God is the one true God and we are to have no other Gods before Him.
We are to see God through what He has made and not to create our own likenesses of God where we present offerings and worship it.
The curse that comes from the breaking of these first two commandments continues from generation to generation.
Day 22- This act of turning to false gods is "spiritual adultery".
The sins of turning to false gods often lead to a wider range of practices described as "occult" (hidden or covered over).
Day 23- Man craves knowledge and power. If he becomes dissatisfied by what he can get through natural means he will turn eventually to supernatural forces. There are only two sources for supernatural knowledge -- God or Satan. If it isn't proceeding from God then it is from Satan. Once a man goes to Satan to satisfy his cravings for knowledge and power, then Satan is able to take him captive to his will.
2 Timothy 2:26
And this in turn keeps us slaves to him and sin.
John 8:34 / Romans 6:16
This is Satan's ultimate goal for his victims.
1 Peter 5:8
Day 24- The occult has many forms of deception and practices but here are three main forms:
1. Witchcraft -- it's driving force is to control people and circumstances. It uses manipulation, intimidation and domination. Man attempts to gain his own ends without submitting to God. The root cause of witchcraft is rebellion.
1 Samuel 15:22-23
Saul had rebelled against God in not obeying Him completely and came to a very sad ending.
1 Chronicles 10:13-14
Notice who was behind Saul's death. (verse 14)
2- Divination -- fortune telling is the most common form of the occult. It offers knowledge that can't be obtained by natural means. But is it reliable advice?
What command are we given regarding fortune tellers?
Notice again WHO will be against a man or woman seeking a fortune teller.
3- Sorcery -- This operates through material objects -- such as drugs, music, books, rings, crystals, lucky signs and zodiac charms. Chanting and incantation are techniques of sorcery. God sums up in these verses what He thinks of all forms of the occult.
Notice how firm Paul dealt with a sorcerer that was trying to keep the word of God from taking hold in the governor's heart.
Acts 13: 6 -11
Notice again WHO was behind the man's tragic blindness (verse 11)
Day 25- The Bible, God's word, is the standard for what is TRUE. Anything that departs from it is FALSE. So that man would have no mistake about what was true, what did God do?
And what did this "word that became flesh" refer to himself as?
Therefore if we know the Lord Jesus, have his Spirit within us, and read the Bible, we are less likely to operate in ignorance regarding the things of the occult. There are many that "live under the shadow" of a curse because they have turned away to false gods at some point in time (even without fully realizing it). If they do not recognize the true nature of what they have done that "shadow" or curse can be around for generations. Ignorance will not absolve us from our sins but it may dispose God to show us mercy if we repent and turn to Him.
Day 26- The primary form of disobedience that provokes God's curse is found in Exodus 20:3-5 but there are a number of secondary forms of disobedience mentioned in Deuteronomy 27: 15-26. Here is a summary of the conduct that may incur a curse:
1- Acknowledging and worshiping false gods.
2- Disrespect for parents
Note: It is possible to honor and maintain respect for our parents even without agreeing with them in everything.
Notice that when we obey and honor our parents according to the fourth commandment we receive an extra blessing from God!
3- All forms of oppression and injustice especially when directed against the weak and helpless.
4- All forms of illicit and unnatural sex.
5- All forms of disobedience to the law.
WHAT CAUSES A CURSE - Anti semitism
Day 27- In these verses for today we see another cause for a curse. Abraham received from God a number of blessings that were to extend through successive generations of the Jewish people and finally to all people on earth. But notice the curse tucked into verse 3.
The attitude of those who hate or curse the Jewish people is called antisemitism and often it has come from the church itself.
WHAT CAUSES A CURSE - Carnality
Day 28- Jeremiah writes about another curse that may hit many of us close to home.
The person described in this verse has received the grace of God but then has turned his back on God to live in his own strength and power. He/she has gone back to relying on his own natural abilities (what the Bible calls "the flesh"). Why is it serious whenever a Christian turns back to walking in the flesh (called carnality) after he has walked in the Spirit for a time?
Romans 8:7-8,13 / Galatians 5:17, 19-21 / 1 John 2:16
WHAT CAUSES A CURSE - Apostasy
Day 29- Apostasy occurs when a Christian people -- like the Galatians -- abandon their previous loyalties. This is another way a curse can come upon us.
Galatians 1: 6-9
And it's why Paul asked these people, "Who has bewitched or cast a spell over you?"
Day 30- The abandonment of the central truths of the gospel is rampant throughout the church today. But it was happening even in the early decades of the church. In John's writings we see more reasons for apostasy.
A. No real love of Jesus
B. Holding onto false teaching
Revelations 2: 14-15
C. Toleration of false prophets and teachers
Revelations 2: 20-23
D. Legalism -- seeking to achieve righteousness by keeping a set of rules. OR, adding requirements for obtaining righteousness NOT in the gospel. It always produces deadness.
E. Apathy and Indifference
Could this be a large part of the church's lack of power today?
Day 31- What is the central tenant of the gospel?
1 Corinthians 15:3-4
The cross of Christ leading to his death and resurrection must be the central theme heard in our churches for by it we are freed from sin's bondage (its hold on us) and by it we are reconciled to God. Sadly, we are warned that in the last times there will be widespread apostasy.
1 Timothy 4:1-2 / 2 Timothy 4:3-4 / 2 Peter 3:17
But Jesus Christ speaking through John shows us how to find our way back.
Revelations 2:5a, 16a, 25 / Revelations 3: 2-3, 19b
MORE CAUSES FOR CURSES - Theft, Swearing Falsely and Robbing God
Day 32- Zechariah received a vision from God of a curse that God was sending out over the land. Who was it directed to?
Verse 4 gives us a good picture of how a curse works once admitted into our lives. Unless we repent and receive God's mercy, the curse will work havoc in our lives until we are destroyed by it. The word "house" in Hebrew is not only the structure but the people in it. Therefore it extends beyond us to our family.
Day 33- I'm sure there were many hearing Zechariah that did not feel that they were thieves or swearing falsely (perjury) but God sees what man is blind to. He saw very religious people who were robbing Him! How?
Because they were putting their welfare before God's, their lives were actually manifesting a curse without them even realizing it. What was happening to them?
Haggai 1: 5-11
If these things sound familiar it's because our own generation is filled with restless cravings that are never satisfied. The curse is one of insufficiency -- never having enough.
Day 34- Malachi was another prophet God sent to Israel (and to us). God is accusing his people of three things.
Malachi 3: 6-8, 13
The people had a wrong attitude towards God resulting in disobedience and specifically they were robbing God!
God provides two ways for them to come out from the curse they are under.
Malachi 3: 7b, 10
With true repentance and restitution, God would reverse the curse upon them and bless them instead.
Day 35- In the New Testament God never established a 10% tithe law. We now operate under the covenant of grace with the Holy Spirit working from within us rather than laws forced on us from the outside. The standards of grace are much higher than the law, for the Holy Spirit is very generous. What is our standard today?
2 Corinthians 9:6-7
If we give as the Holy Spirit directs, the result can be summed up in one word -- sufficiency.
2 Corinthians 9:8
The same is true today as in Old Testament times. Stinginess towards God and man provokes a curse but generosity provides blessing or satisfaction in every way.
2 Corinthians 9: 9-11
MORE CAUSES FOR CURSES - Words From Authority Figures
Day 36- Sadly, we may be experiencing a curse in our life because of the words spoken by an authority figure over us -- maybe a husband, or dad or teacher. It may sound like this:
"You'll never amount to anything."
"I'm sick of the way you keep our house. You're a disaster!"
"There's no use working with you. You don't have the brains to learn this. You'll always be a mediocre student."
These harsh words are backed by demonic pressure and they can penetrate a life like a barbed, poisonous arrow. Once words are spoken there is no way to recall them. Many a person has lived life feeling frustrated and hopeless. They often go through their days facing a constant, invisible resistance. The only solution for this is to recognize that a curse has been spoken and then to seek God to revoke it.
If you have experienced such a curse from a person who should have been blessing you what are you to do in return?
Luke 6:28 / Romans 12:14
Why and how can we do such a hard thing?
Galatians 3: 13
It's only through Jesus Christ having released us from the curse of the law that we can bless and pray for those who have cursed us.
MORE CAUSES FOR CURSES - Self Imposed Curses
Day 37- Do you know you might be cursing yourself without realizing it? Words are like boomerangs -- i.e. they come back on us. That is why Jesus gave us such a solemn warning about the danger of words carelessly spoken.
Matthew 12: 36-37
Here is an example from scripture that we all know about Peter.
Mark 14: 66-72
(Notice especially verse 71)
Day 38- Three days later the angels told the women, "Go tell His disciples AND Peter." Peter may have been singled out for two reasons. He had forfeited his standing as a disciple by his words and the Lord graciously wanted to reopen the way for Peter to regain his standing. For with each denial Peter made (the wrong confession) he needed to revoke his previous denials with a right confession. That is why Jesus asks Peter in these verses "Do you love me" three times.
This scene of Jesus dealing with Peter also sets a pattern for how we can be released from a bad confession. It wasn't good enough that Peter broke down and wept (Mark 14:72). He needed to :
B. Revoke or cancel his wrong words of denial
C. Replace the wrong confession with the right one.
These steps taken in faith can release us from our own curses. Here is what a self-imposed curse might sound like:
"Nothing ever goes right for me."
"They'll never buy what I have to sell."
"I give up!"
"This day is off to a bad start."
"I feel a cold coming on me. "
"It'll probably rain for our picnic."
"I can't seem to do anything right."
Day 39- Self imposed curses are serious. Here is one that the Jewish people put on themselves and their descendants.
Matthew 27:20-26 (especially verse 25)
Within one generation the Roman armies had destroyed Jerusalem. They either killed or sold into slavery the entire population. For 19 centuries bloodshed and tragedy has followed the Jewish people.
We need to be alert to our wrong forms of speech so we can replace them with the right. It all starts with what we think about.
Day 40- If we do not think right we will not talk right. We may unconsciously be inviting evil spirits to take over. The spirit of death is a common one. It produces a sense in us that life is meaningless and hopeless so that death becomes our focus. Jesus warned us that Satan is a murderer and a liar.
Day 41- We can also put a curse on ourselves when we made pledges and oaths required for admission to a fraternity, sorority or secret society. Our covenant with them can be associated with a ring that symbolizes this covenant. We do best today to follow God's instructions to the Israelites regarding the nations of Canaan.
Day 42- If we already have made a covenant, pledge or vow binding us to an evil association then there is advice for us.
How can we "free ourselves" (verse 5)? Make a verbal renunciation of your association and then get rid of any books, rings and emblems associated with it.
CHOOSING TO BECOME A SERVANT OF SATAN
Day 43- "Satan" means "adversary" or "one who opposes". He was cast out of Heaven along with other rebellious angels and now rules over a spiritual kingdom of evil, rebellious angels and lesser evil spirits called "demons". His goal is to bring the entire human race away from God by means of deception.
According to this verse who does Satan particularly work through?
"The sons of disobedience" are those who refuse to obey God which is the great majority of mankind.
Day 44- But there are some who have deliberately opened themselves up to Satan in a pursuit of power, gain and information (even though they may not be aware of Satan's true identity). Such person may hold a title: witch doctor, fortune teller, medicine man, shaman, wizard, priest and priestess. Curses are one of the main weapons a "servant of Satan" uses against the people of God. In this historical account we read of Balaam who was a witch doctor and commanded a high fee for his services. God saw that his curses might be a serious threat to Israel and so He intervened supernaturally. Although the account is long I suggest you read the whole thing.
Numbers 22:1 -- 24:25
Day 45- Curses and the magical arts are still a familiar part of life in Asia, Africa, Central and South America. But it is also used in the Western world as well. We must be very clear that God condemns false prophets and sorcerers.
Ezekiel 13: 8-9, 17-23
Day 46- Servants of Jesus Christ are the main targets for satanic curses and other occult practices. If a Christian walks in obedience to God and is in harmony with others then they can know that divine protection will be theirs.
2 Chronicles 16:9 / Psalm 34:7 / Psalm 91:4 / Psalm 125:2
We are not defenseless against the evil that may surround us. By staying close to Christ at all times we can be assured of his protection.
John 10:28 / Romans 8:38-39
SOULISH TALK TO MAN AND GOD
Day 47- The word soulish is the activity of a man's soul (mind, will and emotions) when it is not in proper relationship to his spirit. At the time of the fall, man's soul began to operate independently of his spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:14-15
A person may be a professing Christian but operating in the flesh rather than by the direction of his spirit. The results of carnal or soulish living are not pretty. These verses are a description of such a person.
Day 48- The root problem for such a person is rebellion -- some form of disobedience to God. The result is that the person's spirit is cut off from God and they are left living on the plane of this earth with a lower form of wisdom. Because his/her soul is out of harmony with God's they are exposed to demonic influences so that their wisdom, while appearing to be spiritual, is actually demonic. We can see in these verses the three descending levels of wisdom expressed by a soulish Christian.
James 3: 14-15 (especially verses 15)
2. Unspiritual (or soulish)
3. Demonic (or "of the devil)
The words we speak reflect what's in our heart. What is the major indication of a soulish Christian?
Day 49- What is one way of speech that Christians often fall into?
1 Timothy 5:13
What does a gossiper do?
Proverbs 11:13 / Proverbs 20:19
Why are words of gossip so poisonous?
They often lead to another common sin of the tongue.
Proverbs 17:19 / Proverbs 26:21 / Proverbs 29:22
But when gossip stops notice how quarreling and contention stop with it.
Day 50- Christians who speak about others, especially fellow believers, are disobedient to God's word.
Titus 3:2 / James 4:11
They would not think about their words as being curses but that is what they are. Without realizing it they become channels through which demonic forces are targeted against a person. Reread:
Day 51 - When we criticize other believers we are disobeying God and therefore have a rebellious attitude towards Him. From the word "judge" in these verses come our English words critic and criticize.
This practice of criticizing and judging exposes us to wisdom that is earthly, soulish and demonic as spoken of in:
Day 52- If we are in disagreement with another person we should use the pattern that Paul used with Peter.
Notice the words "to his face". Paul talked with Peter directly about what he thought was wrong.
Day 53- If we disobey God's word because we are gossiping, criticizing and slandering others then we also cannot fulfill our responsibility as Paul writes in these verses and we further compound our disobedience.
1 Timothy 2:1-2
All prayer is not good and acceptable to God. We can't be accusing others and at the same time lifting them up to God. It's usually the faults of others that motivate us to pray for them. Once we begin accusing (in word or prayer) we join the ranks of the great accuser.
Prayers of this nature are like a curse to a fellow believer and often bring an invisible pressure to them rather than relief.
SPIRITUAL PRAYER VS. SOULISH PRAYER
Day 54- Stop all this soulish talk and prayer and start praying as Paul did for his fellow believers. First we see that his heart towards those he prayed for had good intended for them. He consistently asked that two things would flow to them. In all these verses he asks for the same two things.
1 Corinthians 1:3 / 2 Corinthians 1:2 / Galatians 1:3 / Ephesians 1:2 / Ephesians 6:23-24 / Philippians 1:3 / Colossians 1:2 /
1 Thessalonians 1:1 / 2 Thessalonians 1:2 / 1 Timothy 1:2 / 2 Timothy 1:2 / Titus 1:4
Second, from a heart that really loved his brothers and sisters, Paul spoke words of thanksgiving for them before he prayed anything else. Here are some examples.
Romans 1:8 / 1 Corinthians 1:4 / Ephesians 1:16 / Philippians 1:3 / Colossians 1:2 / 1 Thessalonians 1:2 /
2 Thessalonians 1:3 / 2 Timothy 1:3
Third, Paul proclaimed for other believers what he knew was true in the Lord. As you read these verses list what Paul proclaimed.
1 Corinthians 1: 5-9 / Ephesians 1:3-14
Day 55- Paul wasn't naive about the believers he was writing to. He knew that they had all kinds of problems both from the outside and from the inside. But, instead of "praying the problem" Paul "prayed the solution."
Ephesians 1: 17-23
Paul knew that if the Ephesian brothers and sisters had the spirit of wisdom and insight, if their hearts could be flooded with light so that they could understand the greatness of God's power, then they would be able to deal with any problem that came their way.
Here is another example of "praying the solution" for the Philippians believers.
He knew that if they grew in love, knowledge, and understanding of the things of Christ, then they too would be able to deal with the problems coming their way and in the end live pure and blameless lives.
Day 56- Finally, Paul encourages and reassures his fellow believers in his prayers for them. Put yourself in the church at Thessalonica for a moment and sense the encouragement they must have felt after hearing Paul praying for them.
1 Thessalonians 1:4-10
NOTE: These prayers of Paul are recorded for us so that we can pray spiritual prayers for others, NOT soulish prayers. A soulish prayer leaves another believer with a spiritual "heaviness". They may begin to feel inadequate, unworthy, or guilty all because a misguided Christian is accusing them before God. The feeling of guilt can especially be a sign that soulish prayers are in operation which is really like a curse to us.
Here is an example of a soulish prayer:
"O Lord, Jim is heading in the wrong direction with his life. He talks like his non-Christian friends and has started to do things that are questionable. Sometimes he skips church to "sleep in". He is often at odds with his wife and they don't talk with one another without arguing. Convict Jim of his sins so he'll see that his words and actions are not like Christ. Let him stumble and fall down if that is what is needed to wake him up. Amen."
We have laid out all the problems as we see it -- just in case God doesn't know. We have made a judgment as to Jim's actions, why he sometimes misses church and the fact that he argues with his wife --- all without knowing the heart of the matter. Then we have called down the conviction of the Holy Spirit upon him just in case the Holy Spirit has forgotten that to convict men of their sin is one of his main roles. Then we actually curse Jim in praying that he would fall so that he'd wake up! It's a prayer that shows the height of our arrogance and can do nothing for Jim's spirit.
In contrast here is how Paul might have prayed for Jim:
"Lord Jesus, I bring Jim to mind and ask that your grace and peace would flow to his life. I thank you for my brother and his firm commitment to walk with you through his life. You love Jim and want to be a partner with him in all the things you have called him to do. I ask that his faith and love for you would be stirred up so that Jim would yearn for a deeper relationship with you. Amen."
If Jim starts yearning for a deeper relationship with his Lord then probably he will not want to skip fellowship with other believers and certainly will see that arguing with his wife is not pleasing to His Lord. Do you see that this type of praying for Jim prays the true solution for his life rather than cursing it with our judgments and condemnation.
From this study you can see that curses are still a part of life for many -- both nonbelievers and believers. If you have recognized ways in which a curse has been at work in your life then it's time to walk free of it because as the title of this study suggests -- the curse has been cancelled! Let's continue our study on this topic in "The Curse Has Been Cancelled - Part 2".
Next Study: MPGC#32