I was out elk hunting on a nice, warm, sunny day. My gun was probably ten feet away from me, lying on the ground, because I was not paying attention to the elk. I was just having a good time talking with the Lord! I was enjoying the sunshine on that nice fall day in the rugged mountains of the Gila Wilderness near the Arizona-New Mexico border. Untouched by human hands, God had made the beauty that surrounded me. I could feel His presence there. At that point, in my ministry I was seeing great results when I broke curses, but I didn’t really understand a lot of things. I started talking with God about the issue of curses, where they come from, and what they are.
“Well,” He said, “a curse that’s causeless cannot land. However, if you’re in disobedience, that’s when you’re open to being cursed.” He stated that basically to stay away from being cursed you have to always obey. He asked me if I had ever met a Christian who always obeyed. “No, I have not,” I said, “especially me!”
He pointed out to me some buzzards that were circling. They had been circling for about an hour out over the canyon in front of me, in the air currents. Then He said, “That’s the way curses are. They’ll hang around for a long time waiting for a chance to come in.” He said, “Eventually they’ve got to go back to where they came from, if they can’t come in.”
Later, I found this verse in Proverbs that states this principle:
(Proverbs 26:2) As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.
A few days later, I had a vision. In this vision, I saw a big wall between mankind and evil. As I looked, I could see evil spirits constantly coming and going through the wall. When I looked closer, I saw that the doors all had locks on them. I knew that those locks were God’s protection. So, how did the spirits keep coming and going? I looked even closer and saw that the evil spirits each had a key that let them through!
So I asked God, “Why do these evil spirits have keys?” He answered, “The keys are curses that give the spirits legal authority to come in. There are many kinds of keys: some are inherited—or generational—curses, some are self-imposed, others have to do with behavior, when people disobey the words I have given them.”
If you don’t want the evil spirits to have authority in your life, you have to make sure any curses on you have been broken. A curse can’t land on you unless it has a cause. Fear and sin are basically the two main causes, which take the blessings out of your life. Sin definitely does that! When God says in the Bible to do something and you say, “Well, I don’t feel like doing it, I’m not going to do it,” you have left yourself open to sin which results in getting cursed. God will not let Satan cause us harm unless we leave a legal opening. The devil is a “legal beagle” (a legalistic being) and if you leave a legal opening for him to hit you, he will surely use it. It would be illegal to curse you without a cause. God would smash his head right in and the day will come for that!
People can’t understand why curses land and why they get them. Our society has come to the point where we have made sin so acceptable that we say, “I’m sorry,” on the run and do not really repent. Repentance means to turn away and change our actions. True repentance and confession of sin will allow God to protect us completely.
One other important point is that we’re not to be so curse-centered that we don’t see the blessings of God. We’re not to be curse crusaders! That’s not what God wants. He does not want us to be so curse-conscious that we don’t enjoy our fellowship with Him and don’t permit Him to have closeness with us.
But we have to realize that if we leave an opening for curses to come in, they are going to come in. We need to say, “Hey, I don’t want the curses. I want to be rid of them.” That’s why 1 John 1:9 is so very important, because “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Disobedience is a sin, so, by confession, you take away the key and the devil has no authority in that area of your life.
A CURSE MUST BE REPLACED WITH A BLESSING
When I returned from working in the Ukraine, my back was literally up against the wall. I didn’t know where to go, but as I pursued an understanding of the subject of curses and how to get rid of them, the Lord started turning things around very quickly. In place of the curses, blessings from the Lord began to flow to us. Many people encouraged me to teach what I was learning out of the Word of God. So I said, “OK,” and thought I would teach it once.
From the very beginning, I realized that this subject of turning curses into blessings was going to be hard to teach because there is so much in the Bible about it. So, instead of just waiting around until I had exhausted all research on the subject, I put myself on the spot by setting a date. Then I really did have to be ready!
I remember the day before I was going to teach, I was up on the mountain with a friend praying and asking the Lord for His help. A voice behind us said, “Whenever you remove a curse, be sure to replace it with a blessing.” We both turned around at the same time and there was nobody there. We had no doubt who had spoken. We both heard the voice!
I needed to document this in the Word of God before I could teach it, and I didn’t have time to search scripture to prove it, but God is so gracious! A friend called me that night and said, “Carl, since you’ve been studying this stuff about curses, you need to look at this scripture. It says that God will turn your curses into blessings.” Here is the verse that sets the foundation for the class and is the cornerstone of this book:
(Deuteronomy 23:5) “But the LORD thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the LORD thy God loved thee.”
This is where we hit a milestone on the journey in understanding. This is the biggest and probably the most misunderstood principle that God has taught us about this subject. Not only do we need to get rid of the curses, but also we need to put blessings in their place. The best thing about it all is that the blessings work much stronger and last much longer than do the curses!
Too many people get offended when I mention that a lot of their problems could be the result of curses. They’ll say, “Oh, I don’t have anything to do with curses! That’s witchcraft and sorcery and I never touch that stuff. Besides, I don’t have any enemies that would want to curse me.” But the strangest thing is that when people who are Christians get mad at me, they quote the verse:
(Galatians 3:13) Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.
They say that no curses could have any power because we are born again. Don’t they read the Bible? Jesus paid the price on the cross for our complete redemption, which includes being free from curses, but just as with everything else He made available, we have to claim it in our lives.
If you’re sick, what’s the first thing you do? You start finding out everything you can about what’s happening in your body—whether you go to a doctor, a specialist, read about it in books and magazines or talk to people who have the same symptoms. Some people even go on the Internet to find out what’s wrong. If you think you have measles, or pneumonia or cancer, and a doctor confirms it, even if you don’t like that sickness, you’re happy to have a diagnosis that will get you going in some direction for treatment and, hopefully, for a cure.
If bad things were happening to you, wouldn’t you want to know why—even if it was a curse like the one put on the Ukrainian fellow I mentioned in Chapter One? He knew he was cursed, because he was from a place where that sort of thing was openly known and talked about. His problem was that he got cursed twice by trying to get someone to go against whoever cursed him. He should have gone to God first, but he was glad to hear there was a solution to his problems—that God cared enough for him to offer him one. That’s why it is so important to understand what a curse is. That was the next thing that God unfolded to me in my studies in the Scripture.
What is a Curse?
A curse starts with an utterance. It is something that is said out of the mouth, whether a prayer, a word, an oath, an expression, or a pronouncement. The following are some dictionary definitions of a curse:
Britannica World Encyclopedia: An imprecation of evil, any profane oath; calamity invoked or threatened.
Webster’s Dictionary: A prayer that harm or injury may come upon someone; a word or an expression used in cursing or swearing;
American Heritage Dictionary: An appeal to a supernatural power for evil or injury to befall someone or something. To invoke evil, calamity or injury upon; to damn.
Wherever we see a lack of blessings, there is definitely a curse. A curse is intended to do evil to someone. It starts with an utterance—just as a blessing does. Blessings and curses both start with utterances, and the words are very powerful. God framed the world with words. When He wanted light, He didn’t build a power company, He spoke words, “Let there be light!” That light included all that we experience here on earth: color, life, and energy. Words have great authority. Negative words give Satan the authority to operate against us to steal, kill, and destroy, as in the case of Job. God acts upon our positive words to bring us a blessed life. That’s why we have to be really careful about what we say. When they are in trouble, many people make their problems worse by saying, “Oh, Lord! I’m suffering! I can’t take much more!” They are actually dumping curses on themselves (self-imposed curses) because of what they are saying. God’s instruction is to pray His answer to the problem and to confess the promises of His Word.
Whether a curse is intentional, put on you by someone else or by yourself, it always starts with words. Satan himself can’t curse you—he can only use words spoken out to bring on a curse. If a person says he can’t do something and keeps saying it, he never gets it done. If children are told that they are stupid many times and that is repeated to them over and over, they spend their whole life being stupid, even though they are actually very intelligent. Telling someone they are stupid is a curse because of the power of the words spoken against them. The power of the utterance is something that will go on and on throughout that person’s life. Those evil words entrench themselves into his or her mind and get even more embedded into their personality, unless something is done about it.
We will see in the next few chapters what God says about curses. But right now, let us look at the definition of what is a blessing. It is much more important to know the blessings He has for us if we believe Him and are obedient. He says in Jeremiah 29:11 that “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Too many times, it looks like bad things happen to us totally unexpectedly, but God wants to show us how to expect blessings. He is awesome! He wants to pour out His blessings to us in every category.
What is a Blessing?
A blessing also starts with an utterance. It is to speak well of or to praise God. You can bless God by your life, by loving Him and obeying Him. When we praise God, we are blessing Him; we speak blessings to God and to Jesus! Here are some dictionary definitions of a blessing:
Britannica World Encyclopedia: That which makes happy or prosperous; a gift of divine favor; a benediction; grateful adoration; worship.
Webster’s Dictionary: The act of one that blesses; approval; a thing conducive to happiness or welfare; grace said at a meal.
American Heritage Dictionary: An expression or utterance of good wishes; anything promoting or contributing to happiness, well-being or prosperity.
God also has blessings toward man. Some of His blessings are His goodness and promises and favor and mercy. We all need God’s blessings. God’s mercy is a blessing. Eternal life is a blessing that we have no idea how to comprehend. About a million years from now, we’re going to scratch our heads and say, “You know, this is a good deal!”
Because blessings start with words, when we speak the blessings of God to a person in the name of Jesus Christ, those things are imparted into their lives. When we speak blessings into a person’s life, these blessings have much more authority and power than do curses. When we tell our children, “You are a blessing,” “You are wonderful,” and “God brought you as a blessing to our family,” we are setting them up for happiness and prosperity in their adult lives. So many times kids are told that they were brought into the world as an accident and other things like that. There are even parents who tell their children, “I don’t love you,” or “You’ll never amount to much,” which causes them to spend their whole life living under the curse of those words.
Putting blessings into the marriage of a young couple is a very common thing. I won’t officiate at a wedding unless I get a chance to get rid of the curses first, so love can have authority in that marriage. That’s one of my requirements. Whenever I perform a wedding, I must be allowed to get rid of the curses. Just because two people love each other so much that they can’t keep their hands off each other, can’t say good night or think about anything else besides the handsome dude or the doll they are in love with, does not mean their marriage will go well.
As soon as they get married, the devil enforces the “one flesh” principle, which God says that when we marry we become one. The devil attacks the marriage right away and before very long, the lovers can’t stand each other. How? Why can he do that? Because they have each lived with their own curses all their lives. Each one was used to his or her own curses; but now they have their partner’s curses too. Because they are one flesh, the curses get exchanged between them. If these things are broken and the couple is liberated from their own curses without picking up each other’s curses, then you can talk about this union coming together and being powerful. A marriage that starts with the blessings of God can be a great example and blessing to the Body of Christ.