I Am Blessed of God and You Can’t Reverse That!

As a young boy growing up in a Chinese culture, I was taught to always reject any negative word spoken against me, supernatural or not, with the Cantonese words, “Choy! Choy! Choy!” Up until today, I don’t even know what it means at all. It didn’t even occur to me to wonder if Christians should resort to such pronouncements … hey, as long as I was not cursed ūüôā

Many years later, as a growing Christian, I was told to say almost the same thing, except it sounded a lot more Christian … “I reject that in Jesus’ Name!” Not wanting to be cursed, I dutifully and diligently applied that teaching. For example, if someone would remark, “Don’t get caught in the rain. You will fall sick.”, I would immediately say, “I reject that in Jesus’ Name!” You may laugh at this silly example but I really believed I could be cursed with falling sick if I didn’t promptly and reject¬†that in the name of Jesus.

Thankfully, my understanding, conviction and position have all changed.

Gal 3:29 tells me that if I am in Christ (and I am!), I am Abraham’s seed and an heir according to the promise God made to him in Gen 12:1-3.¬† In that promise, blessings and curses are clearly mentioned. God told Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you.” It doesn’t take a scholar to decipher what this means at all. Whoever curses Abraham will be cursed! God didn’t ask Abraham to reject anything, or declare anything at all. Instead, God will do everything on Abraham’s behalf! As a faith descendent of Abraham,¬†this applies to me too.¬†How cool is that?!

The clearest account of this in operation is found in Numbers 22-25. The children of Israel (Abraham’s physical seed) was on the move and Balak was terrified that Moab would be defeated next. And so, the leaders of Moab and Midian contract a prophet,¬†Balaam, to curse Israel. Note what God says to Balaam in Num 22:12, “You shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.” Consequently, in Balaam’s first prophecy, he promptly declares in Num 23:8,¬†“How shall I curse whom God has not cursed? And how shall I denounce whom the Lord has not denounced?” In the second prophecy, he says in Num 23:10, “[God] has blessed, and I cannot reverse it.”

Israel didn’t even know what was going on! Balaam knew that he simply cannot reverse what God had already declared; he couldn’t undo God’s blessings! And if Balaam had cursed them, the Abrahamic Promise would kick in and he, and those whom he represented, would be cursed by God.

When I understood this spiritual dimension and promise, it was so very liberating. It didn’t matter what anyone said to me or about me anymore, whether in front of me or behind my back! In and through Jesus Christ, I have been blessed by God, an heir of the very same promise that God made to Abraham. I simply cannot be cursed by someone else! If anyone is crazy enough to try that, he brings a curse upon himself. If you don’t believe that, go ahead, try it and see if you are not cursed in¬†return¬†ūüôā

Now, although there is no need for me to religiously (or superstitiously) reject a curse, I must be careful not to accept one. To accept a curse is to believe to a degree of conviction that what has been pronounced over you¬†is true. For example, someone may say to you, “You are useless and will never amount to anything!” If you know who you are in Christ, let that remark pass. It means nothing at all for you know you are significant in Christ and will be used to God’s glory! God’s truth will prevail over the enemy’s lie. But if you consider it, agree with it, believe and receive it within your spirit, your faith in that declaration will yield its own negative fruit and consequence.

Now, this sounds really good, but I am also promptly reminded that I must watch what I say against another brother or sister in Christ or God’s chosen nation, Israel. The same principle applies. If I bless them, I am blessed. If I curse them, I am … yes, you guessed it … cursed. Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will ear its fruit.” Indeed, what I sow, I shall also reap.

With this, we understand why Jesus teaches us to love and to bless no matter how ridiculous that sounds or how difficult it might be. Especially with those within the household of faith, we must always seek to bless and not curse, regardless how we have been hurt or disappointed by them. We must remember that we are all blessed by God and heirs of the promise of Abraham! This is so critical and yet often so lacking in Christian relationship; marriages, in particular. How sad and devastating it is when a husband curses his wife, and the wife in turn curses her husband. No wonder that marriage dies!

Today, I rest in the assurance that I am hidden in Christ, that if God is for me, there is none who can stand against me. It is more profitable for me to meditate upon and appropriate the blessedness of my state in Christ than for me to listen to the lies and condemnations of the enemy, through his agents, and believe, even for a moment, that I might be cursed. Indeed, I bask in the confidence of God’s blessings, cover and protection. I can just hear Him warn my enemies as He did Balaam in Num 22:12, “You shall not curse Henson, for he is blessed.”

Out With The Ten Commandments?

I can understand when a preacher cautions against an over zealousness in the¬†keeping of the Law.¬† That tantamounts to an attainment of righteousness through works which can eventually end up either in self-righteousness or condemnation.¬† We are, after all,¬†no longer under the law, but are now under grace (Rom 6:14 – a favourite verse of extreme gracers).¬† As such, “we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not the oldness of the letter (Rom 7:6)”, “for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life (2 Cor 3:6)”.¬† I have no problems with this and would readily say a loud “amen”.

BUT for the same preacher to openly declare that when churches teach the Ten Commandments as a pulpit series, they are in effect, killing their congregations across the weeks ……. now, that I’ve got a huge problem with?!?!¬† It just doesn’t sit well with me at all.¬† Let me add that in support of his stand that the Law must now be done away with, he convincingly paints a picture that the Law is bad and ugly.¬† That’s not what the Bible says!¬† On the contrary, we are told that the Law¬† is holy, just and good (Rom 7:12).

Yes, the Law does bring death, but that’s because it brings an awareness of sin; and the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23).¬† Read in context, and with proper understanding, it is not the Law that kills, but sin.¬† Paul emphasises so clearly in Rom 7:7, “Is the law sin? Certainly not!”.¬† It is sin, taking advantage of the Law, that deceives me and by it kills me! (Rom 7:11)¬† Let’s get it straight once and for all … it is sin that is bad and ugly, and sin that kills.¬† Not the Law!

When Paul says that we have been delivered from the Law, what he means is that we have been delivered from the penalty of the Law.¬† This penalty or curse is operative when the righteous requirements of the Law are not completely and satisfactorily fulfilled.¬† Jesus came and died for that very purpose … to redeem us from the curse of the Law (Gal 3:13).

Does it mean I no longer need to keep the Law?  Well, yes, not in the Mosaic sense, on the outward according to the flesh.  But, no, for now, I need to keep another law Рthe Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, according to the Spirit, one that is inward but manifests itself outward through love, for the law is fulfilled in and through love (Gal 5:14; Rom 13:8-10).

Sounds nice.  But how do I know if my understanding of love is biblically-defined and not Hollywood-influenced or societally-driven?

Simple.¬† I read the Bible and see God’s righteousness requirements in and through His¬†commandments given to His chosen people … the Law*.¬† The key difference is that I now have the illumination and guidance of the Holy Spirit to teach and guide me into all this truth.¬† I don’t strive to keep the Law according to the flesh for I will fail time and time again.¬† Instead, I strive to live it according to the Spirit allowing Him to change me from the inside out, with the full assurance that when I do mess up (and that happens quite a lot), there is no condemnation in Christ for He has already paid the price for me at Calvary!¬† Not that I deserve it one bit, but because He has already made that provision … not just for me, but for everyone who would believe in His precious name.¬† That’s grace!

Let us recognise that the problem is not found in our contentions between law and grace.¬† Instead, it is found in our constant struggle between walking according to the Spirit and walking according to the flesh (that’s another topic for another article another time).

So, before anyone throws out the Ten Commandments and proceeds to rip out the entire Law from the Bible (since it’s no longer needed and makes for easier carrying to church and back), pause and think for a while.¬† Be a noble Berean (Acts 17:11); not just¬†receiving the word (any word!) with all readiness, but to also check out the Scriptures for a consistent and an accurate understanding, allowing the Holy Spirit to bring revelation and conviction.

*Think about this … the essence of the Law of Moses and the Law of the Spirit are one and same … they are both from God … holy, just and good!