Derek Prince - Curses Can Be A Barrier To God's Blessing
What I’m going to do now is explain to you the nature of curses and blessings. These are two major themes of Scripture. I think the word bless in various forms occurs about 600 times in the Bible. And the word curse probably nearly half that number of times. But I have learned by experience that most of God’s people are not really familiar with the nature of curses and blessings. I believe it’s the purpose of God that through the redemption in Christ we should be released from curses and enjoy the blessings. But wherever I travel I find many of God’s people who are enduring curses who are enduring curses when they should be enjoying blessings.
One main reason is they don’t know how to recognize what’s a curse and what’s a blessing. The second reason is that even if they recognize it they may not know how to be released from the curse and entered into the blessing. So let me begin by offering you a simple definition of blessings and curses. Both of them are vehicles of supernatural power. It’s very important to understand we’re not dealing with something that’s purely natural. It goes beyond the natural. They are vehicles of supernatural power for good if they’re blessings, for evil if they’re curses.
And one characteristic feature of them is that very frequently they’ll continue on from generation to generation. Often until somebody knows how to cut them off if they’re curses. The result of that is that many people (and some of you are here tonight) are enduring in your life consequences of things that may have taken place many generations ago. And you have to trace your problem to its source and take the appropriate action in order to be released. Now, the vehicles of blessings and curses are usually words. They may be words that are spoken, words that are written or simply words that are pronounced inwardly. However, both curses and blessings can be transferred or transmitted by objects, by physical objects.
So it is not always just a question of words. To take a very simple example: In the communion that we celebrate as Christians, Paul says the cup of blessing which we bless is it not the communion of the body of Christ? So, through that cup, which is a physical object with the wine in it, God transmits to us a blessing. In the Old Testament there were various examples of curses transmitted by objects. But particularly under the Law of Moses, if a woman was accused of being unfaithful to her husband there was a specific test. The priest would take her to the tabernacle, write out a curse and then wash off the words of the curse, the ink, into a cup of water. And the woman would be compelled to drink the water and pronounce the curse upon herself. If she was innocent nothing would happen to her. Her husband would never be free to accuse her again.
But if she was guilty there would be disastrous physical consequences in her body. I merely give that as an example of a curse transmitted by something that is physical. In that case, a cup of water. Now, I have come into this truth by personal experience. I hardly ever preach on anything that is mere abstract theory. Nearly everything that I’ve ever taught has been related in some way to things that have happened in my life. This is particularly true of this message.
I want to give you three personal incidents that gradually alerted me. I didn’t come into this just in one moment; it was a gradual process of unfolding truth. And I think God supervised my education by permitting me to have certain experiences and deal with certain cases that opened my eyes to these things. Going back to the end of the 1960s when I was living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with my first wife Lydia, I had inherited from my maternal grandfather various Chinese pieces of art and culture. The way that came about, just as a matter of history, is that my grandfather who was an officer in the British Army was the officer commanding an expeditionary force that the British government sent to China in 1904 to suppress in 1904 to suppress what was known as the Boxer Rising or the Boxer Rebellion. And he returned with various items that he’d acquired in China.
In due course, through my mother, some of these passed by inheritance to me. Among them were four gorgeous embroidered dragons, each one on a separate piece of material. And I mean, the colors were gorgeous. I learned from somebody who knew a little bit about Chinese culture they were Imperial Dragons because they had five claws. Ordinary dragons just have four claws but Imperial Dragons have five claws. And I really was very close to my grandfather so these meant a lot to me. When we set up house in Fort Lauderdale I had these four dragons framed on our living room wall. But after a while the Holy Spirit began to trouble me.
Have you ever been troubled by the Holy Spirit? Do you know what we do at first? We shrug it off and we say that’s nonsense, He wouldn’t do that. Anyhow, the Holy Spirit would say to me: Now, in the Bible what does the dragon represent? Well, I knew the Bible well enough to be able to know the answer to that. The dragon represents the devil very clearly in Revelation 12:9 and so on. Well, then He would say to me: Is it appropriate for you as a servant of Christ to have on the wall of your living room something that advertises the devil? Well, you know, I struggled with this for a little while and I said: All right, God, you win. I’ll get rid of the dragons. And I did.
Now, I didn’t do that with any motive except obedience to God. But the results were quite remarkable. Up to that time I had been just getting by financially. I traveled and preached and received honorariums. And they covered our needs but we had no real surplus. Also, there were certain strange things happening even in my family. I was finding it difficult to communicate with my wife. Then I was entitled to an inheritance from my parents, a very substantial sum of money, and because of various irresponsible acts by other people the inheritance was interminably held up. Now, I just got rid of the dragons but I began to realize that my whole level of prosperity had changed. I didn’t do anything different but the next year my income doubled without my making any changes. Then I received the inheritance, it was released. And my first wife and I were able to purchase a house.
Now I’m not just preaching prosperity because, I mean, I think that has to be very carefully qualified. But prosperity with a purpose. We moved into that house, we lived in it for nine years and we sold it for more than three times what we paid for it. With the money that we obtained my second wife, Ruth, and I were able to build a home in Jerusalem, which is very expensive. God provided the finance through the sale of that house. That was not something we had planned. I didn’t have any conscious intention, but I realized that a dark evil force had invaded my home through those dragons. And until that force was expelled and dealt with I could not go on in the fullness of God’s plan for my life and ministry.
One interesting thing was I didn’t even know what God had for me that I was being kept from, you see? I’ve seen this is true in many people’s lives. When people are dealing with a curse, they don’t know what it would be like to be freed from the curse. They can’t picture it. Well then a little later I was ministering in a church, a Presbyterian Church somewhere in what they call the Midwest of the United States. I had finished my message and I was standing behind the pulpit. I didn’t quite know what I was going to do next and I saw a family on the front seat on my left: father, mother and teenage daughter. And as I looked at them I felt the Holy Spirit said there is a curse over that family. I hadn’t preached on that, I wasn’t thinking about that and I didn’t quite know what to do about it. So I just waited and it came very clearly again: There is a curse over that family.
So I stepped up to the father and I said: Sir, I believe God has shown me there’s a curse over your family. Would you like me to release you from it in the name of Jesus? I really had no experience, I was just moving out in faith. He immediately said: Yes. I learned later from him that there had been so many disastrous things happening in his life and in the life of his family that he accepted the fact there was a curse. Then I prayed a short simple prayer out loud releasing the family from the curse. When I said: In the name of Jesus, there was a visible, physical reaction in each member of the family, although I was not touching any of them.
So I stepped back and then I noticed that the teenage daughter had one leg in a cast from the top of her thigh to the bottom of her foot. So I went back and said: Would you like me to pray for the healing of your daughter’s leg? He immediately said yes but he said: You ought to know she’s broken the same leg 3 times in 18 months and the doctor said it will not heal. Well, if I heard that today, that somebody had broken the same leg three times in 18 months I wouldn’t really doubt that there was a curse in operation, but it was new to me. I said: All I can do is just pick the leg up in my hands and say a simple prayer, which is what I did.
A few weeks later I got a letter from the man thanking me and saying specifically that when they went back with the daughter to the clinic to have the leg x-rayed, the x-ray showed that it was healed. And very shortly afterwards the cast was taken off. But as I meditated on that I realized this: That the curse which God showed me over the family was a barrier to the healing of the daughter’s leg. Until the barrier was removed, prayer for the healing of her leg would not be effective. And this is a principle that I’ve seen now hundreds of times that a curse over a family or over an individual can be an invisible barrier that keeps away the blessing that God intends those people to have. In my case through the dragons it was the blessing of financial prosperity and release to God’s will. In the case of this girl the blessing was the healing of her broken leg but the curse was the barrier.