Spiritual Warfare (Part III)

IMGThe Danger of Imprecatory Praying

Something that I have become aware of recently is the teaching that we should use certain Psalms in order to direct curses upon our enemies. In his book "Sons of Belial" Dale M. Sides gives us an overview of this practice:

The American Heritage Dictionary defines "imprecatory" as: "to invoke evil upon, or to curse."  I have advocated the biblical use of cursing for years, writing and teaching that this type of cursing is not sinful but a necessary part of spiritual warfare. The first recorded use of a curse in the Bible was God's pronouncement of judgment upon Satan for deceiving Eve and Adam. A few chapters later, it was necessary again for the Lord to execute a curse-this time upon Cain, the first SOB, as well as upon anyone who would kill him.
Dale M. Sides - Sons of Belial

For someone who is suffering persecution because of their stand for Christ this teaching is extremely seductive. One reason is that we've all been conditioned by lifetimes of movies and TV shows this it is our right to exact revenge upon our enemies. A close look at New Testament scripture will demonstrate that this practice is wrong, unless it is done under the specific guidance of the Holy Spirit.

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Matthew 5:44 (KJV)

This scripture is perhaps the biggest clue for us that to place curses upon others is ungodly. Who are we to curse anyone? Many of us have had curses placed on our lives that need to be broken, but I see no New Testament teaching that we are to invoke curses upon others. Quite the opposite, we are commanded to bless those who curse us. Not quite there yet? Neither am I, but we can start by not trying to send a curse back on them.

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:19-21( KJV)

This goes against every fiber of our beings, yet that is exactly what God wants. We are to crucify this flesh and bring it under submission to His will, not our own. It is easy to grasp yet very, very hard to do.

There are some clear examples in the bible where the higher powers of the church are used to  'bear the sword' (Romans 13:4 KJV), invoking the judgment of God under the direction of the Holy Spirit. Some examples of this are the case of Peter against Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11 KJV) or Paul against Elymas (Acts 13:9-11 KJV). However these curses were ordained by God, not men. Any curse sent upon another by our own will instead of under the guidance of the Holy Spirit amounts to practicing witchcraft.

Curses Only Come by Legal Rights

Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
Job 1:9-11 (KJV)

As I've mentioned before in the book of Job we learn that Satan cannot touch a believer without legal rights. What does this mean? It means that He must stand before God and get permission before he or his demons may afflict us with any curses, spells, incantations or any other witchcraft directed at us by the evil men of this world.

If I rejoiced at the destruction of him that hated me, or lifted up myself when evil found him: Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wishing a curse to his soul.
Job 31:29-30 (KJV)

Job did absolutely nothing wrong yet God allowed him to suffer, perhaps more than any human being ever did. His sufferings were not without purpose however because God used him to demonstrate His power to Satan. Job had no idea what was happening in the spirit realm; all he knew was he was suffering terribly without cause and God was silent on the matter. Job searched his heart over and over for any sin he may have committed to bring this curse upon his own head and came up empty. Even so, Job purposed in his heart that he would not curse the Lord.

Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.
John 5:14 (KJV)

Now that we know no curses may come upon us without God's explicit permission our main concern should be not with sending curses back on those who sent them, but in avoiding giving Satan the legal right to place them on us in the first place. Even so, in some cases we see that God will allow Satan to put his hand on us for a season in order to try us.

So how do we avoid giving Satan legal right to afflict us? By avoiding sin at all costs, and when we do stumble asking forgiveness immediately for doing so. Unconfessed sin gives Satan, the accuser of the brethren, the legal right to stand before God's throne and seek to destroy us. This is the true reason why the current antichrist church is teaching a repentance free gospel. They aren't ignorant or confused about this doctrine, they know exactly what they're doing. These vipers know that they may easily curse us when we don't repent, and in so doing we in fact bring these curses upon our own heads.

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