Equipping the saints for the work of the ministry - Ephesians 4:12

Breaking the Curse

A curse (also called an imprecation, malediction, execration, malison, anathema, or commination) is any expressed wish that some form of adversity or misfortune will befall or attach to some other entity: one or more persons, a place, or an object.

Is it possible to have a curse on your life, a business, ministry or family? What about generational curses? Can a curse be upon our life and it pass on to succeeding and subsequent generations?

1. Pronounced Curses

A pronounced curse is defined as “a solemn utterance intended to invoke a supernatural power to inflict harm or punishment on someone or something. To invoke or use a curse against.”

Balak, King of Moab, “Sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor at Pethor, saying: Look, a people has come from Egypt. See, they cover the face of the earth, and are settling next to me! Therefore please come at once, curse this people for me, for they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed. So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the diviner’s fee” (Numbers 22:5-7).

Ultimely, God would not allow Balaam to curse Israel, but from this passage, it is apparent that curses can be pronounced on people, things, situations and groups. This can be done by those seeking our harm, those who seek our destruction and those who simply hate us. It undoubtedly has been done by those in cultic or satanic groups against Christians, ministers and ministries seeking to hinder and withstand them and the furtherance of the gospel.

Nehemiah 13:2 ~ “They met not the children of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them, that he should curse them: howbeit OUR GOD TURNED THE CURSE INTO A BLESSING.”

It can also often be done by those unaware of what they are doing in a moment of anger or rage. This is why James said, “Out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so” (James 3:10). This is frequently aroused by a spirit of bitterness or a bitter root within our life which needs to be eradicated from our soul and spirit. The Bible says, “Looking diligently lest any man fail – fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled” (Hebrews 12:15).

We are exhorted in scripture, “Neither give place to the devil. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:27, 29-32).

2. Exposed to a Curse

A person can be exposed to a curse by exposing themselves to something that is inherently evil, or by dabbling in something that is demonic by nature and that God has strictly forbidden. This is why playing around with things that are spiritually opposed to God and His Word is extremely dangerous.

The Bible strictly forbids and warns us, particularly Christians, not to consult with any type of mediums, psychics, astrology, fortune telling, tarot cards, palm readings, seances, ouija boards and the like.

With their use we open ourselves up to what the Bible calls familiar spirits or demonic influence. Many people are tormented by demonic spirits after consulting with mediums and experimenting with these things. We actually open ourselves up to the demonic and give them permission to come into our life.

We can also have a curse come upon us by being exposed to a place where something bad has happened and begin to experience adverse things in our life. This is why when moving into a new building or home, it is wise to find out any history of the place that we can. Regardless, it’s always smart to pray over any new place we move into pleading the blood of Jesus and speaking the Word of God over it room by room and around the structure.

If after doing our due diligence and researching the place’s history, and we discover anything particularly bad has taken place there such as a murder, suicide, etc. we must take authority over the spirits behind such actions or activities.

3. The Curse of the Law

We all fall under the curse of the law, in that, we have all fallen short of what God’s law has demanded. Paul wrote, “Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them” (Romans 10:5). Not a one of us have lived up to the law of God (His Word). We have all fallen short (Romans 3:23).

This reveals our need of a savior (Galatians 3:24). Not only is there the penalty of sin on us of death (Romans 6:23a), but there’s a curse and long of adverse consequences of the law which follows those who fell to live up to it (Deuteronomy 28:14-68).

We all fall under this curse and separation from God as a result of sin, but there’s GOOD NEWS! When we come to Christ He becomes our substitute – our propitiatory sacrifice. He took our place and died in our stead (1 John 2:2; 1 Peter 3:18). Those of us who are in Christ are no longer under the curse of the law and the penalty of sin. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree” (Galatians 3:13).

4. Generational Curses

Exodus 20:5 – “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me.”

Exodus 34:7 – “He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.”

Numbers 14:18 – “He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children [a]to the third and the fourth generations.”

Deuteronomy 5:9 – “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me.”

Leviticus 26:39 – “Because of their iniquity, and also because of the iniquities of their fathers they shall rot away like them.”

Numbers 14:18 – “The Lord is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children [a]to the third and the fourth generations.”

From John 9:1-3 it is apparent the disciples were persuaded generational curses existed. We read, “His disciples asked Him, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind’ (John 9:2)?

We have all seen particular sins that have passed on from generation to generation. He’s just like his father or she’s just like her mother. They’re a chip off the old block. They are often even passed on to those who hated what they saw of it in their parents or grandparents, etc. Even though they loathed what they saw in others, they have gone on to repeat the same offensive pattern.

We have seen those whose parents experienced divorce to go on to see it repeated in their life as well. The same is also true concerning alcohol and drug addictions, abusive relationships and a myriad of other sins. This may be true, in part, because of unforgiveness and/or a Bitter Root Expectancy.

Jesus said, “If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.” This has nothing to do with us having authority to withhold forgiveness from people’s lives. It has more to do with us.

When we harbor bitterness and unforgiveness within our heart, we retain that particular sin to ourselves. If we forgive someone who has sinned against us, we release ourselves from any hold that sin or situation might have on us.

When we hold things against someone, we often have the same things happen to us. If someone has sinned against or offended us and we don’t forgive them from our heart, we may find ourselves in bondage to the very sin that we hated and that offended us.

The only way to free ourselves is to completely forgive. In Matthew 18:21-35 Jesus said we often must forgive up to 490 times or levels before getting something completely out of our system. This means we must choose to forgive an offense every time it raises its ugly head, until there’s no bitterness or unforgiveness left in us.

Other curses that could be passed down from generation to generation may be such curses as a spirit of poverty, sicknesses and disease, unbelief, anger and rage, demonic oppression, lack of will power, depression and mental disorders, crushed spirit, lacking of productivity and defeatism and a myriad of other things.

What if we have confessed the sin, have forgiven the one(s) that have offended us and we still find ourself in bondage – It persists and is unable to be broken? How do we break such generation curses that have been passed down to us? Or for that matter, any of the other curses that have been discussed here? How do we break the curse from off our life?

Breaking the Curse Off Our Lives

  1. Forgiveness. As was stated above, unforgiveness can easily retain certain sins to us so that we repeat the very things we hated in others. We must repeatedly forgive up to 490 different levels before it is completely eradicated out of our life once and for all. Forgiveness is a choice and therefore we must choose to forgive every time the offense arises, no matter how we feel.
  2. Exercise your authority. We can take authority over over every curse in the name and authority of Jesus. Jesus said,

    “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19).

    “Verily I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:18).

    It’s interesting that both these passages were in the context of the church. God has given authority to the local church as well as the universal church. This is why it is so vitally important that we are anchored into a local body of believers. Seek the counsel, covering and authority of your local church and its leaders. Let them pray with you and take authority over the bondages in your life.

  3. Speak, confess and pray the Word of God. Speak, confess and pray the Word of God over any curses and/or bondages that may have attached themselves to you or anyone you might be trying to help get set free. There’s power in God’s Word. When battling demonic strongholds, We are to take up “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).

    It goes without saying, if we are speaking, confessing and praying God’s Word, we must be spending personal time in His Word. “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:31-32, 36).

    God’s Word has inherit power within its pages to set His people completely free if we’ll continue in it!

  4. Plead the blood of Jesus. There’s power in His blood to break every curse and/or bondage that may attach itself to us. “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 12:11a). There are seven places Jesus bled in order to save us and break every curse and bondage from off our lives. Claim His blood over every curse and bondage and watch them be broken.

For futher reading on this subject, we suggest Free at Last: Breaking Generational Curses

Starting a new church or ministry is one of the most rewarding things you can do to advance the gospel, but it can also be very challenging. With over 40 years of church planting and ministry experience, Dr. Linton's passion is to encourage, support and equip pastors and church leaders.