I got my computer back.
Do you ever have a moment of revelation? Something happens and your world is transformed?
My favorite book was "Blessing or Curse" by Derek Prince, because I remembered that God used his book back in the mid-nineties to free me.
That's what I was thinking anyway. I'm not sure what really happened back in the mid-nineties.
I believe there is some validity to the idea of breaking curses that have been passed down to us by our ancestors, but when you embark on reading a book like that one, you can become very introspective, and here is what I realized: you can be inviting "the leaven of the pharisees," into your life.
Jesus warned against that. What is it? It's something that gets in, just a little bit, and makes the whole bunch of dough rise. It poisons us.
In the context Jesus used it, leaven was not a good thing because it was the leaven of the pharisees, which is the love of the law, living by one's own righteousness and not trusting in God's grace to forgive sin.
I realized that I was inviting that in by trying to dig for sins of the past, or my own sins, when Jesus has forgiven me, Jesus has broken the curse of sin over my life.
Derek Prince, the author of the book, is saying that there can be a curse from the sins of ancestors causing all sorts of horrible things happening to us that are beyond our control. By breaking the curse, through claiming what Jesus did on the cross when he became a curse for us, who knew no sin, we can be free from its control over our life.
The Kennedys are an example of a family with a curse. With all the deaths that have occurred through the generations - untimely and tragic, you can see a curse at work.
What Prince is suggesting is valid. Curses must be broken, and change will come.
But if you have already had curses broken, if you have already had your sins forgiven, and you continue to dig for more, you are not resting in Jesus' finished work of grace.
In psychology, there are two basic types of personality disorders: the kind where a person never seems to see what they do wrong, can never come to repentance, can never admit to wrongdoing or correct themselves, and the kind who feel terribly guilty and responsible for every wrong, and who have a terrible time coming to a place of peace in knowing that they are forgiven.
Each of us leans toward one of the two types.
I know that I lean towards the second type.
That is why there is not going to be a pastor's sermon to fit both types.
Some people need the hell-fire sermon to wake them out of their lethargy regarding their sin, and get them out of "cheap grace" while the other type of people are going to feel condemned while listening to that same type of sermon. Those other type of people need reassurance of salvation, and a double dose of grace.
Being that second type, Derek Prince puts me in a place of feeling condemned and of wanting to please God in the flesh - wanting to live by law and not grace.
Back in the mid-nineties, when I look back on events that took place, I can see that this wanting to live by the law led me to become unable to accept God's grace and ultimately caused even worse things to happen to me than any curse that I ever knew in my life.
That is why I put down the book and fled frantically to a secular source for comfort from the leaven of the pharisees. And God led me to Chris Martin. I had seen him on "Frontline" and there is something about him, something grace-filled.
I examined his music further and realized it is really sweet! He is definitely walking in some kind of light. And it encourages me to get out of the pharisee mentality and be where people are who are living in grace.
It's just that - living in God's unmerited favor - reveling in it! God led me to Chris Martin and he saved me last night when I was drowning in the condemnation that had come from reading that book.
How often Christians find themselves doing this - going to a bar to find people who will accept them, and going to a secular artist to find grace! Ha ha!
How is that related to Easter? Jesus paid the entire price for our sins. The whole price!!!! There is nothing we can add to it. We cannot earn it. We do not need to do anything more to atone for our sins. We do not need to be sick. We do not need to be poor. We do not need to suffer!
Many times, people who aren't going to church, or who have a somewhat distant relationship with God have a better grasp of this fact. They have a grasp of grace, while Christians who are going to church and doing "all the right things" are trying to win God's favor.
Lighten up. Jesus is alive!