Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Overcoming the Curse of Words, Day 2

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Leslie Basham: According to Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, you can speak words of life even if you never received encouragement while growing up.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: “I didn’t get it, so I can’t give it.” Well, if you’re a child of God, you have a blessing in your life that is greater than any human parent, even the best of human parents, could have ever given to you. Our giving the blessing to others is really ultimately dependent upon our receiving first, by faith, the blessing from God.

Leslie: This Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth for Tuesday, October 25, 2016.

The words of others shape the way we view ourselves. Unfortunately, the words of others are often wrong. All we really need to know is what God says. He’s always right.

Here’s Nancy, continuing in this week’s series called “Overcoming the Curse of Words.”

Nancy: We've been talking about how to overcome the curse of words that may have come into your life. It may have been as a child. It may be from parents who said things that were intended to damage or hurt. Maybe it wasn't even intended, maybe it was jesting, things that people thought were humorous, but they didn't strike you as humorous. They lodged in your heart; they lodged in your mind.

Perhaps you carried them with you through childhood. Maybe you’re living in a marriage where your husband is not a believer or he’s not walking with the Lord, and he’s spoken words. Maybe it’s your husband’s parents, in-laws who’ve not received you into the family. There’s been things said that have been a curse to you.

We're talking about how you can overcome the curse of words in your life, how you can break free from their power.

We've said that the blessing of God in your life, if you're a child of God, is more powerful than any curse that anyone could put upon you. Do you believe that?

If you do, then you will not be willing or content to live any longer under the curse or the dominion of things that people have said to you. The thing you have to realize is that you can break free through Christ, His cross. In the cross there is provision for overcoming every curse that can take place in your life on this planet.

We said that you need to review the words that have been spoken to you in light of the Word of God and ask yourself: Does this measure up with God's Word? Is this true? “You'll never amount to anything. You're going to be just like this parent who is living in a godless way.”

And you may have walked through all of life thinking, I'm going to be just that way. And yet, the Spirit of God, the truth of God, the Word of God says that in Christ you're a new creature. There is power through the Spirit of God for you to walk a life of obedience and purity and holiness; that you don't have to be damned. That's the word for cursing or judgment, to live in the patterns of your family past or your past.

It may be words that, by the way, you have cursed yourself with: “You're not worth living. You shouldn't have been born.” Some of these words, review them in the light of God's Word and say, “Are they true?”

If they're not, if they don't agree with the Word of God, then reject them. Say, “I will not believe these things that are not true.” And remember that they can only have power over you if you receive those words as being true.

Now, as you're rejecting the words that aren't true, there's something else that you need to be doing at the same time. And that is, renewing your mind with the Word of God.

As you're erasing those old thought patterns, those curses, whether they were ones spoken to you by others or even by yourself, as you erase . . . By erase, I don't mean you never remember them again. By erase I mean you say, “I'm not going to let this have control in my life anymore. I reject it as being untrue.” You say, “Well, it would be nice if I could just erase it and never remember it anymore.”

I've come to believe that God certainly has the power to erase these memories from our minds. And sometimes He does. But sometimes He doesn't.

I think one of the reasons is that you and I would probably never be able to show mercy and grace and understanding to others who are living under the curse of words if we could never remember anything that had been said to us that was hurtful.

Even the memory can be a gift of God. It can be a means of your becoming a blessing to others. So when we talk about erasing it, we're not saying, you'll never remember again that your parents said, “Drop dead,” or “I wish you'd never been born.”

We're saying that you're erasing its power to control you, that the tape machine that keeps playing in your mind and saying, “This is true, this is true, this is true.” That's the tape you're erasing.

As you're erasing that tape, you need to replace it with a new tape, with new words. And how do you do that? You get this Book, the Word of God, the truth into your heart, your mind, your being. You fill your mind with the truth of God's Word. You renew your mind as Romans 12 says, with the Word of God.

Now, I've been thinking about the fact that children sometimes will have things said to them and some of you had this happen to you as a child. When you're six years old and your parent says, “You'll never amount to anything” or “You always,” or “You never,” the child may not have the capacity at that point to realize what that parent said isn't true.

Here's what I'm realizing. As we become adults, we have a responsibility to grow up. Part of growing up means we have to set out to find out what is true.

Rather than staying as children and continuing to assume . . . It's understandable that a six-year-old would not understand that ugly thing that parent or that sibling or that teacher said wasn't true. But it's not understandable to be thirty-six years old and still replaying those six-year-old tapes and still believing what a six-year-old maybe had no choice but to believe.

Do you understand what I’m saying?

As adults, part of becoming an adult is searching out the truth. And how do you do that? If you're a child of God, you get into the Word of God. And you say, “I have a responsibility to find out what's true and not just to let those things that were said that were untrue continue to dominate me and control me and haunt me. I'm not to live under the power of those things.”

That's why Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13: “Become an adult in your thinking, when you grow up you think in adult ways. Put away childish things and renew your mind with the Word of God.”

I think that's why in Philippians 4 where Paul says “Whatever things are true,” that's what he puts first, then pure and good and lovely and of good report.

But the first thing is true. Whatever things are true, think on these things. And if you do, the peace of God and the God of Peace will guard your heart and will guard your mind, will put a protection around your mind and will deliver you from the attack and the assault of those things that may have been said as a child (see Phil. 4:8–9).

As I've been studying this subject and thinking back over my own life, one of the things I have become so grateful for is the blessing and the benefit of my own mind saturated with the Word of God and years of reading the Scripture. Even before I could read, getting the Scripture read to me and poured into my life, the advantage of being raised under Bible preaching in churches and in a Christian education.

Then as I've grown to read the Word myself over these years, I can't even express to you what a powerful, cleansing, renewing, protective influence the Word of God has had in my life.

Now, that doesn't mean that I don't ever speak words that curse others in the sense of belittling or demeaning. It doesn't mean that others don't say those things to me.

But there's a more powerful force at work in my life than those words of cursing—it's the Word of God. I'm realizing now, as a grown woman, that God's Word over a period of years has brought so much grace and peace to my mind. It's protected my mind. It's not allowed those words to find a home, to make a nest, to lodge in my mind.

Now, again, I don't want to sound like I never struggle with words. I am sensitive. I'm very sensitive to words. I can be easily blessed or easily hurt by words.

But I'm realizing that the greatest source of what I believe is coming into my life through day after day of just being in the Word of God, renewing my mind with the Word of God, saturating it. It is such a powerful way to find your mind and heart cleansed from the wounds of the past.

I shared with you in an earlier session in this series the story of my friend who had grown up in an adoptive family. She was experiencing physical and verbal abuse and shared with the pastor what was going on. She came home, and her parents raked her over the coals for having talked to anyone and said some very hurtful and harmful things—“I wish we'd never adopted you,” etc.

My friend said that when she left the tirade that her parents had thrown at her, she went to her own bedroom. She was just so overwhelmed she just wanted to die, didn't see any reason to go on living.

As she was just crying out, she began to cry out to the Lord. She said she turned to a little devotional book that she was going through at the time, and nothing seemed to really be what she needed or seemed to touch her hurting heart.

Then she said, “I finally opened my Bible. It fell open to Psalm 27:10: ‘Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.’” And she said, “That was the encouragement that my heavenly Father gave me when I needed it most.”

Her parents at that point had rejected her. They had made it very clear in words that were cursing words. But I now know this woman as a wife and a mother and a close friend of mine, and I know that by God's grace over these years, she has been able to extend forgiveness to her parents. She has been able to go back and bless them. She's been in a process of proactively seeking to be at peace in that relationship.

I really believe that what has brought freedom to her heart . . . By the way, she is an instrument of blessing in many, many lives today as she's involved in women's ministry, she's speaking blessing into the lives of others. I think it started right here with renewing her mind with the truth of God's Word and her willingness to receive God's Word as being true.

You see, some of us hear the Word of God, and then we say “but . . .” “I know God's Word says that, but this is what my parents said to me.” We'd rather hold on to the hurt, hold on to the cursing than let it go in light of the truth of God's Word.

Here's a woman who had to make a choice as a senior in high school to accept the truth of God's Word. What does it say? “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.”

Through her wounded emotions, and I'm not saying the transformation happened there in a moment, but a seed was planted by the Word of God. And that woman began a process of letting God receive her and receiving God's blessings in the places where her parents had rejected and cursed her.

Renew your mind with the Word of God, and then receive that blessing from the Lord, the blessing that He wants to give you through His Word.

Leslie: Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth will be right back with part two of today’s program.

The series is called, “Overcoming the Curse of Words.” To order it on CD, visit ReviveOurHearts.com, and that’s also where you’ll find the daily transcript and the audio from each day’s program.

We’re able to provide resources on the website thanks to listeners who support this ministry financially. When you give a gift of any size, we’ll say, “thanks” today by sending you the 2017 Wall Calendar. This calendar features quotes from Nancy’s new book, Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together. Ask for the 2017 Wall Calendar when you call 1–800–569–5959, or visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

Now, here’s Nancy with the second half of today’s message from the series, “Overcoming the Curse of Words.”

Nancy: I had a phone conversation recently with a friend whose dad had just died. And, as far as my friend knew, his dad did not know the Lord. The father had been sick and dying for some time.

My friend said that as he'd gone to visit his dad periodically over the last several months and knew that it wasn't going to be long. He said, “One of the hardest things for me about watching my dad die was realizing that I had never received a blessing from him.”

My friend is in his fifties. He came to know the Lord when he was in his forties and did not grow up in a Christian home. He said, “As I watched my dad dying, I realized I had always hoped for this blessing from my dad, and now he was dying and he couldn't give it to me.”

He said, “The last times we were together he didn't even recognize who I was. I was really wrestling with this because I wanted so desperately something that I realized now I would probably never have."

Then he shared that it's as if the Lord impressed his heart with this thought: Are you going to be all right? Is it all right with you if I, God, give you the blessing instead of your dad?

And my friend said that when he first had that question posed to his heart, he wasn't even sure that he could say “yes.” But he realized that was the issue.

He needed to receive from God the blessing that God was going to give him and that God has given him in Christ and is giving him and is always going to give him. He is blessed in Christ, and it needed to be all right with him. Not all right as in this is what God's ideal would have been, but all right in the sense that we live as redeemed people in a fallen, cursed world.

And God's saying, “Is it okay with you if I give you the blessing. And will you receive that blessing from Me as being sufficient for you, even if you never receive it from the people here on earth that should have given it and that you would love to have received it from?”

He said that from that point he had that kind of exchange with the Lord, it was okay. He said over the next couple of days he just felt that burden start to get lifted off his heart—a burden that he's carried in one way or another for over fifty years.

Even as a nonbeliever there was this longing to have the blessing of a dad who had never received a blessing from God himself and had no understanding of how important that was, no capability of giving a blessing that he himself had never experienced.

My friend tapped into, I think, something very important here as we're talking about how to overcome the curse of words in our lives. This man, as with many, many other people in our very broken and fragmented society, grew up in a home where there was a lot of cursing, not just profanity but demeaning, belittling conversation.

I know my friend has struggled a lot with his own sense of acceptance in his own marriage, to know how to give the blessing to his wife and to his children. He's had to work through what it means to receive the blessing from the Lord. And you have to work through that, as well, if you want to overcome the curse of words in your past or in your present.

As you're renewing your mind with the Word of God, then you need to be willing to receive by faith the blessing that God wants to give you and to say, “Lord, Your blessing is all that I really have to have.”

Do you want it from your mother? Do you want it from your dad? Absolutely. Was your heart created to long for that? Yes. But can you live without it successfully? Can you be blessed without it? Absolutely.

If you don't learn to receive God's blessing in your life by faith and for that to be sufficient, then you're going to find yourself handicapped as you try to give the blessing to your mate, to your children, to your friends, to others because you're always going to be operating out of this deficit.

“I didn't get it, so I can't give it.” Well, if you're a child of God, you have a blessing in your life that is greater than any human parent, the best of human parents, could have ever given to you.

Our giving the blessing to others is really ultimately dependent upon our receiving first, by faith, the blessing from God. Now, you say, “There's still that little part of me or that big part of me, that just craves for my mom, for my dad to say, ‘I'm proud of you. I’m pleased with the way you turned out. I love you.’”

Let me just say, “You may never receive that.” But the grace of God, the redemptive plan and purpose of God is such that He is more than able to fill those empty places of your heart and to give you a vast reservoir out of which you can minister grace and blessing to others.

Now, I keep saying, and I keep emphasizing this: It's by faith because you can't see God. You don't hear Him say the words that you've longed to hear, maybe from a parent or from a mate or from a son or daughter. You won't probably ever audibly hear God say, “I love you,” as the voice from heaven said to Jesus, “This is my beloved Son in whom I'm well pleased.”

But God, nonetheless, because you are in Christ, has that view of you. You are accepted in the beloved. And He says, “Because you are in Christ, I am pleased with you.”

If you want to overcome the curse of words in your life, you've got to receive God's blessing. And then you have to also be willing to release those who have cursed you, those from whom you've longed to receive a blessing.

There has to come that place where you release those people—where you release your mother, whether she’s living or has passed on, where you release your dad, where you release those in-laws, where you release your children, where you release your mate—who have wounded your spirit.

And you let them go because, if you insist on holding on, if you insist on demanding that they give you something that either they never will give you, or they don’t know how to give you, or they don’t want to give you, or they can’t give you, or maybe they’re not even living any longer, but you’re still holding on for it; then you're going to find yourself a prisoner all of your life. You'll find yourself a grown up child.

God wants you to grow up into Christ, to grow up in faith, to grow up into His blessing and as an act of faith to say, “I release those people who either spoke cursing into my life.” Maybe it wasn't something they said, it was what they didn't say. There was just the absence of blessing, a parent who never said, "I like you. I love you. I'm proud of you. I’m pleased with you.”

There has to come that point where as an adult, you release that person, you release that situation to God, you release that person into God's hands, and you extend forgiveness. You have to do it for that person’s sake; you have to do it for the Lord’s sake; you have to do it for your own sake; you have to do it for the sake of others who will never be able to receive a blessing from you if you don’t release those who’ve never given that blessing to you or those who’ve cursed you.

Bless those who curse you. We’re going to expand on that thought over the next few sessions, but I just want to plant that seed here of the willingness to release those who have cursed you or have not blessed you.

Then as we seek to overcome the power of cursing that has taken place in our lives, we need to come to the place where we repent of any cursing that we have done to others.

We're so conscious of those who have cursed us or failed to bless us. But God can use that pain as a signal in our own hearts that we have issues we need to deal with.

And you must come to the place, I must come to the place where we repent of any cursing that we have done to others. If we don't repent of cursing we have done, then we will never be free from the cursing others have done to us.

James chapter 3, talks about this in very convicting terms and challenging to my own heart. He's talking about the whole matter of the tongue. I was particularly convicted as I read this recently because, in the context, he's talking to those who teach the Word.

He's saying, “Be careful about your words. If you're teaching others, examine your own heart, examine your own words because there will be a stricter accountability, you who are teaching the Word to others, you who are raising children and teaching them right and wrong—you're going to be accountable for your words.” I'm going to be accountable for my words.

He says in James 3:8 that no human being can tame the tongue. It's a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

And then this paragraph, verse 9, James 3, “With the tongue we bless our Lord and Father.” There's that word eulogy. “To bless.” It means “to speak well of” with our tongues.

We go to church, we sing songs, we pray prayers, we say, “Bless You, Lord." "We bless our God and Father and with [the same tongue] we curse people who are made in the likeness of God" (v. 9).

That word curse there is from a Greek word that means “to wish someone evil or ruin.” We wish someone evil or ruin, and we express that with our tongues—either to that person or to others about that person.

So it says that on the one hand you're using your tongue to say, “Bless You, Lord,” and then you're turning around and using that same tongue to speak evil or to wish ruin upon people who are made in God's image.

From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. And then he says, “My brothers, these things ought not to be so.” There's something wrong with this picture.

“Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water” (vv. 10–12).

He's saying, “The outcome, what comes out,” says something about the source. If what's coming out of your mouth are words of speaking evil, wishing ruin upon others, even in jesting ways, then it says there's a contaminated, cursed fountain inside that is producing that spring.

Now, I want to pick up again with this thought in the next session on repenting of cursing we've done to others. But let's just take a moment and agree with whatever God may have just said to us.

First, have you received God's blessing in your life? And is that sufficient for you?

And then second, is there someone you need to release? Someone who has cursed you? Someone who never blessed you who should have, but they didn't? Have you released that person? Have you forgiven? Have you turned them over to the Lord?

And then thirdly, is there any cursing that you need to repent of? Ways that you have wounded, belittled, or spoke demeaning words to a child, a parent, a friend, a pastor—and you need to repent so that you can be free of the power of the curse of words?

Leslie Basham: Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has been showing you how to be free from the curse of words by renewing your mind with the Word of God. When you offer forgiveness and show respect to others through your words and attitudes, you are reflecting the radiance of Christ.

You’re showing the beauty of the gospel. Living out the beauty of the gospel is the topic of a brand new, beautiful 2017 wall calendar available only to Revive Our Hearts listeners. For your gift of any amount, we’ll send you the wall calendar, featuring quotes from Nancy’s new book, Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together. Be sure to request your copy of our 2017 Adorned calendar when you donate any amount to Revive Our Hearts. Just call 1–800–569–5959, or visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

Well, even when you don’t know it, you can be cursing someone else through your words. Tomorrow, Nancy shows you how to avoid all kinds of cursing. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the English Standard Version.

 

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