Under Anathema

Joe Btfsplk was a character in the satirical comic strip ‘Li’l Abner’ (published 1934–1977) by cartoonist Al Capp. Joe was a classic ‘bad luck’ guy. A small, dark rain cloud perpetually hovered over his head to symbolize his bad luck. Whenever Joe showed up in the comic strip, disastrous “stuff” happened. 

A friend of mine from Eastern Kentucky had a phrase for hard luck people like Joe. He used to say, “That fellow is under anathema,” meaning he was under some kind of curse. I’ve also heard people say, “If it wasn’t for bad luck, that fellow would have no luck at all.” Perhaps many of us have at times felt like we were under a dark cloud – under anathema.

If you have felt that way, a self-examination may be in order. Scripture instructs us, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2 Corinthians 13:5, NKJV). When God’s people obey Him, He blesses them. When they disobey Him, divine judgment or discipline will sooner or later be the result. God’s word says, If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door” (Genesis 4:7, NKJV).

If you sense a black cloud of bad luck and trouble hangs over you, it may be more than a feeling. It may be a message of divine mercy.  The Lord may be shining the light of conviction on sin in your life. He loves you. Because of His great love, He may be calling you to repentance.  “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9, NKJV). The proper response to feeling you are under anathema is confession and repentance. God promises, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”  (1 John 1:9, NKJV).

Blessings are the wholeness and holiness of God filling our lives; curses are everything that is not sacred filling our lives. A curse isn’t God taking revenge out on us because we disobeyed. A curse is everything that is not sacred filling the void left in our lives when we make the choice not to have God at the center of our being. If we make a choice to eschew God’s blessings, the result is that which is unholy will invade. The field which was meant by our Father to grow the seeds of His love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23, NKJV) will instead yield thorns and thistles (Genesis 3:18).

You Don’t Have Live Under Anathema!

~ Brother Roy

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