I have many other subjects on my mind on which I would like to shine the "Word light.”However, I haven't been able to get this subject off of my heart.What I will try to do here is to share the spiritual insight that the Lord has given me on the subject of "Generational Curses."
I apologize for the length of this article but the length seemed necessary to convey the truth I hope to impart through this effort.
Also, directly below, you may access the "Wake Up Calls" that I did on this subject.
I have observed that most of what we hear on the subject of "generational curses," can be categorized in two opposing points of view.On the one hand, some people assert that no Christian (some even go as far to say that no one—period) can be subject to a "generational curse."To make their point, these people might use Galatians 3:10-13:"For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.'But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for 'the just shall live by faith.'Yet the law is not of faith, but 'the man who does them shall live by them.'Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree')."
On the other side of the issue are those who blame everything from warts to bad attitudes on some mysterious oppression inherited from those who have gone before them.These people basically take some scriptures past where they were meant to go.Take for example Deuteronomy 5:8-9:"'You shall not make for yourself a carved image — any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me.'"
Oddly enough, both of these errant views make the same mistake while forming two separate conclusions.Both of these scriptures must be understood within their context to be able to rightly determine the application.Those who use either of these scriptures to prove one of the two "extreme" views concerning generational curses are not considering the context.
Let's looks at the Galatians reference.The curse that has been removed is that one associated with the Levitical Law.It brought a curse in that all it could do was to point out the fact that we could not keep it.Knowing that I am a hopeless sinner (hopeless in that I cannot save myself from Sin), creates a curse.What I am required to do—I cannot do.[As an aside, some may wonder why God would put such a thing on His children—requiring what could not be done and thus creating a curse without a cure.This idea (accusation against God) demonstrates ignorance concerning the "fallen state" of man (man outside of Christ).We were already cursed.The Law was instituted to point out that fact to us.Not only was it meant to point out our fallen state, but also to point out our need of someone who could do for us that which we could not do for ourselves—a Savior.]
So Galatians 3:10-13 is assuring the believer that we do not have to be subject to the curse of the Law anymore.The lifting of the curse would not apply to those who do not recognize Jesus as the Christ of God.[Romans 10:13 declares, "For 'whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.'"] Many scriptures indicate that Jesus Christ must be recognized as Savior for the curse of the Law (Sin that has no remedy) to be removed.[I point this out because there is doctrine—even in the church of Jesus Christ—that all people are "saved" regardless of whether they recognize or serve the Christ of God.I will not pursue this further here due to space consideration.However, as God empowers me, I will speak further on the subject of what some call "Universalism," at another time.]
Now, those who see "curses" everywhere are also using scriptures out of context (such as Deuteronomy 5:8-9).We could argue that the Deuteronomy scripture also references a curse associated with breaking the Law and is therefore void through Christ.Now whereas this is true, I would also argue that God was not—even here—talking about "unfairly" punishing one generation for another's sin.Let's take a minute and look at this.
Look at Ezekiel 18:1-3 where God refutes a false proverb:The word of the LORD came to me again, saying, "What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying: 'The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge'? As I live," says the Lord GOD, "you shall no longer use this proverb in Israel."Now look at Ezekiel 18:19-20:"Yet you say, 'Why should the son not bear the guilt of the father?' Because the son has done what is lawful and right, and has kept all My statutes and observed them, he shall surely live. The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself."Then in Ezekiel 18: 30-32, the Lord gives the solution for those who do not want to continue to live in the curse of previous generations' lawlessness:"Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways," says the Lord GOD."Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin.Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel?For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies," says the Lord GOD. "Therefore turn and live!"From these scriptures we can conclude that God does not arbitrarily punish one generation for another's sins.He does, however, warn that to continue to sin in the manner of previous generations will result in the same condition of being cursed with a curse.(See Ezekiel 20:30:Therefore say to the house of Israel, "Thus says the Lord GOD: 'Are you defiling yourselves in the manner of your fathers, and committing harlotry according to their abominations?'")
Now, all that I have said to this point is to come to three assertions:
1.The only way to be truly free from the curse of the Law is to accept the Christ as Lord and Savior.Without Christ, all generational "propensities," as well as the associated consequences, remain in force along with the burden of original Sin.
2.The true believer cannot be "unknowingly" cursed as a result of a previous generation's sins.
But now allow me to make a third point that explains how Christians can and do continue to live their lives in such a way that the "oppressions" from past generations still can effect their lives.
3.Our experiences, with the resulting belief systems(the way we view ourselves, others and God), can cause us to continue the error (negative patterns or sins) that can lead to the same spiritual oppressions experienced by our parents, grandparents, etc..Patterns of living that were born in the atmosphere of unrepentant rebellion against God, will produce results similar to that which we term as "cursed," even in the life of a Christian.
Consider this.Ephesians 4:17-30 (spoken to Christians):
This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another. "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Here we see that the Christian must—as an act of their own will (see Romans 12:1-2, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.")—change unrenewed patterns of thinking that lead to unrenewed behaviors, thus giving the devil entrance (influence) into our lives.Now Romans 8:29 tells us that we were predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ.How do you reconcile that with the fact that we are also instructed that we must do something (renew our minds) to live a transformed lifestyle?I asked the Lord about this and He gave me an answer that can best be put in words this way:At many events there is something at the entrance called a "will call" table.Here tickets—already purchased and ready to be accessed—are waiting for those attendees for which they have been provided.Now, just because the tickets have been purchased, does not mean that they will definitely be picked up.This example helps to convey the truth that salvation is provided for all but not necessarily accessed by all.Now, let's take this example further.Some who pick up their tickets and enter the event may never enjoy the true pleasures provided because they get distracted and may spend all their time in the bathroom or bumping around in a custodian's closet.They may even enter into the main event but never open their eyes to see it because they are watching something already recorded on their "ipod" (illustrating preoccupation with the past life of sin or things that appeal to the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life).For those who enter the event but do not truly enter into the event by giving the attention of their whole heart—the event does not provide all that it otherwise could (for these purposes—a transformed lifestyle, power, and peace).
The way in which this example applies to what appears to be generational "curses" operating in the lives of Christians is as follows:
If we do not allow the Holy Spirit to fully form Christ in us, we have limited victory, and may even be bound to the consequences of sin, because of the patterns of thinking, lifestyle, behavior, etc., that were present before our salvation experience and continue to be in operation in our lives.In other words, you can't expect to continue to do what those who have gone before you have done and yet see different results!So enters what might be perceived as a generational "curse."
Now I'm going to enter into territory where I don't want to lose you.Remember above where I referenced Ephesians 4:27 ("nor give place to the devil)?Let's now look at that scripture in the Amplified Bible:
"Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him]."This scripture is just one of many that indicate that the devil can use even a Christian to do his bidding.I'm not talking about full blown "possession," I'm referencing influence.The areas of our thinking, behavior, lifestyle, etc. that are not totally yielded (transformed) to the Holy Spirit are vulnerable to the influence of carnality—carnality (the untransformed mind) is sensitive to the voice of the devil.This is why Jesus instructed His disciples in this way:
"All of you must keep awake (give strict attention, be cautious and active) and watch and pray, that you may not come into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matthew 26:41, AMP)Additionally, many scriptures indicate that the work of Jesus Christ did not change the nature of the "flesh."Consider
Galatians 3:1:"O YOU poor and silly and thoughtless and unreflecting and senseless Galatians! Who has fascinated or bewitched or cast a spell over you, unto whom — right before your very eyes — Jesus Christ (the Messiah) was openly and graphically set forth and portrayed as crucified?" (AMP)Here we see that these Christians were vulnerable to the influence of those who were trying to distort the message of Christ.If you don't think that Christians can be vulnerable to "seducing" spirits—you don't know many Christians.
Alright, how does all this help us to understand what might look like a generational curse in the life of a Christian?(Take a deep breath and hang in there with me!)I must include one more dimension for your consideration.The unrenewed mind can "channel" (express) evil influences.The strongest evil influences are evil spirits that work in association with and under the rule of the devil.Now, evil spirits are very focused in their strategies.Once they have found a willing "host," it seems reasonable to assume that they will look for a similar host when that one is no longer available (perhaps because of the death of the individual).So, who is more like someone than another member of the family?Think about it, the unrenewed mind exhibits characteristics greatly influenced by genetic predispositions along with the experience of the individual.Family members share genetics, experiences, world views, etc...Therefore, these spirits may find a welcoming ear in other family members.These spirits continue to influence the new "host/s" as they did in the lives of family members before them—resulting in similar outcomes.
Finally, it is also a matter of sowing and reaping.Consider Galatians 6:7-8:"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life."We do reap what we sow.It would then stand to reason that family members who share so much (see above) will sow similar things and so reap similar results or consequences.
Now let's review before I make some recommendations as to how to avoid what some label as generational curses but that I will now reference as "generational error."
1.Even Christians are subject to evil influences.
2.Evil influences—if heeded--lead to thoughts, behaviors, lifestyles, etc., which lead to certain destructive results in the life of the "negatively" influenced individuals.
3.Family members often continue the same errors because of shared experience, habits, ignorance, rebellion, genetic predispositions, etc…
4.Evil spirits tend to inhabit or influence people who are like the last people they inhabited or influenced.Whereas evil spirits are not always involved in the lives of spiritually weak individuals—they often are, and lead to results in the life that may appear to be the results of a "curse." It is most certainly true that giving heed to "seducing spirits" results in the forfeiting of God's blessing in the life of the one who is seduced to stray from the Word.
Let us now consider the remedy for repeated error that leads to repeated "cursed" results in the lives of individuals—even Christians.
(The scriptures I am providing here are just a starting point for your own scripture search for each of these points.)
1.Use Psalm 51 as a template for regularly surrendering to the total will of God in your total being.(1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, "Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it." NKJV)The Holy Spirit can and will reveal the areas in your life where you are "giving place" to the devil.
2.Devote yourself to obedience to God's Word. (Psalm 119:9-11,
"How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word.
With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You." NKJV)
3.Seek the Word of God for the promises (with their conditions) of God that apply to the challenges in your life.(Hosea 4:6, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." NKJV)
4.Allow God to lead you in every area of your life by way of the Holy Spirit.(Galatians 5:16-17, "I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish." NKJV)
5.Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you into a transformed lifestyle.(Romans 8:26-27, "Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God." NKJVAlso, see the article on being "Transformed!" under "Power Lunch" for scriptural support and guidance.)
6.Have an active prayer life.(Mark 9:29, "So He said to them, "This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting."NKJV Ephesians 6:18, "praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints —" NKJVAlso see the article on "The Nature of Prayer.")
7.Keep your eyes on Christ—He has done what you could not do.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:"My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives." If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." Hebrew 12:1-11 NKJV)