Reversing the Curse
Overturning the Impact of Generational Sin
This teaching on generational sin is just one lesson of our free eCourse for personal transformation, 'Matters of the Heart.' All 24 lessons will be helpful to the person seeking restoration and freedom.
All scripture citations are from the English Standard Version (ESV) unless otherwise noted.
A Devastaing Impact
While still in the womb, without any initiation or cooperation on our part, the devastating consequence of Adam's sin was imparted to us: We were all born with a sin nature separating us from God. This is the deep wellspring of all the generational sins against us which followed and it will not be removed in our lifetime, unless the Lord returns first. Fortunately, we can become free of the impact of ancestral sins in our generational line by reducing or eliminating their 'strong hold' upon us.
As it happens, the first unavoidable strongholds any of us encounter are not our own, though they may very well become our own. They are the strongholds of generational patterns of sin in families. Before we were conceived these strongholds were already in place.
Since no one is perfect, every family line has sin patterns which negatively influence succeeding generations. We can see the evidence of this: Children of alcoholics often become alcoholics, many diseases run in families and some children are born with dreadful genetic defects.
Life is tough enough, so it hardly seems fair that the sins of previous generations could be allowed by God to have any impact, let alone a devastating impact at times, on the lives of innocent newborns. The question has to be asked: How can it be right for children to be 'punished' for the sins of their ancestors? Why do we suffer from sins in the past?
Why Does God Allow this?
The important thing to keep in mind is that because God lives outside of time, un-repented sin is always a fresh stain before the eyes of the Lord: He sees past wrongs as present sins. This is why generational sin continues to 'live on' even after the person who sinned has died - that sin was their choice and God sustains the reality of the world formed by our choosing. This is the dignity and the terrible responsibility of being given free will in a real world.
Upholding the 'moral order' we choose to create is part of God's self-revelation to Moses: The sin ledger isn't canceled at death.
The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, 'The Lord... a God merciful and gracious... but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation.' Exodus 34:6-7
Un-repented sin doesn't just evaporate; it continues to wreak havoc in the generations. Since the time of Abel the blood still cries out from the ground. Lest we get the wrong idea, God is not the one doing the punishing - He punished Jesus for our sins fully and completely.
God does not willingly desire to see us afflicted. It is the reality of choice that He gives to 'the fathers' that releases the consequences of their iniquities on the earth. By choosing sin, we 'choose' the consequences of sin to come, even to the following generations.God has 'no choice' but to allow the 'punishing' effects of sin to visit the earth until someone recognizes it as sin, takes responsibility and carries it captive to Him.
We may rightly cherish our heritage (generational blessing is very real), but we need to also be honest about the sinful side and bring it to God. This kind of responsible repentance is what God desires.
'But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers... and they make amends for their iniquity, then I will remember my covenant with Jacob.' Leviticus 26:40-42
The Pattern Is Not Compulsory
No one has to walk in the sins of their fathers (or mothers). The reality of sin's effects on the generations does not mean that children have no free will, but that un-repented sin creates a negative legacy within the family and the nation. For good or ill, whether intended or not, 'like begets like' by an invariable
mandate of the original creative process.
In Ezekiel the Lord speaks of each individual's responsibility for their sin and the ultimate penalty (death). The son will not die as a direct result of the father's sins; each person stands (or falls) as an individual.
'The soul who sins shall die... Now suppose this man fathers a son who sees all the sins that his father has done; he sees, and does not do likewise... he shall not die for his father's iniquity; he shall surely live.' Ezekiel 18:4, 14, 17
Although, the righteous avoidance of the father's sins is a shield against the curse, only repentance can remove sin and its effects (past or present). Remember that God as a responsible Creator has to maintain true justice and therefore He 'by no means clears the guilty.' He can only put sin and its consequences under the Blood of Christ if one of us repents and asks for mercy.
Until then we, who still hold dominion over the earth, are choosing (often unknowingly) to let the curse of past misdeeds remain in effect. Let us also keep in mind that God's stated desire is to pass on blessings. Surely He chooses our parents to pass on the blessings of their generations - not the curses.
'Visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children... but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.' Exodus 20:5-6
How It Is Passed Down
We were 'programmed' by the enemy from birth - set up by sin in the generations going all the way back to the Garden. God makes us 'very good' in the womb, but even as He is working to create us in His Image, the sin of Adam and the sins of our fathers were also at work, 'unmaking' us into something less than God intended.
The enemy was working against us before we were born, hating us 'without cause.' If we fail to understand this reality, we will unwittingly blame God by 'crediting' Him for fallen ways that we and others may have: 'I hate being shy (or hot tempered or nervous, etc.), but that's just the way God made me!' No it isn't, that's the way the enemy bent and bruised you by sinning against you in ways that you couldn't notice or can't recall.
Our personality structure according to psychologists is shaped in early childhood. How much of that shaping process do you remember? Consider these two powerful personality shapers that are not of God:
1) Adam's sin has blocked all of his children from being born as God intended - united to His love and living in His Presence.
2) The sins of preceding generations as they reached us through our bloodline, through the womb, and through our home environment began to set root issues and carnal patterns in us.
There are three ways that the curse (sin's consequences) may be passed down the generations:
Our genetic inheritance can be physiological and psychological. Damage in the genetic code at birth does not come from God's design or intervention, but results from the effects of the Fall upon humanity. God's work is without defect.
The emotional environment and training in the home shapes each child. The good that is in us often passes into our children (we like that!), but so does the bad.
Spirits drawn to families (due to habitual sins) may carry patterns of the curse down the family line.
The Evidence Exists
It doesn't require faith in God or the Bible to see evidence of generational patterns. For instance, doctors routinely take family histories because many diseases are known to run in families. As with prayer or anything else God does, we cannot exactly describe how He works or prove spiritual realities against all doubt....
Take your stand--knowing that God will use it to reverse the curse off your generations!
Dear Heavenly Father, in the Name of Jesus, I choose by an act of my will to forgive my father (or other family member) for all the ways that he failed me or hurt me. I renounce the sins in my generational line and I repent for having walked in them myself. Forgive me and break their power over me. I put the Blood of Jesus between me and any generational sin and I cancel all assignments of the enemy in Jesus' Name. I choose to fully accept myself as the child of the father You gave me. Holy Spirit please come... heal my broken heart and show me and tell me Your Truth.
Read the rest of this article by taking our free eCourse or look it up in the Downloads section (Reversing the Curse).
Next Healing Lesson
Lesson 13: The Power of Believing
Overcoming the stronghold of unbelief
Interested in Going Deeper?
Don't just give these truths a 'head bob' - take our free eCourse for Healing. For further study and for help working these truths into your heart and life, see Reversing the Curse Part 2 (Head to Heart Guide 1). In all there are 24 Main Healing Lessons and 24 Head to Heart Guides to help you bring your heart to God and receive His Great Heart for you in return!