Joel Osteen - Generational Breakthrough
I want to talk to you today about Generational Breakthroughs. Some of the things we struggle with didn't start with us, they were passed down from those that went before us. We don't get to choose our battles, we show up and have things to deal with. Sometimes we wonder, "Why can't I get ahead? I take one step forward, and then two steps backwards" or "Why am I drawn to this bad habit? Why can't I control my temper? Why don't I trust anyone"? That can be negative baggage in your family line. Studies show how depression can be passed down, addictions, anger, low self-esteem.
I talked to a gentleman who struggles with his self-worth, and not feeling secure and confident. He told how his father was raised in a negative environment, there was neglect and abandonment, people that never nurtured him and made him feel valuable. Now, his son has this same struggle with low self-esteem, and unworthiness. Those are spirits being passed down. Doesn't seem fair, didn't have anything to do with us, we have to reap the consequences of someone else's actions, deal with the effects of their bad breaks, or the injustice they suffered. God knew there would be these weaknesses that you didn't earn. He knew every piece of generational baggage that would be passed down to you. And some of them you can't break on your own. You've tried, you've stood strong, but willpower is not enough. It wasn't a lack of discipline, you weren't strong enough, this was something you inherited that you can't defeat by yourself.
The good news is: God is a God of justice. One reason Jesus came was to take off of you what was unfairly put on you. What you can't defeat, he's going to defeat for you. What you tried and you couldn't overcome, he's going to cause you to overcome. And yes, you may have some generational weaknesses, depression passed down, addictions, divorce, poverty but this is a new day. There's about to be a generational breakthrough, generational freedom, generational abundance, generational joy. I believe, things are shifting, chains are breaking, strongholds are coming down, anxiety is leaving. God is putting an end to it once and for all. Not just for you, but for your children, for your grandchildren. The enemies you see today you will see no more more.
This is what happened with the Israelites. They had been in slavery for 400 years. 10 generations of defeat, being mistreated, working long hours with no pay, giving quotas that they couldn't meet. They hadn't done anything wrong, they didn't threaten the Egyptians, they didn't try to overtake the land. The Pharaoh was afraid they would multiply and get too powerful, so he captured them and made them slaves. It was unfair, but the Israelites couldn't do anything about it. The Egyptians were stronger, had more equipment, more weapons. Looked like this was permanent, that they'd never be free. But God said in Exodus 3:7-8, "I have seen the affliction of my people, I have heard their cries and I am coming down to deliver them". God was saying, "Enough is enough. This may have gone on for generations, you couldn't do anything about it, those forces were too strong, but I'm coming down to put a stop to it. I'm going to break the chains, I'm going to free you from the addiction, I'm going to release you from that depression, I'm going to thrust you into your purpose".
See, that addiction may not have started with you. You can look back and see it in your family line, but it's going to end with you. God knows what's been unfair, he knows the things you're dealing with that you didn't have anything to do with. You didn't choose to be raised in a difficult environment, you didn't choose that sickness that runs in your family, or choose to be looked down on. You've borne the consequences of other people's actions long enough. You've carried the weight of what was passed down: the guilt, the shame, the insecurity. God is doing a new thing. Like with the Israelites, he's going to deliver you from generational baggage, from injustice, things that were unfair in your family line, and things your relatives didn't deal with. They didn't see the grace, you're going to see it. God has raised you up to set a new standard.
And I'm not saying to blame everything on the past, and we don't have to take responsibility, but there are negative things that have been passed down that you didn't have anything to do with, but now you have to deal with it. You didn't choose it, on your own you can't overcome it, thoughts will tell, "You you'll never be free, you'll always be depressed, always deal with this addiction, always have these family problems". No, that's when our God steps in, the God of justice, the God who makes wrongs right, the God who pays you back for what's unfair, the God who gives you joy for mourning, the God who delivers you from the Pharaohs, the God who promotes you when you weren't next in line, the God who takes you from the background to the foreground, the God who makes rivers in the desert, the God who causes our cup to run over. That God is coming down with generational breakthroughs, with healing in his wings, with abundance, with freedom, with victory.
But like the Israelites, when we've struggled in an area for a long time, it's easy to accept it and think that it's never going to change. They had been that way for 10 generations, then suddenly God showed up. They didn't see it coming, there was no sign of it, they were going going about their business as usual, making bricks, gathering straw, working as slaves. They looked up and saw Moses, unexpected. He hadn't been around in 40 years, before long he was leading them out of captivity. God has some of these sudden turnarounds for you.
Negative baggage may have been there a long time. You prayed, you stood strong, but nothing has changed. Your time is coming. I can hear God saying, "Enough is enough". You're going to see some of these suddenlies: suddenly the addiction is broken, suddenly your health turns around, suddenly the right person shows up, suddenly your business takes off. What's limited you in the past is not permanent, generational breakthroughs are coming. God is going to take off of you what was put on you. He's going to release you from what's held your family back, so you can set new standards, and see the fullness of your destiny.
The Israelites left Egypt and headed toward the Promised Land, was a dream come true, they were finally free. But out in the desert they started to complain, "Man, it's hot out here. Moses, what are we going to eat? What are we going to drink? These enemies are too big, we can't go into that land". Here they had seen God parted the Red Sea, drown their enemies, change the mind of the Pharaoh, but they quickly forgot. And because of their doubt and negativity, God told them that they would never go into the Promised Land. They wandered in the desert for 40 years, going around the same mountain.
Well, in the book of Joshua, the children of these Israelites were at the Jordan river. Their parents, the ones that wandered in the desert, that had been slaves, they had all died. Now, Joshua was leading their children. God said to them in chapter five, "This day, I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt off of you". What's interesting is these children, they were adults now, they had never been in Egypt, they were born out in the desert. They had never been slaves, they hadn't suffered that injustice, but the shame, the insecurity, those limiting mindsets had been passed down. They thought, "We're not valuable, nothing good ever happens to us, we come from defeat, mediocrity". God knew he had to get that generational baggage off of them, so they could step into their purpose.
When he said, "I'm rolling away the reproach of the past", God was showing us that he doesn't hold us responsible for the mistakes of those that went before us. Their weaknesses, their shortcomings are not going to limit your destiny. There may be people in your family line that didn't honor God, they made decisions that kept them out of their Promised Land. You may have to deal with some negative baggage, some things to overcome, but it's not going to keep you out of your Promised Land. God is going to remove the reproach, he's going to remove the shame, remove the barriers, remove that injustice, so you can become all you were created to be. Now, don't use the past as an excuse to settle where you are. "Well, Joel, you don't know how I was raised. There was a lot of dysfunction, lot of compromise, people that didn't have integrity". God knew what you'd have to deal with. They may have left you with some negative baggage, but they did not stop your purpose. God knows how to remove it. If you'll keep the right attitude, he'll take what was meant to stop you, and instead use it to promote you.
The prophet Ezekiel 18:2-3 said it this way, "The fathers ate the sour grapes and their children's teeth are set on edge. As surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, you will no longer quote this". This was a Proverbs they had been living by. Their thinking was: since the father had problems the children will as well, nothing we can do about it. Since the father ate the sour grapes, since the parents had addictions, since the grandparents were depressed, now the children are going to struggle with those same things. They just accepted that it would be passed down. Then God showed up and said, "Why are you using your relatives as an excuse? Why are you thinking what your parents did, and how you were raised, and mistakes they made is going to hold you back? As long as the sovereign Lord is alive, you are not bound by what's been passed down".
Your relatives may have eaten the sour grapes, people in your family line put you at a disadvantage, you're dealing with consequences of their actions, hardships you didn't earn. God knows what wasn't fair, he knows when you're carrying burdens put on you by others. That's why he said, "I'm going to remove the reproach. I'm going to take off of you what doesn't belong to you. I'm going to free you from what you had nothing to do with". He's not holding you responsible for these battles that you didn't choose. He sees you do doing the right thing when it's hard, he sees the struggle, the loneliness, the injustice. That may be what you inherited, but that's not how your story ends. God's about to remove some things.
He told the parents of these Israelites that they weren't going to go into the Promised Land, but he didn't say to the children, "Hey that goes for you too. Too bad, your relatives blew it. They complain, they disobeyed, they ruined it for you". No, what the parents missed out on, God said, "I'm going to give to the children". What your relatives didn't give because of injustice, or they weren't treated fairly, or because of weaknesses, shortcomings, mistakes, God says, "It's headed your way". You didn't just get the negative baggage, the dysfunction wasn't just passed down, the blessing is being passed down, the favor, the freedom, the joy, the abundance that belongs to your family.
You may have struggled in an area a long time, things that you've inherited. What's passed down has been made it more difficult, seems like it's always going to be that way. Now, get ready: generational breakthroughs are coming. Breakthroughs in your health, breakthroughs in your finances. Or how about breakthroughs concerning your dreams, seems impossible, every door keeps closing, no one in your family has been successful. God is removing the reproach, he's removing barriers that have held back your creativity, the right people, the opportunity. You're stepping into a new season, a season of growth where God is going to make up for what should have been yours. He's going to make up for time that you lost, because of hindrances from the past. What belonged to your family, what they missed out on is coming to you.
One way God was going to remove the reproach from the Israelites was to take them into the Promised Land, where they would see abundance, favor, blessing, no longer would they have these limited mindsets. You can imagine being raised in the desert, living as nomads, traveling around the same mountain, eating the same food every day, uncomfortable, hot, no joy, no victory. This is all they had seen: hardship, mediocrity. They didn't choose this, they were born into it, dealing with the consequences of their parents' choices, and the injustice that went back in their family line for generations. All this negative baggage that they inherited.
Sometimes we wonder why we're struggling? Why do I keep giving in to this temptation? Why is it so hard to control my temper? Why can't I get ahead? There are forces that have been trying to stop you before you ever got here. Before you were born, the enemy targeted your destiny through your family line, sent hardship, trouble and injustice, hoping it would be passed on to you. He's trying to get you discouraged, doubting, limited. But where he miscalculated is long before the enemy ever knew your name, long before you were on his radar, the God who created the universe knew you and planned out your day for good. He specifically chose people to be in your family line for each generation. Nothing is a surprise to God. You're not at a disadvantage, you didn't get shortchanged. Yes, there will be negative baggage, but he's a God who removes the reproach. He's a God who breaks generational limitations. He's a God who frees you from what's been passed down. You don't have to eat the sour grapes. Your me relatives may not have gone into the Promised Land, God's going to give you what they missed out on.
I spoke to a woman that came from a family of alcoholics. Her father struggled with alcohol, grandfather, great-grandfather. As far back as she could see, there was this addiction of alcoholism. As a little girl, she would see her father drink too much, and he'd get loud and abusive and mistreat her mother. She lived afraid and on edge. She got to where she hated alcohol. She saw it tear her family apart, and never wanted to have anything to do with it. But at 14 years old, with a group of friends she took her first drink. Did something she said she had never do. The first led to another and another and another, before long she became what she despised. At 17, she was an alcoholic. That's not a coincidence, those are spirits that get past from generation to generation. It's not just a physical battle, it's a spiritual battle.
Now, I'm not saying again to blame the past, that nothing's ever our fault, but it's important to recognize what you're dealing with. There are some things you didn't start, you inherited it. With all the willpower in the world you can't seem to overcome. With all you discipline, strength, intellect, nothing's changing, feels like we're stuck. The reason is so stubborn is you're not just fighting this battle, you're fighting a battle that's gone back for generations. The enemy has been working in your family line, trying to keep you from your purpose. He's not going to give up ground easily. Here's the good news: the forces that are for you are greater than any force that is against you. This is when the Most High God shows up not just with a breakthrough, but with a generational breakthrough. Now not just free you, but remove the reproach, take away what's limited your family life, that dysfunction, divorce, low self-esteem, the poverty.
Yes, that may be how it's been, but this is a new day. God is saying, "I'm breaking chains. I'm canceling negative baggage. I'm releasing you into freedom, into wholeness, into abundance, into joy". There's about to be a shift. What used to hinder you is not going to hinder you anymore. What used to be a struggle it's not going to be a struggle. You're going to feel a supernatural ease. You've been carrying the weight of other people's baggage in your family line, you couldn't help it, it was passed down, but God's about to lift the burden, he's about to lighten that load. You're coming into a blooming season, where you're going to see growth, favor and influence like you've never seen. God's not just going to free you from the negative baggage, he's going to pay you back for what should have been yours. Your relatives may have missed it, but the Promised Land is still in your future.
God said to the Israelites, "This day I'm removing the reproach". God has some of these "This day" for you. Seems like it's never going to happen, it's been so long. No, this day is coming, it's already on the schedule, where God says "This day I'm breaking the addiction. This day I'm bringing you a spouse. This day I'm healing your body. This day I'm turning your child around. This day I'm sending abundance". Get ready for some "This days". "I don't know, Joel, this is encouraging, but you should see what's in my family line, we're all dysfunctional, nobody can get ahead". No, why don't you turn it around? Have a different attitude, "Father, thank you that this day is coming. Lord, thank you that you're freeing me from negative baggage, you're removing every reproach. Lord, I believe generational breakthroughs are headed my way, that I'm not going to wander in mediocrity, but I will go into my Promised Land".
This young woman struggled with alcohol for 19 years. She had gone through treatment, rehab, no success. She thought that was her lot in life, been in her family so long. One day she heard me talking about how God is a chain breaker, how addictions are not our destiny, and how his power is greater than what's trying to stop us. And she didn't have any kind of faith background, she wasn't raised in this, but she got down on her knees and said, "God, please help me. I've tried everything I can, but God I can't do it on my own". The next morning she woke up and didn't have any desire for alcohol. That's been 14 years ago, she hasn't touched it since. What happened? She came in to a "This day" where God removed the reproach. You may be struggling with things that seem permanent, you look back and see it in your family line, and you've tried, but haven't been able to overcome. Like her, a "This day" is coming. God has chosen you to put an end to that negative cycle. You wouldn't be hearing this if he wasn't about to free you from generational limitation. It's not just going to benefit you, it's going to benefit your children, your grandchildren.
When God removed the reproach from the Israelites, he was correcting wrongs that had gone on for 430 years, that's how long they'd been in slavery. God is going to correct things that have hindered your family for generations. There may have been defeat, mediocrity, injustice, people that weren't treated right, didn't get what they deserved. God keep is keeping all the records. He's going to make up for what should have been yours. He knows how to pay you back for the wrongs. You don't have to make all this happen in your own strength, strive and strain, manipulate things. Just keep God first place, just keep honoring him. It's not going to happen by your might, by your power. There are forces that have been in our family lines so long, like the Israelites all those years in slavery, that are too strong for us. We can't change it in our ability. Here's the key: it's not going to be natural, it's going to be supernatural. That's when the Most High God will show up and do what only he can do, break those generational chains.
The Israelites were at the Jordan river, on the other side was the Promised Land. The problem was the river was at flood stage, it was swollen, almost a mile across, the waters rushing so forcefully. They had no bat boats, no bridge, looked like they were stuck. But God told Joshua to have the priest lead the people across the river. When they arrived at the banks, they were to walk into the water and stop. The priest walked in, I can imagine got up to their knees and stopped, but nothing happened. The water didn't part like it did for Moses at the Red Sea. They waited, and waited, still nothing. But what they couldn't see was upstream 20 miles away this huge wind came and caused the water to stop flowing. Just like a big dam, now no water could get through. In a few hours the waters receded, where they were, they were able to walk across on a dry riverbed, and go into the Promised Land. What Joshua couldn't do on his own, what all of his men couldn't defeat: the water was too powerful, current too strong, riverbed too wide, seemed like they were at a dead end, but God is not limited by the natural, he's supernatural. He can do what we can't do.
When we hear he's going to remove the reproach, free us from generational baggage, sometimes we can think, "I don't know, Joel, I don't see how, I've had this addiction so long. My family's always struggled with lack, I've tried everything to deal with this anxiety". You've done all you can. God sees you with your feet in the Jordan river so to speak, you prayed, you've worked hard, you've stood strong. You don't see anything changing, like with Joshua, God's about to stop what you couldn't stop. He's going to hold back what's been hindering you, so you can go into your Promised Land. That depression seems too big, God knows how to stop it. You've had that addiction for years, I can see the waters damning up. That negative baggage that you inherited, the dysfunction that was passed down, things you had nothing nothing to do with, God is stopping the flow. You're about to cross over into freedom, cross over into healing, cross over into confidence, into abundance. You don't have to eat the sour grapes, those that went before you they, may have slowed you down a little bit, but they did not stop your destiny. You're the Joshua generation, God has chosen you to go into the Promised Land. No more wandering in the desert, suffering from injustice, held back by bad choices.
The water has stopped, the flow has been cut off. This day God has removed the reproach. Not next week, not next month, this day he's removed the shame. This day he's removed the dysfunction. You may have struggled in an area for years, you don't think how it could change, but you've come into a "This day". God is saying, "Enough is enough. I've seen what been passed down to you, I've seen you carrying burdens that you inherited, I'm coming down to break the generational bondages". And yes, they were too hard for us, the Pharaoh was bigger and stronger, but they are not too hard for our God. You're about to step into generational blessings, blessings that belong to your family that they never received. There were hindrances, injustice, mistakes. They may have missed out, but you didn't miss out. God's about to release him to you. I believe and declare: every generational limitation is broken off of your life. Addictions that have been passed down, depression, divorce, poverty is coming to an end. That flow is being cut off, you're about to step in to these generational blessings, freedom, healing, abundance that belong to your family. The fullness of your destiny, in Jesus name. And if you receive it, can you say amen? Amen! I receive it as well!