Tony Evans — Reversing Generational Consequences
All of us bear the DNA of our mothers and fathers. The physical DNA is not the only thing that gets transferred. There is a spiritual DNA that transfers as well. This is an unseen reality that passes between parents and children, grandparents, parents, and children that leads to generational consequences. It's a spiritual DNA.
We not only pass to our children our good looks. I'll let you say whether that applies to you or not. But we also transfer or have transferred to us the patterns of sinful behavior.
These patterns transferred from one generation to another create spiritual scars on our lives, scars that are reflected, and then we pass them on, usually unbeknowingly and it's usually not planned, but it is very real to our children.
When I talk about generational consequences, as opposed to generational curses, I'll explain in a moment, I am talking about the negative repercussions of the inculcating of sinful patterns that we've picked up across generations. These negative patterns create negative results in our lives and in our world. These generational realities come in all shapes and all sizes.
We talk about some people being a born liar, look like they come out of the womb lying, just-- We've seen people who's father was an alcoholic and they become an alcoholic. My grandparents got divorced, my parents got divorced, I'm getting divorced, because there has been this repetition of a negative pattern passed on.
You talk about a cycle of poverty, where people have the mindset that being on welfare, living on welfare, even though I have the capacity to work, I'm not talking about those who can't, but they adopt the fact that that's really okay.
This pattern of behavior, unaddressed, produces built-in consequences to our well-being, our peace, order, stability. My parents lived in debt, I live in debt, and there's a consequence of never getting out of it. Patterns that are generational.
Now, you have to understand that God is a generational God. "I am the God," he says, "of Abraham, I Isaac, and Jacob." Psalm 145, it says that you might-- "One generation shall praise your name to another generation."
You'll see this word, "generation," all through Scripture because God created the human race to generate. But with the generation not only comes the opportunity for life, it becomes the transfer of spiritual, as well as physical, DNA.
Ezekiel 18, God says, "You Israelites are saying a proverb." A proverb is a saying, and here's the proverb. Verse 2 says the proverb was, "The fathers have eaten sour grapes, but the children's teeth are on edge." That was the proverb or the saying.
What was it meaning? What they were saying was if it wasn't for my mama and daddy, I wouldn't be like I am. I'd be better off than them if it wasn't for them. God says don't use that proverb anymore. Don't blame mother and father for what you do. You have to stick with me on that.
Mother and father may have transferred it, illustrated it, demonstrated it, amplified it, but you took it on by choice. In other words, don't use what somebody else did in a previous generation as an excuse for you to keep it going.
He says, "I am the God of the father," verse 4. "The soul of the father is mine, the soul of the son of mine, so it is the one who sins that shall die." So, if you are messed up like your mama and daddy were messed up, it's because you chose to adopt their mess.
Regularly in the New Testament, Jesus would ask people, "Are you willing to be made holy?" He would ask them, "Are you willing?" Before he did anything, he wanna know do you even wanna change. 'Cause if you don't wanna change, even God won't help you
So, if everybody who wants to change, wants something different, even though you were raised in it, passed down in it, he wants you to know you don't have to live the rest of your life in it.
Romans chapter 5, verse 12 says, "Therefore, just as through one man, sin entered the world and death through sin, so death spread to all men because all have sinned." Verse 15 says, "For by the transgression of the one, many died."
Do you know the only reason you have to die? The only reason you have to die is because of what Adam did that got transferred to the human race. Death was the transfer of rebellion against God. But then within time between birth and death are choices that are made, decisions. God says that the consequence of our sin we bear because we make a decision to repeat the practice that may have been transferred to us.
He says, "The soul of the father is mine, the soul of the son is mine," so don't use an excuse, "Daddy made me do it." God told Adam, "Because you listened to your wife. You should've told her, 'I love you, but we can't eat that fruit.' But because you were so in love that you let her cause you to disobey me, now the whole family is in trouble."
So, no man has the final authority, no woman has the final authority. Everybody who names the name of Jesus Christ is under God. And one of the reasons we have all this chaos in families today is we got folk trying to trump God in the relationship.
Now, God makes it clear in Ezekiel 18, verse 20, that the kids do not suffer the consequences of the iniquity of their parents. He says that also in Deuteronomy 24:16 . He says the consequences of the children is because of what they choose to do. 1 Corinthians chapter 10 says that Christians can sit at the table of demons, verses 20 and 21. You can actually sit at the table.
That means fellowship with them. He says there's a table of the Lord and there's a table of demons, and if you fellowship with the table of demons, it doesn't mean you invited a demon to dinner.
It means you fellowshipped with the sin, which they assumed was an invitation to them. And that, of course, makes the problem even more difficult to overcome, 'cause you now not only have to overcome the problem, you've gotta overcome the demonic infestation of the problem.
He comes in verse 10 and he says in Galatians 3, "For as many as are of the works of the law are under a cruse. For it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law to perform them.'
Now that no one is justified by the law before God is evident, for the righteous man shall live by faith. However, the law is not of faith. On the contrary, he who practices them shall live by them. Christ redeemed us from the cruse of the law, having become a curse for us.
For it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.' In order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles," we're Gentiles here, "so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."
Okay, stay with me. He says the rules of God, the law, that's the Ten Commandments, the rules of God cannot fix your problem, my problem. The law is good, but he says with the law comes a curse, why? Because all the law can do is show you the problem. It cannot fix it.
With the law comes a curse, because every time God gave a rule, he gave a consequence. If you break it, this is what's going to happen. So, the law of God is good to expose you, but not to deliver you.
If committing myself to the Lord can't make it right, it can only tell me what's wrong that I'm doing, that I shouldn't be doing, that I got from my parents, that I'm passing to my kids, what's gonna make it right?
He says in verse 14, "In order that in Christ Jesus the blessings of Abraham might come to the Gentiles so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."
On the cross, Jesus broke the back of Satan. The Bible says that, in Colossians2 , he condemned the devil. So, Flip Wilson was incorrect. The devil can't make you do anything. The cross broke, watch this, his authority. It did not remove his power, but it removed his authority.
Authority is the legitimate use of power. Criminals have a gun, policemen have a gun, so both have firepower, but only the policeman has a badge. He has legal authority if he's using it correctly.
So, Satan's authority was broken, although he still possesses power. So, anything he tries to do to you, if you have accepted Jesus Christ, is illegitimate. Since it is illegitimate, he's gotta come up with a scheme to control you, and he only has one scheme.
It comes out in different ways, but he only has one scheme to keep that habit from going away. He's got one scheme, and his one scheme is to get in your head.
1 Corinthians 11 says, like Eve who was deceived, he's got to trick your thinking. Let me put it another way. He's gotta make his thoughts, your thoughts, so that after he's put his thoughts into your head, it's not your thoughts telling your action what to do.
But it came from your brain, even though the "I" may have been put there by the demonic transfer from your mother and father. So, your mother and father may have done something, the demons grabbed it, delivered it to your head, so you're acting it out in your life.
So, the demonic realm uses its power of deception to put it into your life so that it becomes your habit or your action so that you bear the consequence of your decision, 'cause it came from your mind even though the idea may have been introduced by your parents. So, God says the death of Jesus Christ broke the curse of the law, he says, in order that God might give you the Spirit.
Watch this now. This is the most important feature. It is the Spirit's job, if you've accepted Christ, 'cause those are the only ones that have the Spirit. it is the Spirit's job to make happen what the law says should happen, but doesn't have the power to make happen.
The Spirit's job is to make happen what the law requires. The law requires it, so you need to know what's required, but the law can't help you do it.