Friday, March 23, 2012

On The First Generation

"You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments."
Ex. 20:5-6

Today I got to spend the day watching my sweet nephew. I sat and grinned from ear to ear, as he told me his ABCs, counted past 10, and spelled out his name while I wrote it in chalk. He is the brightest two year old I know, of course. He would fuss about going inside or taking his nap. I told him no fussing, but to use his words to tell me what was wrong. Though my words bursting past his fleshly tears probably didn’t feel nice in the moment, he obeyed. I pray that he knows a life that comes from obedience—that he doesn’t chose to challenge it the way I have, the way most of us first generationers do.

Recently, I have had to sift my way through some consequences of generational sin. Fear which enslaves. Lies which consume. Thoughts which plague my mind over and over again. Some consequences flooding my life as a result of decisions that were not even mine, others decisions that were. I am by no means saying a genertaional curse is a means to sin. Scripute is very clear that  the generational curse is practiced, not directly passed down; rather it must be willingly accepted.  

Num 14:18 'The LORD is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear {the guilty,}visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth }generations.
"The generational curse is on everyone who is guilty of their own sinful behavior. The curse comes in the form of natural consequences as a result of the modeled behavior from parents and society. When a son or daughter faces the building of their moral inventory on the backdrop of willful rebelling to God, their job proves difficult. There are natural consequences to the one that chooses a sinful life apart from God. The decisions that each and every Christian and non-Christian parent makes will influence the future decisions of our children and society. Many of the issues we face today as a Christians are a result of the decisions the generation ahead of us made. We all pay for our own sins in the curse."

Gal 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.

Let’s just be real: being the first generation to be redeemed is just plain hard. Not impossible, but hard.

I was telling a friend how smart and obedient my nephew is. She reminded me that this is how the Lord intended for it to be when you have parents who take the time to teach you the ABCs…to ask you how to spell your name over and over and over until you know it by heart. Who sit at night and rock you to sleep, praying for your future spouse. Parents who discipline you because they love you so much—it’s not pleasant, but it is in this moment you are most sure of their for you. The attitudes, discipline, and Truth passed down from our parents can radically impact our lives and our childrens lives.

Today, seeing this precious boy’s joy and obedience made my battle as a first generationer all the more light. Today, I got a glimpse of the fruit seen in the generation to come, fruit that may not come apart from my labor. Fruit that is so worth the hard I am in right now. The fruit for which I will continue to labor, with JOY. Fruit that I pray my kids will know.

Today, I am both challenged and encouraged. Challenged in the areas of my life yet to be fully surrendered to obedience. Challenged in my desire to know Christ above my flesh. Challenged in walking in the newness which has been lavished upon me. Challenged in humility. Challenged in the wrestling. I refuse to pass death to my children. This is a high calling, one which I cannot yet fully understand. I will continue to wrestle the curse. To replace the tendencies of my flesh with the disciplines of the Spirit. To replace the lies with Truth. I will cling to the hope that one day out of these ashes new life is born, beauty for ashes.

Just like my brother has fought for the fruit which I now see in that precious two-year-old heart, I pray that you give me the same willingness to wake up everyday and chose to walk in the newness. To chose to make different decisions in my life which continue to break the chains handed to me over the years.

 Oh, glorious One—thank you that out of the ashes, you make us new!!! Thank you that my kids may never carry the weight and guilt of the generations previous. Thank you that my grandkids will know even less of it. Thank you for making me new.

Thank you for using a day with a precious two year old to encourage me in the battle, knowing that this fight is no longer just about me—it is about the generations to come. Fighting this battle is demanded, even when I don’t feel like it. Thank you for Jesus—the only way we are made new.

The nations will see your righteousness and all the kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will bestow.                                  
                                                                                -Isaiah 62:2

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