We can all look back through our family lines and see how our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and others in our family history have affected our lives. Sometimes people see negative things that have been passed down, but the blessing of God is passed down as well. In fact, Exodus 20:6 says that He shows love and mercy to a thousand generations of those who obey Him. Maybe you don’t know anyone in your recent family history who was dedicated to the Lord, but do you think someone in your history a thousand generations back may have been?
When we walk into divine blessing and God gives us something we don’t deserve, we have to realize that sometimes it’s because somebody in our family line sowed those seeds. Every act of kindness, every time one of your relatives sacrificed and honored God, they set you up for success. They may not have reaped a reward in their lifetime, but God is faithful. He doesn’t forget about it.
In my own life, I realize that the reason I am doing what I am doing today is because my parents sowed seeds for 40 years before I ever got here. I’m reaping the rewards of a generational blessing. My father went to school with holes in his pants. He would put cardboard in the bottom of his shoes because they were so torn up. They made great sacrifices so that we could be where we are today. One way I can honor them is by wearing my blessings well—by thanking God for His faithfulness and fulfilling what has been handed down to me.
In the same way, you have the opportunity to honor the generations that came before you by walking in the blessing that has been passed down. So many people only focus on the negative things that have been passed down, but that doesn’t glorify God. That doesn’t set your future generations up for success. Let today be the day that you decide to receive those generational blessings and thank God for them. Don’t let others talk you out of living the abundant life. Some people come in at the end of the movie and see you blessed, prosperous, healthy, sober, free and happy and want to judge and criticize you, but the problem is that they missed the first part. They didn’t see the sacrifices that your relatives made. They didn’t see the struggles that you endured. They didn’t see the battles that you fought, the times you felt like giving up, but you kept pressing forward. They didn’t see the price that was paid to get you to where you are. That blessing may look free, but the truth is, it cost something.
Friend, don’t ever let anyone make you feel guilty for the favor, the honor, the joy, the peace, the victory that God has given you. Somebody paid the price. Seeds were sown. Receive the blessing by faith and thank God for His faithfulness throughout your generations!
Have you ever been in a crowded, noisy room trying to have a conversation with someone? If you can’t hear what they are saying, what do you do? Most likely, you lean in just a little bit closer so you can hear them better. You probably focus more intently on their facial expressions so you can understand what they are communicating. In the same way, when the noise of life seems overwhelming, that’s when we need to lean into God just a little bit closer. That’s when we need to make the extra effort to focus more intently on Him.
There’s a passage in First Kings where Elijah goes up on the mountain to meet with the Lord. Scripture says a great, powerful wind blew and broke the rocks, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind, there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake, there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire, a still, small voice. This tells me that when life rages all around, when circumstances seem powerful and overwhelming, that’s when we need to wait for His still, small voice.
If you’re in a situation today where you feel like you can’t quite hear God, maybe it’s time to lean into Him a little bit more. Maybe it’s time to tune out the voices of the world so you can set your focus on Him. Maybe it’s time to turn off technology, turn off the phone, and clear your schedule for Him. Know that He loves you with an everlasting love, and He has good things in store for your future.
Today and every day, we need to make sure to set aside time for Him. Let’s be diligent to study His Word and spend time in prayer and worship. When you meditate on Him, when you keep yourself in an atmosphere of faith and surround yourself with other believers, you’ll hear His voice more clearly. He’ll speak to you; He’ll guide your steps and lead you into victory all the days of your life.
I’ve talked to a lot of people over the years that really get down on themselves because of the mistakes they have made in the past. They don’t think they deserve God’s goodness. They think they’ve gone too far. But the amazing part about the mercy of God is that even when we bring trouble on ourselves, even when it’s our own fault, God will still receive us when we come to Him. He still extends forgiveness; and when we repent and receive that forgiveness, we don’t have to live in condemnation. God says, “I will still bring you to a flourishing finish.”
Think about Sampson in the Bible. His birth was predicted in scripture. An angel appeared to his mother and said, “You’re going to have a son. He will be a deliverer.” As long as his hair wasn’t cut, Sampson would have supernatural strength. He had a supernatural beginning. He grew up to do great things. He had uncommon strength and could not be conquered by his enemies. But over time, he let his guard down. He became undisciplined and revealed the secret of his strength when he wasn’t supposed to. They ended up cutting his hair, and he became weak and was captured by his enemies. They were still so afraid of him that they gouged out both of his eyes. This once powerful man who carried God’s anointing and favor ended up chained, working as a slave, grinding at the mill. You would think after all that, “God wouldn’t have anything to do with him. He had his chance. He had a supernatural birth, supernatural strength and favor. He made wrong choices and gave it all away. Too bad for him.” However, that’s not the way our God thinks. God will always give you another chance.
One day Sampson was in a large hall. They were having a reception with thousands of people. The enemy had him chained to the walls. It was like he was on display. They were walking by making fun and mocking him. Sampson asked one of the small children to place his hands on the pillars of that hall so he could rest. The scripture says, “The Spirit of the Lord came on Sampson one more time.” His hair began to grow once again. God gave him his strength back. He pushed down those walls and defeated more of his enemies in his death than he did his whole lifetime! That’s a flourishing finish. That’s what God wants to do for you—He wants to make you more successful in your later days than ever before!
Don’t ever think that you’ve made too many mistakes for God. Don’t ever think you have to just sit on the sidelines of life. No, just like with Sampson, the Spirit of the Lord will renew your strength. He can make you greater than ever before. Quit beating yourself up. You can’t do anything about the past, but you can do something about your future. Receive His love; receive His forgiveness. Shake off condemnation and open your heart to Him because He will always give you another chance!
“For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again…” (Proverbs 24:16, NIV).
So often, it’s easy to turn to God in the midst of our difficulty. We invite Him into our brokenness. We want Him to be in the center of our financial difficulty or hurting relationship. But how often do we invite Him into our good times? Do we invite Him into the conversation at the water cooler at work? Do we want Him to be in the center of our entertainment?
We can’t just invite Jesus into some things and shut the door on Him in other areas of our lives. He wants to be at the center of it all. In fact, scripture tells us in Revelation that He stands at the door of our hearts and knocks. That scripture isn’t talking to unbelievers; that scripture is talking to the church. He wants to come in to every part of our being, and when you truly understand what it means to be flooded with Christ, you’ll want Him to be the center of it all, too! See, when Jesus sits in the middle of it all, there’s power, strength, ability and provision. There’s joy, peace and confidence that comes from your connection with Him. And just because you believe doesn’t mean there won’t be a time of testing; but when He is the center of it all, you are going to be well equipped for anything you may face in this life!
Today, let’s re-examine any areas of our lives where we may have closed the door of our hearts to Jesus. He’s not looking for us to be perfect; He’s looking for us to be yielded. Let’s shift our thinking and say, “Jesus, come on in to this situation. I know if You help me, I’ll make it through. I know You’ll make me stronger. I know You’ll direct my steps into the good things You have prepared for me.”
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20, NIV)