For years, I thought I wanted to escape the genetic code of my forebears (only in certain areas, mind you!). Although I was thrilled that my family tended to succeed in school and even had a certain degree of musical talent, I desperately wanted to break out of the genetic box in other ways. I longed to be tall, willowy, and lovely. That never did happen and apparently never will! I wanted to appear more easy-going and less black-and-white about everything. That never happened, either!
Of course, all families carry prevailing tendencies and weaknesses that are more disturbing than a person’s physical height or basic personality. No human being is without sin (Romans 3:23). When Adam and Eve sinned, God’s image and likeness in them became marred, or degenerate. However, the Blood of Jesus has the power to regenerate, or “re-gene” us! God Himself sent His Son to regenerate repentant sinners in His very own image and likeness. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!.” (2 Cor. 5:17) The power of the indwelling Holy Spirit is engaged in a process of transforming us into the image of Jesus Himself. “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Cor. 3:18)
Sometimes, however, we ourselves limit the power of God to transform us by not allowing Him to do so. Why would we not allow Him to change us? First, because we may not realize that He actually WANTS to or is truly ABLE to change some qualities we view as “givens.” We dismiss the Lord’s desire and capacity to intervene because we don’t believe He really will do it! We assume that muddling through life in spite of our prevailing flaws is part of our “cross to bear.” In fact, quite the opposite is true: we are to bear the truth of the Cross — take up our cross daily — not our sin, as Jesus already bore those on the cross — but the truth that Jesus DIED for the sins, weaknesses, flaws, and failings that have characterized us in the past. We can call upon His life-giving, transforming power to flow in and through us every day.
God’s desire is to release us from bondages and unholy patterns from our past, no matter how deep-seated or longstanding they may be. He wants to flow in and through us with His Presence and Life! In Luke 4: 18-19, Jesus Himself quoted the passage from Isaiah 61: 1-3 to speak of the work He was sent to do: “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me [Jesus] to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called mighty oaks, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” Verse 4 of that same chapter continues: “They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.” It makes no difference how long a pattern of anger, bitterness, addiction, idolatry, despair, negativity, or other affliction has been directing your family — God’s desire is that the devastations of many generations be restored and the ruins be rebuilt. Dare to ask God for the vision and assurance you need to pray along this line. Ask Him to regenerate (re-gene) your family. Then dive in and enjoy a refreshing dip in the new gene pool of Life!