Breaking the Chain

March 24, 2007

One of the most interesting ideas that I have heard in a while I heard last night. It involves how we are tempted, or more specifically what Satan is “allowed” to tempt us with.

Take for example the Biblical story of Job. Satan enters and requests that God allow him to tempt Job, which God does grant on a limited basis each time.

Another is a seeming recurring temptation theme within families over several generations. Perhaps the sins of the father are carried on with the sons. For example, Abraham’s trip down to Egypt and his lying about Sarah being his wife. Not long afterward the same thing happens to Isaac, Abraham’s son, when he travels down to Egypt too. He lies the exact same lie.

Another example is the weakness that David had with women, is carried out and also quite evident when just looking at the number of females in his son Solomon’s life. These hundreds of females ended up being Solomon’s downfall.

So how does one break free from a generational sin.

Perhaps the first step is realizing that it is a sin, instead of rationalizing it in one way or another. Our minds, coupled with the cunning of the devil, can come up with numerous rationalizations to justify the continuation in the sin.

After acknowledging the sin, the next step is asking for forgiveness from both God, and anyone that you may have wronged with the sin. This forgiveness can help humble us and mend relationships that may have been strained because of the sin.

However this is where most of the resolving ends, which is both bad and sad, because the one thing that is left is the temptation to re-enter the sin. The devil is both patient and persistent, and he will bombard us with both rationalizations and the temptation until we end up falling back into it.

So is there a way we can break this chain of hereditary temptation?

I believe there is. I believe there is a third step, one that may have been forgotten, but more likely, one that the devil convinces us to put aside.

What I found interesting from this idea is that there are only two individuals who can grant Satan license to tempt us: God, and ourselves.

In the case of Job, Satan gets his permission from God to do the tempting.  Why did God allow it? Job asks the exact same question, but the response isn’t one he really likes.

So what about ourselves? Why would any of us even want to open the door to temptation?  Perhaps something has fed us a lie that we need something within the sin to make us complete, which couldn’t be further from the truth.  Perhaps it doesn’t come from us internally, but the doorway is someone else in our lives, someone who wants to push us into something.  It might even be generational, when the sins or weaknesses of the parents end up being the same struggles of the children.

The third step, and the one that will break the chain, is to acknowledge in spoken prayer (so the universe can hear as a witness) that you acknowledge and renounce the [sin/temptation/failure] in your life, that you ask God to break the stronghold that the sin cause or was a part of in your life, and that you ask Jesus “to take back the ground that was given to the enemy” through the [sin/temptation/failure] and that that you yield that ground to His (God’s) control.

This is a pretty simple prayer, but I am a testament to it working in my life.  It is this prayer (well a variant of it) that helped me break free from my bitterness.  It is also this prayer that helped me break free from another temptation that I have had for a while.

Since I don’t know the extent on how far this blog will be read, I am not going to elaborate on it.

It has been around 24 hours since I prayed the prayer about this sin, and from almost immediately afterwards until now, I have had no temptation in this area.  I also have no reason to believe this area will be a problem for me, because I have no intention of ever making it a problem for me again! If the temptation returns, then I will have some words directed at God about it, but I don’t expect that to happen.

I know this works because it has worked in my life.  If you are struggling with something, I encourage you to pray this prayer and to adapt it to your specific issue.  God wants to help you break the chain, and so do I!


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