8And the word of the LORD came to Zechariah, saying, 9“Thus says the LORD of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, 10do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.” 11But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear. 12They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the law and the words that the LORD of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great anger came from the LORD of hosts. 13“As Ib called, and they would not hear, so they called, and I would not hear,” says the LORD of hosts,
As I am praying for revival and for God to break generational sin in my family I am reminded of history repeating itself. God is trying to change the things I think and believe but learned behaviors and responses run very deep. Today just the traditions of my family are pressed on my heart and I have never stopped to consider where they came from or why they are so important. Most of them are focused around holidays and are fun but others are laborious and take all the joy out of the holiday however I have passed each one down as if it is the only way to do things. As I’m reading Zechariah today I realize that this is nothing new, habits are formed and traditions started and for generations families continue to move down that same path. I can see how generations build on the one before and how just a tiny step off the right direction leads to being miles from where the intention began years down the road. There is not a society that does not have traditions and each family not only has their set way of doing things but as spouses and n-laws are added their traditions have to be incorporated into the mix also. I don’t believe that all traditions are bad but the Bible warns me about following the “traditions of men” and not the voice of God. So how many things do I do each day that are just actions from habit? How many beliefs do I have that each generation has passed down and tweaked just a little to fit the new situation that are false. My picture of what love is and how success looks and how God intended family are all in question. God has shown me that throughout the Bible Israel and the church have both gone from true worship to completely following idols in just a small number of generations and I like so many before me have not stopped to consider why. Verse 13 on day 13 is sticking in my head, He called me many times and I would not listen, not because I don’t love Him but because I have my own idea of how things are done. God does not work the way I have been taught and He never changes so do I refuse to pay attention? God is putting me in a place that I must choose to be all the things He has called me or to continue to be all the things the world is calling me. “Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” Paul has clearly laid out the choice and he demonstrated his decision with his life, so can I follow in his footsteps? The answer to breaking generational sin is to put everything in the past behind me and to let God retrain me, remake me, and refine me. It cost Paul tremendously, he gave up everything he had once desired and God did not make the road easy and still he believed “count it all joy”. Just like every other day God patiently waits for my answer and for my surrender and I am left to count the cost with the title “beloved” growing in my heart.