“I guess I’ll never move ahead in life like some people do,” Brad told me one Sunday after I had spoken at his church. “My parents have always barely made it. My Dad had a drinking problem and constantly moved from one menial job to the next. My Mom wasn’t educated, so she always worked as a server in restaurants. Dad stayed angry all the time and Mom was always depressed. All the way back in my family, it’s been one thing or another.”
As I listened to Brad describe his background, it was obvious to me that he would never move forward in any way until God changed his attitude. His view of his past had destroyed his hopes for the future. He thought he was destined to repeat the family pattern of failure.
One time God spoke to a group of people who were in a similar situation to Brad’s. In Ezekiel 16, He said to Jerusalem, “Your origin and your birth were in the land of the Canaanites. Your father was an Amorite and your mother was a Hittite” (16:3). These two groups were known for their wickedness and idolatry.
Let’s face it – not every body comes from a healthy family background. Does that limit their ability to move forward in life? It doesn’t have to be that way.
God went further in His remarks to Israel: “I passed by and saw you lying in your blood, and I said to you [as you lay in your blood], ‘Live!’ I made you thrive like plants of the field. You grew up and matured and became very beautiful” (16:6-7).
Maybe you’re like the people to whom God spoke in Israel. Maybe “your Daddy was an Amorite and your mamma was a Hittite.” It doesn’t matter, because one day He passed by and saw you. While you were lying in your own filth, He said to you, “Live!” and you came alive, spiritually. His Divine Life was placed into you and that changes everything.
Don’t be held captive by your past. It isn’t necessary to pretend your heritage is something other than what it really was, but you don’t have to be held back by it. When Jesus Christ gave you His life, His past became your past. You received a new heritage. The new you has been in Him since the foundation of the world. (See Ephesians 1:4) You aren’t who you used to be. (See 2 Corinthians 5:17) You aren’t the sum of your family’s past. You are who God made you to be – a divine work of art (see Ephesians 2:10), endowed with supernatural potential (see Philippians 4:13).
In Christ, your future is as bright as the promises of God! Don’t allow yourself to be trapped by lies which suggest that you’ll never make it in life. You will make it because you have been delivered from your background. Your future hinges on the loving faithfulness of God and He can be trusted.
The Psalmist wrote: “Your goodness is so great! You have stored up blessings for those who honor you. You have done so much for those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world!” (Psalm 31:19)
Believe God. The days ahead are bright ones because you have been made righteous in Jesus Christ and righteous people have a bright future. “The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full day” (Proverbs 4:18).