Invisible Influences


So Jacob arose and set his sons and his wives on camels. Laban had gone to shear his sheep, and Rachel stole her father’s household gods. Genesis 31:17,19

         Jacob is about to leave for Canaan. Laban is out of the camp, away in distant fields with his sons. With no one watching, Rachel steals her father’s idols. I’ve always believed that there was a part of her that held on to her father’s gods for protection but the reason is much broader.

         Whoever possesses a family’s gods is considered the leader of the family, and the one who possesses the rights to the father’s inheritance. If Rachel were the oldest, that’s one thing. But Rachel had brothers! With Laban away and out of sight, Rachel stole her brothers’ inheritance.

         I read this with wide eyes this morning. She committed the same sin as her husband. He had tricked his father into giving him Esau’s blessing and inheritance. Had Jacob told Rachel the story? I don’t know. But ‘like often produces like’ even in the invisible world. In families, grievous sins are passed down and re-committed even though the next generation often has no idea what their ancestors committed. It’s ‘in the blood.’

         Just as new blood flow is needed to repair physical wounds, new blood flow is also needed to repair spiritual wounds. No one’s blood has the power to wash a bloodline clean except what Jesus freely offers. He longs for us to apply the cleansing power of His sacrifice to our ancestral line. There need not be insidious generational influences looming over our families any longer. I need not stand by and watch the consequences of my family’s sin hurt my children and grandchildren. I can stop the unholy legacy from continuing by applying the blood of Christ to each generational pattern that holds my family captive. By doing this, Christ cancels out the effects that were caused by their sin.

         Invisible influences are destructive but in Christ, they are also supernaturally positive and redemptive.

Father, someone is coming to You in the name of Your Son, Jesus. They long to be free from the negative and invisible influences of family. Guide them, Holy Spirit, in a spiritual housecleaning so that they may live as Your children rather than the obedient children of fallen flesh and blood. Amen

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