I will be posting soon about my experiences in Brazil and Haiti. But I’m giving myself a little more time by posting some great revelation I had this past summer about my spiritual heritage. I found it today and thought it was worth sharing.
2 Timothy 1:5-6
I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Children who are born into Christian homes often look down on their testimonies/stories as less credible than those born into non Christian environments. Many times we applaud those “born into sin” (as if we all weren’t) and who continue in sin, often in ways that harm their bodies, and then come to know and accept Jesus as their Savior. As if somehow their immorality makes their salvation worth more, and thus their stories more worthy of being proclaimed.
What is true in this regard is those who are forgiven much love much. Check out a really great story in Luke 7:36-8:3 for more details on this.
I actually am one of those children who grew up in a Christian home. And until recently most of my unspoken thoughts were inline with the thoughts above. But I’ve realized those ideas are majorly lacking revelation and an eternal mindset. When I value my salvation based upon what I’ve been saved from, I’m looking backwards, looking at who I used to be. But when I look forward, when I look into the eyes of the hope set before me, I realize there is a bigger picture. That is, I’ve been saved for something (a destiny), and more than that I’ve been saved for someone, the man Christ Jesus.
So what does that have to do with spiritual heritage? Well I believe that when we view our salvation in this context we begin to appreciate those who’ve paved the way for us.
Here’s a small portion of my story to explain to further.
At my grandparents 50th anniversary I heard an amazing testimony. I won’t go into their whole story, but both of my grandparents were born and raised in very broken homes. Neither of them knew what marriage was supposed to look like or how to be parents, but they found mentors that did, and they prayed. They weren’t perfect, but now their family testifies to their faithfulness in prayer and love.
All three of their children are serving the Lord. My uncle is a pastor/apostle, my aunt is an intercessor and missionary, and my mom is an orphan care advocate. And now me, my siblings, my cousins, with this heritage, where might we go? My grandparents were generational changers. My parents raised me with truth. I have been hedged in.
Sadly I’ve lived a lot of my life trying to get outside that reality, testifying mostly to the sin I’ve gotten myself into. Instead of testifying to all the ways I’ve been saved from darkness and many hardships. My heart has wanted the Lord since as long as I can remember. Why? Not my righteousness. But God’s love for me and His faithfulness not only to me, but my grandparents and my parents.
“I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
I see now that I’ve been given a platform to be launched off of. I can go to greater heights because my path has been made clear by those who have gone before me. I can stay stagnant. I can linger on that platform, try and build an alternative platform, or I can choose to take by faith what is freely mine. I can cultivate and grow what’s been given to me by grace or I can try to forge my own path.
Humility is key here, it’s where we can really encounter truth. “The meek will inherit the earth,” “the pure in heart will see God” (Matthew 5). Humility is NOT low self-esteem. Humility is NOT a lowering of yourself, but instead seeing yourself how you truly are in God’s eyes. Humility is looking at yourself through the lens of God’s eyes, through the lens of truth. So I look at myself not through the lens of my flesh or how the world might view me, but through the Spirit.
Who am I in the Spirit? What is mine according to the Spirit? In humility I can step up to the plate with confidence. Because I realize I am not who I’ve made myself to be, but who God has made me to be through the prayers of many. I have tried to create a Brittany, in the world with sin and rebellion, and I see now that I’ve tried to do that in the spirit as well. But humility is full surrender in who God destined me to be. So I stop trying to create the Brittany I think I am or am supposed to be.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
In Romans 8, Paul talks about setting your mind not on things of the the flesh (meaning sin nature), but on things of the Spirit. In Colossians 3:1-3, Paul says to seek and set your minds on things above, not things of the earth. Because we have died, and our lives are now hidden in Christ. This is eternal life (John 17:3), and we are called to walk in this reality.
See eternal minds don’t boast in past rebellion, but in what God is doing through their lives and how He is encountering them with love. Eternal minds are set on the hope of future glory! Not current glory, but future glory which is all according to JESUS. Eternal minds are able to testify in their current state, they testify of tasting and seeing (Psalm 34:8). They testify to His goodness. We are in the process of being saved. Meaning we have been saved and we are sons and daughters, “but who we will be has yet to be known, but we know that when He appears we will be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who thus hopes purifies himself as He is pure.” – 1 John 3:2-3
I think this is really valuable revelation. I needed to hear it again. I believe it’s one of those truths where we can say, “let those of us who are mature think this way.” My prayer is for those of us with rich spiritual heritages to jump off our platforms with full confidence. And for those of you who are generational changers, like my grandparents, be excited about the path you’re treading for your children so they can run further, faster.
And as I post this revelation I’m praying the prayer I wrote when I originally received this revelation.
Lord I accept my heritage. I accept not only my earthly heritage through my family according to the flesh, but more so my heritage according the Jesus, and His righteousness! I rest in your work! The finished work on the cross, which is my righteousness! I rest in the hands of the potter. I rest in my Beloved. I rest in my Father. I am His! I am His workmanship!