No one wants to be an alcoholic. No one says, "Do you know what? When I get older I think I'll be a drug addict." No one wants to have an anger problem. No man gets married and wants to hit his children or his wife. No one who suffers from depression or oppression wants to be that way. However, if you look further into the situation, you usually find out through counseling that their mother was like that, their father was like that. This is a generational curse.

We recently had a "Freedom Service" in our church. We prayed specifically for people to break the generational curses on their lives. One woman testified that as child, her mother would beat her and hit her on the head. Now as a mother, she does the same thing to her child, and her little girl is doing the same thing to her doll.

Maybe you've inherited a family curse or maybe the curse has begun with you. Either way, God has a plan for your freedom that will shatter the chains of that cycle forever! It will stop it in your life and stop it from passing on to your children!

The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, "What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying: 'The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge'? "As I live," says the LORD GOD, "you shall no longer use this proverb in Israel. Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine" (Ezekiel 18:1-4).

You can be free! John 8:31-36 reminds us that as we abide in Jesus Christ, we receive His freedom. Not only has Jesus set us free from our sins, He has set us free from the penalty, the moral liability, and the ongoing curse of that sin! Jesus Christ is the Anointed One. That means He is the burden-removing, yoke-destroying power of God in our lives.

There's going to come a time when the fathers may eat sour grapes, but the children's teeth will not be set on edge, when the curse will not be passed down from generation to generation. It doesn't have to be "like father like son." Through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, we have a new and better covenant with God the Father. Through Jesus' blood, He forgives us our sin and delivers us from iniquity.

God has redeemed us from the curses being passed on from one generation to the next. This redemption comes as we understand that the root of our problems is in the spiritual realm. As we apply God's Word and power to our lives, and we choose to walk in righteousness and obedience to God, the chains of bondage will be broken. The freedom we have longed for can become reality!

Becoming the Very Thing We Hate
There have been many studies conducted to determine why behavior patterns are passed from one generation to the next. As we have discussed earlier, evidence shows that astounding numbers of people with negative behavior patterns produce children with the same negative behavior patterns. The government is trying desperately to determine why and how this happens and to develop ways to break the cycle. Does the answer lie in the study of the genes? Can we find the answer in the study of the environment in which we grow up?

No. The answer lies in the study of the word of God. The Bible tells us there are generational curses that are passed from one generation to the next. Thank God, Jesus has provided a way to not only break the cycle in our lives, but to stop it from passing on to our children.

How many of you faced things as a child and now, today, your children are facing the same things with you as the adult? We swore we would never be like that, but we have become the very thing we hated. We want to change, but we can't. We can relate to Paul when he wrote: "For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate that I do" (Romans 7:15).

Breaking the Bondage
When I was a drug addict, even though I hated it, I would stick that needle in my arm over and over again. I was bound by drugs and controlled by the needle. I went from being an athlete in college sports to a drug addict living in a deserted shack far out in the woods. Every dollar I could beg, borrow, or steal was spent to put drugs in my veins. My money was gone, my health was gone, my life was gone, and I hated myself. I wanted to change. I had a desire to change. But in myself, I had no power to change.