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You Can Stop the Plague
By Joel Osteen - Dec 02, 2022
Most of the things we struggle with didn't start with us. They've been passed down in our family line. Just as you inherit your parents' DNA that determines your eye color and height, you also inherit attitudes, habits, and behaviors. Research shows how depression, anger, low self-esteem, and addictions can be passed down. What was in your bloodline showed up with you. The Scripture calls this "an iniquity," which means a hereditary weakness. I've seen whole families where no one gets along-grandparents, parents, children, and cousins arguing, bitter, at odds. That's a spirit of strife and division that keeps getting passed down.

It's good to study your family history and see what your strengths and weaknesses are. Where does your family excel, and where do you see a pattern of mediocrity, compromise, and failure? When you understand those same spirits are coming after you, you can be on guard and say, "No, thanks. Depression is not welcome here. I'm not giving in to this addiction, to this compromise. I'm not living inferior, angry, bitter, or with poverty." Don't let that iniquity continue on through you. It's been in your family line, but you can put an end to it. You're the difference maker. Everyone in your family may have it, but you're the one who defies the odds and breaks barriers. You're the exception.

In Numbers 25, Midianite women had lured the Israelites into worshiping the god Baal, into partying and committing all kinds of immorality. God was very displeased. A plague broke out and twenty-four thousand Israelites died, and it looked as though the plague would continue. In an act of public defiance to Moses' warning, one of the Israelite men took a Midianite woman into his tent. Then a man named Phinehas rose up and put the couple to death. Psalm 106:30 says, "Phinehas had the courage to intervene, and the plague was stopped." One person took a stand and said, "I'm going to honor God and do the right thing," and the plague ended. You can stop the plague in your family. You can be the Phinehas. You can break the negative cycle of defeat, compromise, addiction, and mediocrity.

Phinehas's action was extreme, but it saved others. Take it symbolically. You can stop the plague, but you have to kill the anger, kill the addiction, kill the unforgiveness. What you don't kill will end up killing. As long as you allow these things to live, they will kill your dreams, kill your freedom, kill your purpose, and get passed down to your children. Have the courage to step up. Our attitude should be: "This may have been passed down, but it's not going to get past me. I will win the battle. This is where it ends."
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