Exodus 34: 6-7 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”
Yes, it’s Old Testament. What I’ve come to learn is that much in the Old Testament still applies until it is placed on the cross by an act of will.
This was my awakening. Years and years ago, a friend of mine called to ask if I would pray for the sister of a woman with whom she went to church. I agreed to pray for this stranger and it forever changed my life, my understanding of the who the Lord is and how the spirit realm works.
Here’s the story. The woman for whom I was praying was in the hospital, had been told she would not live due to a severe case of asthma. She was in her late 30’s and had young children at home. It was a tragically sad situation over which I was more than happy to seek the Lord. I was told that asthma had claimed many members in their family line so no one was surprised at her struggles, but were in fact resigned to the inevitability of yet another family member lost to this horrid disease.
As I was praying for her, something happened that would changed my view of reality. I saw a picture- a scene, as though it were in a movie. (I can still see it today, decades later, as though it were new right now.) Here’s the scene. It’s a room in a castle in England, somewhere around the 1800’s. It’s at night. The room is dark and a bit chilly and damp. It must be winter. The walls are tall, the door is large and heavy. I can see into the room from the top far corner. I see a large oval shaped crib, covered in ivory lace linens with a bedskirt hanging off of the crib to the floor. There’s a tiny baby in the crib but I can’t see the child, I just know it’s there. Then I see the door to the room open and in walks Edward, quietly but not without confidence. Edward is perhaps in his 40’s, he’s wearing typical double breasted clothes from the 1800’s. He has brownish/reddish hair and a relatively long beard. He clearly was not a poor man. He was unemotional and matter of fact. He walked over to the crib, he took the pillow from the crib, he covered the sleeping baby’s face with the pillow until the child lay lifeless in the crib. He removed the pillow, turned around and walked out of the room.
This scene, revealing itself so forcefully in the midst of my prayers, alarmed and startled me. I was taken aback. So I said to the Lord, “What the heck was that?” Not being a woman that is tremendously quick, I had to pause a moment before seeing the obvious connection to the prayers I was praying on behalf of a stranger.
I found myself nervous, surprised, and intrigued by what this could mean. Could this mean that the sin of a forefather was visiting itself on the woman dying in the hospital as it had many of the relatives before her? I continued in prayer until I knew that I knew that I knew that I had to pursue this with my friend.
If what I was seeing was true, then this in fact happened. Edward suffocated this child. It was murder. For generations, his ancestors are inflicted with asthma- an inability to breathe. “…he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”
Not wanting to look like a darn fool, I called my friend and asked her to find out this woman’s family heritage, if there was any British blood in her and if there were any ancestors named Edward. She asked me why I would be asking such a thing and I told her I would tell her once she received an answer for me. I waited nervously- wondering if the Lord had communicated with me or if I had indigestion or something. And then the call came.
Indeed, they were British, they had a relative in their direct line named Edward. And how did I know this? They wanted to know.
With no time to spare, I asked my friend to get to the hospital and pray over this woman, confessing the sin of her relative and breaking a curse of asthma over her that had visited the family for generations since then. I asked her to command that Satan release her from any effects of asthma in the name of Jesus, that she is free from the curse of the law.
Honestly, I didn’t know what I was doing in terms of warfare at the time but regardless, God is gracious. The women made a bee line to the hospital and prayed. And this woman who was told she would not live made an instant and full recovery! The next day she was released. The doctors couldn’t understand it.
God had gotten my attention. My life was changed forever. Thus began my journey into the understanding of spiritual warfare and how the Old Testament and New Testament work in the spirit realm.
Take Away: We are in fact at war with the enemy of our souls. And we love and serve a God who is greater than all. Learning the way the spirit realm works by facing the reality of spiritual warfare can greatly change the quality of our lives. But more than that, it will enrich our understanding of who God is.
Prayer: Dear Lord, please teach me who You are, teach me Your ways, and open my heart to the understanding of spiritual warfare to whatever degree You choose.