Expectations

We all have expectations.  Optimists have positive expectations.  Pessimists have negative expectations.  And most of the issues we have with people and life are based on our expectations.  So a question we should ask is, ‘Why have expectations at all?’

Expectations lead us to the pain of ‘hope deferred’ (Proverbs 13:12).  If our expectations are not fulfilled we become upset and that can lead us to strife with others or cause us to pull back from them.

People often express displeasure with others based on their expectations.  Consider the conversations you hear among your friends, or even on the media.  People often express their disapproval of the actions of their spouse, children, boss, employees, friends, government, etc.

But just because we hold an expectation does not make us right.  Our expressed disapproval might sound like an expression of high moral values and our privileged right to find fault with others, but it is actually a violation of God’s instruction to us that we are not to judge others, otherwise we will be judged (Matthew 7:1).

Wrong Expectations

Our expectations can be completely wrong, no matter how deeply held.

A wife might complain, “My husband comes home and watches TV!”

Well, that puts him among millions of other husbands.  So, what’s the problem?

The problem is she had a different expectation.  She may really want him to do chores, or to give her personal attention, or to play with the kids, or help the kids with their homework, or make repairs or just be busy rather than appearing lazy.

Whatever her expectation it is the basis for her judgment, disapproval, frustration, resentment, etc.

Similarly a husband may complain about his wife not pleasing him, when she does many things for him that other wives do not do.  The problem is not the amount of things she does, but whether what she does matches his expectations.

Those expectations could lead to bitterness, feelings of rejection and even divorce.

These issues are often brought up to couples planning to wed, to show that the families of origin have different modes of operation and different values, which lead the couple to have different ideas of what they and the other should do.

The word EXPECTATIONS cuts to the heart of this problem.

Susan’s Expectations

Recently my wife expressed disappointment with me because we had arranged to chat about something and her expectation of how I would engage in the process was different to mine.  I did not realise she had a specific expectation of me and my failure to meet her expectations was a disappointment to her.

This simple moment of mismatched expectations became a good prompt for me to distil the process of unfulfilled expectations impacting our lives.

Expressing Expectations

We all encounter times when others, especially our spouse or family members, do not meet our expectations.  And at times we may even feel that God has not met our expectations.

Consider how easy it is for people with expectations to say such things as: “He wasn’t supposed to do that”; “I never expected to hear her say such a thing”; “Why did God let it happen?”; “Are you just going to sit there and do nothing about this?”; “I never thought you’d let me down like this”; “You don’t care, do you?”; “You’ve really let me down this time”; “Life wasn’t meant to turn out like this”; “Why did this have to happen to me?”; “I deserve better than this”; “I have every right to be angry”.
On the other hand, people often find themselves facing the disapproval of others without really understanding what they have done wrong.  “I had no idea I was supposed to do such a thing”, “What in the world did I do wrong now?”, “Why can’t you be happy with what I do?”, “I did it the way you said”, “I thought you’d like it, that’s why I went out of my way to do this for you”, “What’s the use? No matter what I do I get in trouble”.

Inner Needs and Desires

Expectations are based on our inner needs and desires.  We want people to please us.  We want things to go well for us.  We want things our way.  So we set up expectations that others will please us and we will get our way.  When this doesn’t happen we accuse the others of failing us, rather than facing our own inner expectations.

When our expectations bring us into strife with others we can be sure that they are based on pride and selfishness.  When our expectations cause us to feel hurt by others it is most likely that we have made that person an idol in our life and are looking to them to bring us fulfilment and personal benefits which we should be looking only to God to bring to us.

Expectations and Wants

Our expectations are closely linked to our wants.

Consider the interchange of the word ‘expect’ and ‘want’ in the following sentences.

“Surely you don’t expect me to believe that!”

“Do you expect me to wait around all day for you?”

“The children expect me to wait on them hand and foot.”

“I expect you to take notice of my wishes and to fulfil them.”

“I expect this mess to be cleaned up by the time I return.”

If we have many expectations of others then we could also be seen as someone who is highly demanding or desiring to control others.  Expectations, wants and demands are often interchangeable.

Death to Expectations

Imagine what life would be like if you had no expectations and made no demands on others or on life itself.
If you saw your life as a responsibility to please and worship God and to fulfil His will for you life, with no expectations more than that life will happen and you will enjoy eternity with God when this life ends, then you would not end up in arguments with people about how they fail you.

If you had no expectations of others, or of life itself, you would accept whatever comes your way and do your best for God’s glory.  Husbands would love their wife no matter how she treated him, and wives would submit to their husbands no matter what he was like.  Parents would love and train their children without resorting to disapproval, manipulation or control.  People would serve God whether it was easy or hard and endure all manner of challenges with faith and patience.

Expectations are Toxic

When we hold expectations of others we elevate that person to the place of an idol in our lives.  We see them as a source of something we want, when God is our source.  We think that if our spouse, parents, children, others or society was to treat us a certain way then we would be fulfilled and happy.  But we are to be fulfilled and happy in God, not by the provisions of others.  If we look to others then they are effectively an idol we have put our trust in, in the place of God.

Expectations of God

We are to have positive expectations of God, because He is holy and totally reliable.  His word is true.

But even there, we must remember that God is sovereign and that when God does us good it may not be the way we would have ordered it.

Deep trials are often a way of God doing us good, as we see illustrated in Psalm 107.

We also see how David the shepherd boy faced two fearful menaces, a bear and a lion.  That’s not what the average shepherd sees as a good thing.  They would not normally order such experiences if they had the choice.  But for David his encounters with the lion and bear qualified him to take on Goliath and become a champion (1Samuel 17:36).

David’s famous Psalm 23 talks of having our head anointed with oil and sitting at a banqueting table.  But the road to such a place is through the “valley of the shadow of death”.

Claiming Scripture

God assures us that “all things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28) and we are to believe that God “is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).  We also know that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38,39).

So we are to have high expectations of God.

Yet Revelation 4:11 tells us we are not on the planet for our own pleasure but for God’s pleasure.  Jesus told us to “seek first the Kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33).

We are to live in high expectation of God, while at the same time trusting God when things appear to go wrong, and allowing God to take us on His road, not the road of our choosing.

Let Go

As we mature in life we have each learned to let go of things.  As we do, we experience increased freedom.  So why not accelerate your personal growth right now by taking stock of your expectations and letting go of them?

Let go of your expectations of your spouse.  You probably expect them to please you and fulfil you.  Well, let go.  Give up such expectations.  If you get such things treat it as a blessing, not as a right you can demand.  Choose to love and serve God, no matter what your spouse is or does.

Let go of your expectations toward your children or parents.  Much of what you want them to be or do is probably linked to your personal values and wishes.  Thank God for your family.  Trust your children to God.  Do what God asks of you as a child and as a parent, and leave the rest to Him.

Let go of your expectations of life.  It has been said that ‘happiness is a means of travel, not a destination’.  Enjoy the life God has given you and do all you do to the glory of God.  Rejoice, whether you abound or are in lack.

Ask God to show you your expectations and as you discover them from time to time, probably by feeling upset by someone not meeting your expectations, ask God to forgive you for holding such expectations and for judging others, and then give up that expectation altogether.

I believe there is great freedom for us all to enjoy as we do.

Hearing the Voice of God

A common question asked by Christians is, “How can I hear the voice of God?”  Most people desire to know what God wants of them and what God has in store for them.  Yet often people do not find an answer.

The Bible tells us that God is ready to speak with us.  In fact Jesus declared that His sheep hear His voice and follow Him.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” John 10:27

So the more important question is not “How do I hear the voice of God?” but “Are you willing to hear what God has to say?”

If God spoke to you today what would He say to you?

And would you accept what God said?

The Burning Bush

One of the most dramatic examples of God speaking to someone is that of Moses meeting God at the Burning Bush.  In Exodus chapters 3 and 4 we have the record of Moses in the wilderness looking after his father-in-law’s sheep when he sees a burning bush.  The bush burns for a long time but is never consumed, and that intrigues Moses, so he goes to see the sight close up.

As Moses approaches the bush God speaks to him and tells him to take off his shoes because it is holy ground.

So this stands out as a most remarkable encounter where a man heard clearly and directly from God.

All those who wish to know what God is saying to them should want a Burning Bush experience, where they can talk with God and hear what God has to say.

Arguing With God

For Moses, however, this encounter was not one that he cherished.  It was not a lovely time of meeting with God.  In fact it was a very troubling time and one that led Moses to argue vigorously with God.

God called Moses to go back to Egypt to tell Pharaoh to let God’s people go.

Moses responded by asking, “Who am I that I should go?”  God reassured Moses by saying, “I will be with you”.  Then Moses told God, “I don’t know your name”.  God told Moses that God is the great “I AM”, and told Moses to tell the people that “I am that I am has sent you”.

Moses continued to resist God, by declaring, “They will not believe me”.  So God gave several supernatural signs to Moses to do, including his rod turning into a serpent.  Then Moses argued that he was not eloquent of speech.  God reminded Moses that it was God who created the mouth, and so could be with him in his speaking.

Finally Moses told God to, “Send someone else”.  And this angered God.

What About You?

Do you really want to hear from God?  Moses didn’t, despite the wonderful sight of a burning bush.

Moses did not want to hear what God said to him.  Moses resisted God and argued with Him.

Would you really listen to God?  Would you readily accept what God says?

What makes you different to Moses?

If God spoke with you today, what would he say to you?

I see in scripture that God gave four kinds of messages that God speaks to people.

If God sent an angel to your home to give you a message from God would you let the angel in, or sneak out the back door and run away?

Voice of Judgment

We see in scripture that God often speaks judgment upon people.  In fact, Christians should expect to hear such messages from God because of what Jesus said, that He rebukes those He loves.

“Those I love I rebuke and chasten” Revelation 3:19

We also have the sobering message that God told Jonah to say to Nineveh.  His warning was that “God sees what you have been doing”.

“Go tell Nineveh that ‘God sees your wickedness!’” Jonah 1:2

How would you feel if an angel came to your house to warn you that “God has been watching you, and has seen what you have done”?  Would that be an encouragement or a fearful thought to you?

The similar thought was brought to Belshazzar by Daniel, warning him that he has been weighed in the balance and found wanting.  That very night his kingship would come to an end.

“Belshazzar, You have failed to meet God’s standard!” Daniel 5:25-28

And consider the New Testament warning by Paul, that God will not be mocked.  You will get what you deserve.

“God will not be mocked! What a man sows is what will grow in his life.” Galatians 6:7,8
Which one of those messages would you like to have given to you?

God’s Call to Action

The angel of God came to Gideon and told him that God saw him as a “mighty man of valour”.  He was instructed to go out and fight the Midianites that were oppressing Israel (see Judges 6:11,12).

Gideon did not want that message and struggled to believe it.

On the other hand we have the lovely example of Mary, the mother of Jesus.  The angel came to her to advise her that she would have a baby and He would be the Christ (see Luke 1:30,31,38).

Mary asked, how can this happen since I am not married?  The angel told her that the Holy Spirit would put sperm in her womb so the child would be from man and from God.

Mary’s response was to say, “Let it happen to me according to your word”.  She did not argue as Moses had done.

Power of the Call

We see often in scripture that God calls people who do not feel adequate for the task.  The reason God can do this is because the call itself has power embedded in it.

The Apostle Paul reflected on this in Romans 4:17, when he recounted how Abraham believed God’s promise.  Paul said that God calls things into existence.

The very call itself has the power to fulfil the promise.  Gideon became a mighty man.  Saul became a king.  Mary became the mother of a child, without any man being involved.

The angel that came to Mary further explained how this can be when he told her that Mary’s aged cousin Elisabeth was expecting her first child.  The angel simply stated, “With God nothing is impossible”, Luke 1:37.

Do not fear the call of God.  Embedded in the call is the power to make what seems impossible a reality in your life.

Blessing

God has met with people in history in order to bring blessing to them.

God came to Abraham and told him, “I will bless you, and make your name great; and you will be a blessing”, Genesis 12:1-3.

God came to King Solomon and told him that “I will give you riches and honour”, 1Kings 3:5-14.

Jabez asked God for some pretty good blessings, including that he would have larger influence and be protected from evil.  God granted those requests, 1Chronicles 4:10.

So it may be that the angel sent to your home with a message from God is there to confer blessing on you, or to tell you that God has heard your prayers and will grant your requests.

Guidance

Another message that God gives to His people is that of guidance.

The prophet Isaiah tells us that we will hear God’s voice telling us which way to go.

“And your ears will hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk in it, when you turn to the right hand, and when you turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21

In the New Testament we have several examples of God’s guidance in the book of Acts.

Philip the evangelist was instructed to go into the desert and when he arrived there he saw a chariot.  God instructed him to go to the chariot.  The result was the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch, Acts 8:26-29.

The apostle Paul was clearly led to go to Macedonia, after being blocked by God from going in several other directions, Acts 16:9.

So it might be that an angel sent to you home has come to give you directions from God.

Do You Want to Hear?

I come again to the question, “Are you willing to hear what God has to say?”

It’s one thing to wish for God to speak, but if He did, would you listen?  Or would you be like Moses and Gideon, reacting to what God said and trying to shrink away from it?

If you had your own, personal Burning Bush, would you use it?

If you could break a twig off the Burning Bush and pull it out when you need an answer, sticking it in the ground, having it fire up, and then being able to speak directly with God, would you want such a thing?

Would you believe what God says, or would you argue with it?

A Personal Burning Bush

I recently saw Theresa Dedmon from Behhtel Church in Redding California create prophetic art in Melbourne and I was blessed by what her picture spoke to me.  When I chatted with her later, she did not have in mind the message I received.  So I see this as a prophetic message that I am to share.

Her painting depicted a tree that was growing out of an open Bible.  She had in the mind the Tree of Life.  But she painted it with a yellow glow upon the branches, and that spoke to me of the burning bush.

What the picture spoke to me was that the Burning Bush of Moses’ day was rooted in the Bible.  The Bible is the source of God’s word to us, and so anything we would hear from a Burning Bush experience is simply a manifestation of what is already said to us by God in the Bible.

The Bible is our “more sure word of prophecy”, 2Peter 1:19, and so it is our Personal Burning Bush.

Any time you want a Burning Bush experience all you need do is pick up your Bible and open its pages.

But Here’s the Rub

Just because the Bible is God’s Word and it is your Personal Burning Bush, does not mean you will hear from God.

Moses resisted what God said.  Moses argued with God.

And isn’t that what many Christians do when they read the Bible?

They find excuses why they don’t rejoice ever more, cast all their cares upon Him, forgive those who offend them, rest in confidence in God, confess Christ before men, and so on.

They struggle to believe the promises of God.  They fail to rise to the calling of holiness God asks of them.  They fail to stop loving the world and the things in the world.  In fact, most Christians only accept those parts of the Bible that suit them.

It is Time to Hear God

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me”, John 10:27.

Open your heart to God’s Word.  Let God Challenge and Correct You, Call you to action, Bless You and Guide You.

Take out your personal burning bush and listen to what God is saying to you from His word, the Bible.  And this time DO what God’s word tells you to do.

Passing the Family Blessing

The Bible reveals that fathers pass on blessings to their children, as we see with Isaac praying an irrevocable blessing onto his son Jacob (Genesis 27).

We also see fathers commissioning their sons, as David did to Jonathan in passing the Kingship to him (1Kings 2).

We also see fathers passing on wisdom to their children as Solomon did in Proverbs (Proverbs 1:8).

We see a family put under restraint by their ancestors, such as the Rechabites being put under limitation by the command of Jonadab and God honouring the faithfulness of that family in following the family standards (Jeremiah 35).

We also see that God oversees intergenerational transfer of various things through the family line, such as visiting the iniquities onto the descendants (Ex 20:5) and giving ownership of revelation to future generations (Deut 29:29). The children of the righteous are known to be blessed (Psalm 37:25) and the descendants of those chosen for special purpose walk in the family calling, such as the line of Levi and Aaron’s priestly family (Numbers 18:1).

It is important to note that individuals are able to transcend the family heritage, curses, limitations, etc.  We see this when God calls and blesses someone, such as David, for special purpose.  God did this when He called Abraham to be the father of a new nation of people.  New horizons open up when God enters our lives.

The Family Heritage and Blessing

The graces we receive through our family are listed here and numbered from 1 – 7, in two general categories, including those things conferred by God and those things conferred by our fathers.

Those things which are conferred upon us by God

1.  We receive the Adamic family curse of death by being born as one of Adam’s descendants.  God placed this curse upon Adam and all Adam’s descendants at the fall of man (Genesis 3, 1Corinthians 15:22).

2.  We receive the impact of the iniquities of our forbears and we receive any family curses transferred upon us, at the hand of God, Himself.  God warns that it is He who visits the iniquities of the fathers upon the descendents to three and four generations (Exodus 20:5).  Eli’s family line was cursed forever in punishment for Eli failing to discipline his children (1Samuel 3:13).

3.  We receive all the blessings and graces that rest on the family, including calling, anointing, responsibilities and grace, such as the descendants of Aaron have in their calling to be priests before God.

4.  We receive inheritance rights including those rights based on our place in the family.  The land and assets of the father becomes the birthright of the children, and the birthright of the firstborn son entitles him to a double portion of inheritance (Deuteronomy 21:17).  This inheritance includes right to all revelation of God and God’s grace that has been provided to the former generations (Deuteronomy 29:29).

Resolving Negative Transfer

We can deal with the Adamic curse by faith in Jesus Christ causing us to be born again and be given resurrection after death.

We can deal with the family curses also through Christ, who was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities (Isaiah 53:5), and through the grace of God, who turns our curses into blessings (Deuteronomy 23:5).

We can deal with the blessings and graces by claiming them and walking in them.

We can deal with our inheritance by determining to claim our birthright, and by not despising it and selling it off, as Esau did.

Those things conferred upon us by our fathers

5.  Fathers minister to the child his or her identity and acceptance in the family as an endorsed son or daughter.

The father of the prodigal endorsed the prodigal’s standing by declaring “this is my son” and by giving the returned prodigal the various tokens of sonship and authority in his home.  The older brother objected but it was in the father’s power to confer sonship status, blessing and grace on his son, and he chose to do so (see Luke 15).

We further see this paternal endorsement when the father declares “this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17).  This declaration is believed to be a cultural norm in ancient Israel, endorsing the son as being in equal partnership with the father, as an approved graduate of the father’s discipline and training regime and thus able to act with the father’s authority, as an equal in the family business.

We see that where a father fails to discipline his son something of the transfer of identity and authority is lost, as explained in Hebrews 12:5-8.  The son takes on the character of an illegitimate son if not properly corrected.  We see that King David’s failure to deal with the sins of his sons led to tragedy (2Samuel 13).

Thus a wise father will guide, instruct, discipline and affirm his sons, training them to work with him and to approve themselves as worthy of his full endorsement.

Note that a foolish son who rebelled against his parents was to be denounced and exposed by the parents and stoned, under Mosaic law (Deuteronomy 21:18-21).

6.  Fathers set a standard for their children, which standard tests the child’s character and impacts the child’s destiny.

We see this when Jonadab the son of Rechab instructed his family line to live in tents and not to drink alcohol.  In the following generations the family continued to obey that family standard, even though Jonadab was long dead and his descendants may well have been of greater age and seniority than Jonadab was when he set that standard.  God commended the Rechabites for their faithfulness and pronounced a blessing on them (see Jeremiah 35).

A wise father is careful about the standards he sets and seeks God’s wisdom in raising his children.  Such training is referred to as the “nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4), because, although the vehicle for the training is the father, the standards are set by the Lord, not the dad himself.

7.  Fathers pronounce blessings and curses on their children.

King Saul put a curse on any of his soldiers who ate before a battle was ended.  Saul’s son, Jonathan, did not hear about the curse and ate honey, causing a spiritual problem.  Saul’s rash curse created trouble for his family (1Samuel 14).

Similarly Jephthah made a rash promise to God, which led to the death of his only child (Judges 11).

Because children are under the care of their father, he having authority over them, his pronouncements upon them have force and need to be attended to.

If a father makes a rash promise, curse, commitment or other impediment impacting his children those children can come before God, as their Heavenly Father with greater authority than their natural father, and resolve the issues created by the father.

A wise father will seek to bless his children.

He will lead them to faith in Jesus Christ to resolve the Adamic curse of death.

He will resolve all curses and iniquities in the family line, standing in the gap for his family, so all curses are terminated and turned into blessings for his children.

He will release to his children all the family graces and blessings, raising the children to fulfil the destiny and special privileged positions falling to the family.

He will create a rich godly inheritance for his children.

He will affirm his children and establish their identity as blessed godly seed enjoying all the graces of God which transfer through the family.

He will seek God for godly standards to set for his family, avoiding excessive demands which become a burden and discouragement to his descedants.

He will pronounce blessings upon his children, releasing the grace of God into their lives.

A wise son will seek the family blessing.

He will come to faith in Jesus Christ.

He will acknowledge and resolve all curses and iniquities in the family line, standing in the gap for his family, so all curses are terminated and turned into blessings for the whole family.

He will claim the family graces and blessings and seek to fulfil godly destiny and privileges which are his in the family.

He will seek and claim his spiritual inheritance, including all those things that have been revealed to the family in previous generations, so his starting point is higher than any of his ancestors.

He will accept his identity from God, even if never released to him by his natural father, seeking God’s endorsement and authority to fulfil godly destiny.

He will accept the standards and challenges set by his father, asking God for grace to fulfil them and to resolve them, and even to remove them if they are vain and counter to an effective godly life.

He will accept all blessings conferred by his dad, and accept all curses also, taking those curses to his Heavenly Father so those curses are turned into blessings.

Further to this, a wise son will walk first as a Son of God, and he will cherish the human father God chose for him, knowing that the weaknesses and failings of that man were designed to test the character of the son and enable the son to find God’s grace, not only for the home, but for life.

A wise son will also be careful to recognise spiritual fathering and be careful to have a godly connection with his natural family and with God as his Heavenly Father.

While the Pharisees had a natural connection to Abraham as their biological family ancestor, Jesus accused them of not being true children of Abraham, because they did not walk in the faith of Abraham, and instead Jesus accused them of being children of the devil, because they did the works of the devil (see John 8:37-44).

Wise sons have God as their Heavenly Father, their natural dad as their human father, Abraham as their spiritual father (following Abraham’s example of believing God), and godly men from the Bible, history and their acquaintance as role models for their lives.

Note that the Western world gives great emphasis on being an individual, rather than being a product of the family.  Many fathers and children today fail to recognise the importance of the family and the father’s blessing.

The Bible reveals that the father has a divinely appointed significance in his children’s lives.  The closing verses of the Old Testament (Malachi 4:5,6) suggest that God does not endorse the individualistic ideas of the secular west, but wants us to rediscover the significance of family and the connection between the generations.

Start with Affirmation

Rather than rushing into a family blessing process it might be best in many families to take some time and to deal with the family blessings in at least two stages.

I suggest that a good first stage is AFFIRMATION.

This involves the father affirming the child as his son.  The mother can also engage with this stage.

At this stage it would be good if the child also affirmed their acceptance of their place in the family.

This then leads to the release of the family heritage issues in the child’s life.

At a later, subsequent session, the father can confer a personal blessing onto his child, which the father creates for the child.

These are personal blessings and graces which the parents want to see outworked in the child’s life, such as ministry grace, protection from various weaknesses in the family, and so on.

It may take some time to think about and prepare such a Fatherly Blessing, so that can be left for some later time.

Fathers Passing the Blessing.

A father who wants to bless his children might want to communicate the following ideas….

“Son, I thank God that I have been given the privilege of being your dad.

I know I am not perfect and I don’t think I have been a great example of fathering, but nonetheless I know that God has entrusted your life into my hands and I realise that it is a great responsibility that I cannot take lightly.

Before I bless you, I must first ask you to forgive me for not being a better dad in your life.  As I get older I wish I could have my time over again, to do a better job, with the wisdom I have gained over the years.

Know this, my son, I love you and I do want the best for you.  No matter how imperfectly I do my job, I am your father and I have a special place in your life that I recognise as precious.

Please forgive me for every time I did not do my job as well as you might have wanted or needed me to do it.  I am sure I have let you down in more ways than I will ever know.  I ask you to extend God’s grace to me, because I know that He forgives me.

I am also confident that God is able to restore you and to protect you and to bless you, so that my failings do not have the final say in who you are and how you live.  And I encourage you to take all your burdens and disappointments to Him, finding in Him the one who is a perfect father who can make up for the limitations of your earthly dad.

I also encourage you to join with me in the journey of restoration of our family so that each of us, in our own generation, brings God’s grace upon our extended family, so that all who are related to us are blessed where they have previously been empty handed or even deprived in some way.

And now, as a child of Almighty God and one who is washed in the blood of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, I confer upon you the blessing of the Lord God, your creator.

I declare this day, before heaven, earth and hell, that you have been brought into the world by the will of God and that Almighty God, your Heavenly Father, has a perfect plan and purpose for your life as one who causes His will to be done and His kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven.

I declare that I am delighted to be your father and to have brought you into the world and to present you back to God as His child created for and released to bring about God’s good pleasure.

I declare that the blessing of God which rests upon my family is now yours by inheritance and I release that inheritance to you.  I confer upon you every blessing and grace that has ever been opened to this family, as your personal birthright and property, and I release it to you as resources for you to use to fulfil the will and purpose of God in your life.

I also recognise that any unresolved curse or blight upon our family is yours by birthright and so I release you this day to take possession of all negative elements of your inheritance and to so deal with them under God’s grace that each one is turned into a blessing for you and for your descendants and for the whole of our extended family.  I give you authority and power in God to put right what has been made wrong and to be a restorer of our family, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

I give you my approval.  I confess my delight in you as my son and as a man of God who will work the works of God.  Go in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ into the destiny for which you have been created.  And as you go, I stand with you, upholding you in the Lord and working with you for the sake of God’s Kingdom.  You are an arrow in my hand, and I am the bow to give impetus to your effectiveness in God’s purposes.

I also confer upon you the blessings which belong to this family which even I do not know about.  Whatever has been lost by this family through the generations, such that gifts and graces from God have been forgotten and deactivated, I now transfer full beneficial ownership of those things into your hands, as well as into my own, that we may reclaim them and reinvigorate them, so that we each walk from this day in new grace and new blessing, as that which has been lost is restored into our lives and into our family.

I also speak greatness upon you.  I give you my hearty approval to go beyond my limitations and to be what I have failed to be.  I authorise you to become great in the kingdom of God, blessed in all you do, as the head and not the tail, as above only and not beneath.  I bless you in the name of the Lord most high, that everything you put your hand to will prosper and that no weapon formed against you can have any effect, and that every tongue that rises against you in judgment is condemned and silenced.

I release the blessing of Almighty God upon you and everything you do.  And I charge you to live for God and for the Kingdom of God, in the fear of God and always in the fullness of God’s grace.”

Practicalities

The physical process of releasing or claiming a blessing can involve direct contact between father and child, such as in laying on of hands (as with Isaac blessing Jacob and Moses authorising Joshua), or direct pronouncement and instruction (such as David releasing the kingship to Solomon or Moses speaking a blessing over the twelve tribes of Israel).

However the blessing is spiritual not physical and so its transfer does not totally rely on physical action.  When the prodigal son’s father advised the older brother of his acceptance and endorsement of the runaway son that prodigal son was not even present.  The elevation of the son happened in the heart of the father and so was directly expressed to the prodigal, but also attested by the father in other contexts as well.

Some fathers may choose to make a ceremony of conferring blessing on their children, while others may simply determine to do it in their heart and to allow the physical expressions of that choice be manifest as appropriate in life’s circumstances.

Some transfers happen whether we are aware of them or not, such as our death heritage from Adam coming upon us.

The practical and physical expressions have much of their value in that the child is made aware of the father’s endorsement and blessing and the public also sees it.  This form of affirmation can be very powerful in a person’s life.

If the ceremonial process is given too much significance then the physical process can end up being given more attention than the underlying spiritual reality of blessing.  What is most important is that your children are blessed and endorsed by their father, not the particular methodology that is used.

A father can confer blessing remotely, by using his personal authority before God to decide and determine to release blessing.  While making this public has great effect, the fact that it has been established in spirit is most significant.

Children Claiming a Blessing

Since many of the blessings that come to us through our family come automatically or by God’s hand, children who have never been given their family blessing are still beneficiaries.

It may be wise for children who have missed their blessing to actually claim it from God, despite the failure of their father to confer it upon them.

Here is a suggested prayer that a person can use to claim their family blessing.

“Lord God, my Heavenly Father, I acknowledge You as my creator and as the one who owns me and is Lord of my life.

I thank You for my father and my family.  You chose that family for me and I accept Your choice.

I also acknowledge that there is both good and bad in my family heritage.

So, Lord, I accept both the good and bad and bring them under Your grace.

I now ask You to confer upon me all the graces and blessings that belong to my family and are mine by birthright.  I also claim from You all the revelations and graces that have been placed upon my family line through the centuries.

At the same time I also recognise that there may be iniquities, curses or other blights coming to me from the failures of my ancestors.  Since those things are mine by inheritance I accept them and I place them at Your feet, asking You to turn all the curses into blessings for me.

And Father, if there are any special graces and callings that have been conferred upon my family through the centuries but which have been lost to us somehow, I ask You to find those abandoned mantles and graces and to place them upon my shoulders, as one with the right to inherit them and to possess them in this generation.

Now Father, I bless my parents and thank You that they brought me into the world.  I forgive their failures.  I choose to love them and I thank You for them.

Lord, I also ask You to bless and lead me until I have full possession of all Your blessings and graces, and am empowered to pass them freely to my own generations, and also to stand in the gap for my entire family.

Thank You for these graces. In Jesus’ powerful name I pray. Amen.”

These notes have been compiled by Ps Chris Field to assist families who have questions about family blessing.
For further information about how to resolve unwanted elements in the family heritage refer to the Steps To Release material and other articles available via  http://ChrisFieldBlog.com or from the resources of http://FamilyHorizons.net
Copyright CGF 2012