HOW CULTURAL HERITAGE CAN HINDER YOUR SPIRITUAL GROWTH
By Sophia Christiaan
Even if someone has been saved and born again, there is something called Cultural Heritage that still needs to be removed, torn down and replaced with a mindset of Christ. Some get instant deliverance from this the moment they are born again, while others must go through many steps to identify this enemy within their minds and take authority over it and destroy it bit by bit.
To be honest with you, I belong to the latter. I wish I didn’t. However, since my cultural heritage is strongly dominated by anti-Christlike norms and mindsets to the point that it controlled my identity, over the years, I have had to single out and analyze every one of those contrary mindsets in order to get rid of them. But, God in His goodness, has turned this unfortunate situation into a beneficial one for me, by teaching me all these truths along the way.
Listen to the way the Apostle Paul wrote about this:
We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.2. Corinthians 10:4 NLT
We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ,2. Corinthians 10:5 AMP
We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.2. Corinthians 10:5 NLT
This cultural heritage determines a person’s norms and values based on the environment, the country, the place, they grew up. In essence, it is something that has been imbedded into someone’s brain, which the brain then uses to filter everything that is coming towards the person.
Where I come from, there is a cultural law that is called the Law of Jante, which we have written about in the article on our website www.instituteoflove.net that’s called Cultural Demons. Here, I have outlined what the Law of Jante says. In short, it is a poem that tells people not to think too highly of themselves and not to think they’re anyone special. So, you can imagine that with a cultural heritage that condemns anyone who dares to think they’re special in the eyes of God and calls them arrogant for it, can seriously hamper someone’s walk with Christ, especially in attaining their true identity in Christ as a redeemed and beloved child of God.
Here is a little example. If someone, for instance, hears a preacher saying that we should strive to become holy in our walk with Christ, the cultural heritage might kick in and consider that to be an offensive statement, since it suggests that, number one, we should strive, and number two, that there is even a chance we can become holy.
Instead of being receptive to the Word of God, they are blocked because of offense or fear of doing something that is considered arrogant, prideful or offensive to others based on their particular cultural heritage.
We can therefore see, that if a person comes to Christ but doesn’t get deliverance from their cultural heritage, it will continue to hamper their spiritual growth and development in their new God-given identity, their identity in Christ!
It is essential that a person, who claims to be a Christian, rejects and renounces their previously held norms and values, and conforms to the values of the Kingdom of God.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.Romans 12:2 NLT
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.Romans 12:2 KJV
Until and unless we start removing the cultural norms that lie hidden within us, we cannot truly walk in the Spirit, but will struggle with carnality and lack of spiritual breakthrough, understanding and revelation. And even if the Lord does provide insight, we might struggle just to receive it and replace our old values with the values we learn in the Word of God.
Repentance means changing our minds about something. It’s important, for the sake of our own personal victory over sin, that we have the ability to truly change our minds about things the Holy Spirit teaches us. If we cannot replace our old thoughts with those of the Kingdom of God, we have no power over these “sophisticated arguments” and “proud things” and something is very wrong.
As a child of God, we have received power over sin, and we should not have a problem with conforming our lives and minds to God’s truth in every area of our lives, even if it goes directly against the social norms of where we come from. We need to be willing to exchange our cultural preferences with every truth in the Word of God. If we are hindered every time we seek to do this, there might be a demonic stronghold in that area of our lives and we must repent and seek deliverance from it.
If this is you, please pray this prayer with me today:
“Lord Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, I come before you today to repent from knowingly or unknowingly having held on to cultural norms and values that I have considered to be more important than Your truth about me, about You, and Your Word of truth. It has hindered my spiritual progress, Lord, and I ask you to forgive me, and forgive me on behalf of my cultural heritage which has led me away from You. Please cleanse me with Your blood and wipe away all structures and strongholds in my mind that have been erected by demonic forces to control my life and destiny. I break the power of sin and rebellion and humbly receive every good thing you have in store for me.
I am a child of God. I have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus of Nazareth. I have the mind of Christ and reject all of Satan’s doings in my life from this day forth. I will esteem God’s Word above all else and obediently pattern my life according to it. From this day forward, I will no longer struggle to receive any spiritual gift or understanding from God, and I will take every thought captive that tries to tempt me, even in small ways, to pridefully resist the work of the Lord Jesus in my life.
Thank you, Lord, for being faithful to me, for forgiving and cleansing and restoring me. I love you, Lord. I worship and honor You and give You all the glory forever and ever. In the mighty name of Jesus Christ, I pray, Amen.”