I was at work one night recently and for some reason was reminded of the spiritual legacy that I have received from my parents. Unlike most inheritance, which one receives upon the parents’ death, my parents are quite alive–and this is the benefit of spiritual inheritance, which we receive not on death, but at conception.
Our spiritual and soul traits are just as much a part of our DNA as physical traits such as height and eye color. While science is able to visualize two strands of DNA, it is posited by various spiritual groups that we might have up to 22 strands, and a few fringe groups suggest we might have 144 or even upwards of 2 million. While I think the 2-million is probably a bit over the top (I am talking about strands of DNA on a single chromosome, not DNA segments, snippets, codons, etc.) it is becoming increasingly accepted even in some Christian groups that we have more than the two visible strands of physical DNA.
The Bible supports this somewhat, talking about how we have been “born from above” in John 3, and how we have God’s spiritual seed within us. At the very least, if there is an invisible spiritual DNA that closely matches physical DNA then at minimum we have 4 strands total between the physical and spiritual, but I suggest the number is much higher, reaching at least 12 if not more.
At any rate, this spiritual DNA explains some of the “coding” and similarities we may observe between ourselves and our parents. It definitely does in my case. As with physical DNA, while some traits are passed down, others may remain dormant in the family line while others express themselves noticeably. I have seen this in my own family and life, and believe that 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 explains this concept to a certain extent. “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” While the same Holy Spirit lives in both my parents and myself, and while even that same spiritual DNA exists in both myself and my parents each respectively, Holy Spirit draws different attributes of that DNA to the surface.
My mother is and has always been hungry for things of the Spirit, and would occasionally have visions. She was in the Episcopal denomination where fairly little is understood about spiritual gifts as a whole, and it is even less often talked about, providing little opportunity to learn and grow in that area. She is also a teacher, loves evangelizing children, and is creative, fun, and very excitable.
My father is an Episcopal priest, and he has much compassion for the sick and hurting. While he was originally planning to be a doctor, he instead works with the spiritually ill, having heard an audible voice telling him to go to seminary instead. My father also used to do deliverance ministry when I was younger. He has a lot of wisdom, is good working with his hands, and loves gardening.
As I look at my parents and the rich heritage of desires and things of the spirit that they bring me, I find it little surprise that I can see my own passions as a reflection of their own. I am exceptionally hungry for things of the Spirit–signs, wonders, and miracles. I am a seer as well, but have learned to both see and hear in the spirit, and am able to exercise a more full range of spiritual sense than either of my parents. I have a desire to preach and help teach the body to grow in all things spiritual, which can be seen as a sort of evangelism to the Church to help the Body move in the gifts of the spirit and Holy Spirit’s power. I am a nurse by profession and may one day be a doctor as well, but I greatly enjoy healing the sick by the power of God, and firmly believe God’s healing power extends even to resurrection and immortality. I enjoy gardening, although nowhere to the extent that my wife does, and I like doing hands-on crafty things although not the same kind as my father.
My point in sharing this is that I believe we all have a spiritual inheritance that helps shape who we are and who we are called to be. While sometimes it can diverge sharply from the traits we see expressed in our parents, I believe that if we dig deep enough we will find that in some cases it isn’t that our traits are so different from theirs, but that our parents’ dreams and passions were swallowed up by the cares of this world, and as we find and give those things expression we can in some way help fulfill the destiny they were designed to experience as well. It brings a whole new perspective to the idea of “honoring your father and mother” because as we discover and engage our spiritual inheritance we are igniting not only our destiny, but theirs and those of our ancestors before them. It is no surprise then that as Hebrews 12:1-2a says “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Our spiritual DNA is part of the race-markers for this race, and it is a relay, not a single-person run. The cloud of witnesses include our ancestors who are looking to see what we do with the distillation of destiny that runs through our veins.
God has positioned you uniquely where you are, and to have the gifts and abilities passed down from your parents. Regardless of whether your parents were good to you or not, what unique gifts have you received from them? If you don’t know your birth parents, ask the Lord to show you the legacy He has given you–both from them and from your current family. Spiritual inheritance is spiritual by nature, and adoption is a form of spiritual in-grafting whereby you can partake of the DNA from both your birth parents and your life-parents. I encourage you to continue to seek and pursue the Lord as He reveals new aspects of your calling, gifts, and destiny to you–for as with all relay races, when one finishes, we all finish. May the blessing of the Lord be upon you as you unlock and decode your spiritual DNA.
A friend was kind enough to point out that there are some books on the subject that may help you walk through this process. One, recently published by some friends, is called Accessing Your Spiritual Inheritance. The back cover text says:
“Alice didn’t fall down a rabbit hole but she did walk through a mystical doorway in a vision to recover blessings her ancestors failed to claim. When Alice came back and shared her experience, Seneca wasted no time going through her own door. Del’s approach differed — she wound up floating along in her bloodstream!
Through telling our stories, others went through their own doors, leading to better relationships with God, increase in finances, favor, and giftings. Although this book touches on generational curses and how to remove them, we focus on claiming the blessings your family line has lost. However, you’ll need to be open to having a vision, and we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process so that you, too, can restore your lost generational blessings. Your hidden inheritance awaits!”
Other Books include: