Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Orphans Living in a Kingdom

Last night I spoke to a group of ladies at my home church.  Several women asked for the notes afterwards, so I pared them down, removed the stories (sorry, guess you had to be there) :), and am posting them here.

This process of losing my own orphan spirit is ongoing and compiling this list (though not exhaustive) has opened my eyes to more "boxes" that need to be removed.  My desire for each woman that reads this, is that she will be challenged to walk royally - as a daughter of Christ, free from the spirit of who she once was.  

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But when the time arrived that was set
by God the Father, God sent His Son,
born among us of a woman,
born under the conditions of the law
so that He might redeem those of us
who have been kidnapped by the law.
Thus we have been set free to experience our rightful heritage.

You can tell for sure that you are now
fully adopted
as His own children
because God sent the Spirit of His Son
into our lives crying out, “Papa! Father!”

Doesn’t that privilege of intimate conversation
with God make it plain that
you are not a slave, but a child?
And if you are a child, you’re also an heir,
with complete access to the inheritance.
Galatians 4:4-7

I had a vision some time ago of an orphan girl sitting in the foyer of a grand home.  A pile of boxes that she kept arranging and rearranging around her little body surrounded her.  I couldn’t see what was in them, but I knew that they contained all her worldly goods. 

The living room was just off the foyer and the warmth and glow of the fireplace made the room so welcoming and inviting and there, sitting in a big, comfy, leather recliner, was God.  He watched the little girl in the foyer and called out to her to join Him. 

“Come rest with me?  Let me hold you?”

The girl wanted to go, but was unwilling to leave her possessions.  She feared what might happen to them and had a burning need to stay close, always protecting the pathetic little pile of stuff.

God wanted to take her throughout the home.  He wanted to show her the bedroom He had decorated just for her.  She went, peeked inside, but couldn’t fully enjoy the moment as she kept slipping back to check on the boxes in the foyer.

Later, He took her to the kitchen where He opened the pantry.  “You will never need to go hungry again.  All I have is yours, so help yourself to My abundance.”

Again, the little girl seemed grateful, but was overwhelmed by it all and uncertain how to fit her little orphan life into something so grand… too grand for someone like her.

I lost sight of the orphan girl because I could hear a voice coming from outside.  It was Satan.  He was ugly and toothless.  Unable to bring harm in anyway, except through His words.  A great security rested over the House of God though since in the doorway stood Jesus – arms outstretched, keeping the enemy from having access in the home.

In the western church we have an extraordinary amount of blessings, yet so many live in a spiritual orphanage.  Let’s look at what an orphan heart looks like so we can see where we may still be living under that spirit.  

Spirit of an orphan:

The orphan spirit never feels as though they truly belong.  Though given love, possessions, home, etc.. It’s never enough.  She needs constant reassurance that she is wanted.    She will serve feverishly in her attempt to gain the admiration of others and, she hopes, God Almighty. 

The daughter of Christ serves out of love and compassion, at peace knowing that God loves her in spite of her works.  She recognizes that there is nothing she can do, no task she can accomplish that will cause God to love her more – or less.  He just loves her.  Just as she is.  And it’s that knowledge that compels her to serve her Abba Father.

The orphan spirit is jealous each time another is given special treatment or attention.  She operates out of insecurity and jealousy and she struggles to rejoice with the good fortune of another.  She will fail to understand that the promotion of another or the blessings in another’s life is not a sign of God loving that person more and loving her less.  God delights in giving good gifts.   He does promote people from time to time.  He does grant special blessings in ones life from time to time.  IF it’s not your life that it’s happening to, it’s not because He doesn’t love you.

A daughter of Christ will celebrate when her sister or brother is given good things because she knows that her Abba Daddy hasn’t forgotten her.  She waits patiently because knows that He is a multi-bazillionaire and has endless resources to give to His children.   She is content to worship in whatever situation she’s in… delighting in Jesus whether promoted and praised… or simply serving in solitude.

The orphan spirit is prone to hoarding.  It could be food; it could be money, or clothes… or even time.  She uses the material things of this world to build up walls around her so she feels most safe and secure.  She is self-reliant – never trusting that her Abba Daddy wants to provide these things for her, as she needs them.

The daughter of Christ is open handed.  She cherishes the gift God gives her, yet she uses them because she knows He gave them to be used for her own pleasure as well as to bring joy to His heart when He sees her utilizing the good things He’s given her.

The orphan spirit is self-centered.  She repels those who are considered to be “the least of these” – which includes children.   She prefers only the company of those who admire her and can promote her in some way.  She delights in discovering the failures of others and is quick to point out those faults to anyone who will listen.  At the same time, she is unwilling to accept responsibility for her own actions.  Saying she’s sorry is difficult.

A daughter of Christ has discovered that focusing on God compels you to love others without reservation.  She recognizes that loving on others is in essence, loving on God.  She takes pleasure in the flowering of truth and always looks for the best in another.  She admits when she’s been wrong and grants others the privilege of offering forgiveness.

The orphan spirit doesn’t know who her daddy is.  Having been accustomed to so many caregivers, she is easily pulled in by anything or anyone that will offer comfort in the moment.   There is an empty place in her heart that can only be filled by a father’s love.  Without it, the orphan spirit fills the yawning hole with whatever feels good in the moment.  It can be food, drugs, shoes, sex, money… the list goes on.

The daughter of Christ, though tempted by the good things in life, knows where ultimate peace and love is found.  She runs to her Abba Daddy knowing He alone can fill the empty places of her heart.

The orphan spirit is prone to anger and fits of rage based mostly on the fact that they do not trust – since she was once abandoned and unloved, she believes in her heart that it can happen again.  She must manipulate situations in an effort to control her environment.

The daughter of Christ rests secure because she knows that her Abba Daddy has her life - and her future, in His hands.

The orphan spirit struggles to trust that she is loved… or lovable.  She fails to see anything of value within her and she shows it by how she allows others to treat her.

The daughter of Christ is confident that she is loved – it is not an arrogance or pride.. it is simply confidence that she has been brought into the Kingdom.  She is no longer an orphan but is in fact a child of the King.  She recognizes that she has access to all that her Abba Daddy possesses because He says in Matthew 6:

25 “So my counsel is: Don’t worry about things—food, drink, and clothes. For you already have life and a body—and they are far more important than what to eat and wear.
26 Look at the birds! They don’t worry about what to eat—they don’t need to sow or reap or store up food—for your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to Him than they are.
27 Will all your worries add a single moment to your life?
28 “And why worry about your clothes? Look at the field lilies! They don’t worry about theirs.
29 Yet King Solomon in all His glory was not clothed as beautifully as they.
30 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won’t he more surely care for you, O men of little faith?
31-32 So don’t worry at all about having enough food and clothing. Why be like the heathen? For they take pride in all these things and are deeply concerned about them. But your heavenly Father already knows perfectly well that you need them,
33 and He will give them to you if you give Him first place in your life and live as He wants you to.
34 So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.

Romans 8 speaks to the heart of the orphan spirit as well:

“Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what He is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.
But if God Himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of Him.
Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome Him, in whom He dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, He’ll do the same thing in you that He did in Jesus, bringing you alive to Himself?
When God lives and breathes in you (and He does, as surely as He did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With His Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!
 So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!
This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who He is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!
That’s why I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.

I believe it is God’s desire to release us from the orphan spirit.  So my challenge today is to take some time and listen to what His Spirit is saying to you.  What are in your boxes yet?  What do you need to relinquish to Him in order to fully settle in to fearless, amazing, abundant Kingdom living?

©Lynette Carpenter 2013

1 comment:

Mary Kelso said...

This is great! Wish I could have been there to hear the stories. :)

It is so easy to miss the source of these insecurities in ourselves. Lies that were planted in us from the beginning of time. Thanks for sharing!