For many individuals it is something that we don't want to acknowledge, but there is a reality in which many people struggle, both in the Body of Christ as well as in the world, and that struggle is rooted in an Orphan Spirit. By “orphan”, I am referring to a struggle with abandonment, loneliness, alienation, and isolation that an individual can battle throughout their life.
"For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him." - Romans 8:14-17
From the earliest of mankind, Adam and Eve would choose to disobey God in the Garden, and because of that decision, sin entered the world. Unfortunately, that disobedience caused a separation between God and man. Although sin is a present reality, we must always be reminded that God is merciful. So often, when we have done something wrong, we take the way of Adam and Eve isolating ourselves from God and others. Because of the sin we embrace or become captivated by, we end up feeling alienated and alone. However, God never leaves us…we leave Him. The Lord will never violate our willingness to pursue a specific decision, even when they may go against His greatest desire to draw near to us. When you make the wrong decision to embrace sin, it is comforting to know that the Lord is quick to forgive, if and when we will come to Him through a pure heart.
Now before I go any further, I do want to express a very common open door of an Orphan Spirit. When individuals are adopted in the natural (in other words, they were literally orphans or given up by their birth parents) this will lead to an open door for their lives concerning the ability to establish the Biblical understanding of relationships with God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, and other individuals. For example, when they are Orphaned from birth (or at an early age) they can have a difficult time connecting to their spouses, children, those in spiritual authority, and/or supervisors. What has effected them naturally, takes a deep root internally, creating a hard time accepting and loving themselves. Think of the many incarcerated men who are acting out lives of violence and rebellion because their earthly fathers abandoned them at a pivotal and impressionable age of life. Although this happens in the natural, an orphan spirit does not solely depend on natural circumstances. An orphan spirit will use any door made open from natural events to spiritual occurrences in our lives.
Sadly there are churches today that are filled with pastors, apostles, prophets, leaders, and individuals who use people by destroying relationships because they are driven to succeed due to their need for a father’s affirmation. An Orphan Spirit creates a massive hole that is too large for ministry success or performance to fill. There is something unique about a father’s role in the life of a child. We cannot afford to recognize that the father and child relationship is the heart of where our identity is formed, as it is to be a healthy picture of how our Heavenly Father interacts with us.
The strategy behind an Orphan Spirit is to convince you that you don't need anyone, because everyone is out to hurt you. There develops a self-protection mindset to keep everyone at an arm's distance as the Orphan Spirit is lying to convince you that you are keeping yourself away from any harm. If an Orphan Spirit can convince you to surround yourself with those who will applaud your achievements so that you increase your self-worth, you will eliminate any spiritual growth for self-motivated momentary gains.
"I am convinced that any suffering we endure is less than nothing compared to the magnitude of glory that is about to be unveiled within us. The entire universe is standing on tiptoe, yearning to see the unveiling of God’s glorious sons and daughters!" - Romans 8:18-19
The problem with an Orphan Spirit in today's culture is that many Christians will profess outwardly to know God as Father, but experience an internal contradiction to that belief. They have a hidden struggle to comprehend and receive the Truth that God loves them. Because of this remaining hidden, they will often have internal feelings of abandonment, fear, unworthiness, and/or rejection. It's deep within, but often it is the case due to unhealed hurts from painful past experiences in which effects every relationship that they try to establish with other individuals. There is a broken road of destroyed relationships that follows them closely.
Recognizing The Orphan Within
1. There is an attachment to those who have experienced extreme rejection in his or her life.
2. An individual will compensate the feeling of insecurities by being performance driven, competitive, and the need to work independently.
3. There is a constant struggle with self-worth and difficulty to maintain healthy relationships.
When people have a lot of dysfunction in their life, it becomes extremely difficult to realize what they could actually be struggling with. Life is often complicated, hectic, and chaotic. Because of this you must sometimes ask the difficult questions. Is insecurity something that I battle? Am I the type who does things for self-gratification for the purpose or need to succeed above others? Do I become jealous when I see certain people have the success that I long for? In my relationship with the Lord, is it from a place where I am constantly serving in order to earn His love? Do I serve God to earn His love? Do I battle with my self-worth and/or value? In my accomplishments, do I achieve them by using people? Am I easily angered, have battles with rage, and/or lose my temper often? Is there a constant drive in my life to compete with others? Does my appearance, vehicles, home, extra curricular activities give me an identity that deems me socially acceptable?
So, let’s focus on a few things here. When you are constantly competing with others it is a red flag defining you as an individual who does not feel accepted, therefore you are driven to prove your value and worth to others. This mentality will cause you to be limited by your own self. You see the strengths of others as competition that must be eradicated and develop a pleasure in the weaknesses of others. This is automatically developed within you the need to isolate yourself from specific people. Isolation births a mindset to believe that you do not belong, morphing into a type of suffering through abandonment. You immediately withdraw believing you have to protect yourself form any potential harm.
"For it was always in his perfect plan to adopt us as his delightful children, through our union with Jesus, the Anointed One, so that his tremendous love that cascades over us would glorify his grace—for the same love he has for his Beloved One, Jesus, he has for us. And this unfolding plan brings him great pleasure!" - Ephesians 1:5-6
That isolation will instinctively develop a fear and insecurity affecting every kind of relationship that you have with others. The Orphan Spirit digs its roots so deep that you feel uncovered and unprotected. Your first instinct is to protect yourself and any position that you may hold. From that moment on, there will be a constant need of reassurance by other leaders in the Body of Christ (and/or work). The insecurity will breed a lack of confidence with an over-protective tendency for the things that you do. The rejection (although unmerited) will have you believing that you must perform at all times in order to be recognized and accepted.
Sadly, there are many in the Body of Christ battling an Orphan Spirit. However, their battle isn't to overcome, their battling for promotion, recognition, and applause from man. When you’re solely focused on social aspects you will end up desperate to be known by everyone that they’re willing to run through anyone who may deny their goal of acknowledgement. There is only ONE that truly matters! Throughout the Bible, accountability is a constant principle. God established order from the very beginning and still expects you and I to follow order. Although you will encounter a season of wilderness, it is never the intent of the Father to abandon you there as you wander from place to place. God is calling you out of the wander and into His Wonder.
God is wanting to show Himself strong on your behalf. You must surrender to Him and let the peace that He gives you take over. You cannot fully serve God without full surrender to his Strength. An orphan spirit will seek to convince you to do the “song and dance routine” for the affirmation of a mentor, leader, and/or spiritual father/mother, YOU must know that through Sonship with the Father, You got to know as a child of God who you are. You got to learn to celebrate the accomplishments of others. Learn to fill the emptiness you experience with intimacy with the Father. Allow Holy Spirit to lead you into your calling and serve from the foundation of love for one another. You cannot continue in manipulating others to get your way, rather you must learn to bless others in their calling and purpose. Ground yourself in the identity through Christ! Although you never have to perform for affection. Love, genuine and authentic love, is rooted through relationship and the vulnerability to be you.
Orphans will reject anything that challenges them.
Sons will embrace everything that challenges them.
Wherever you are right now, if Holy Spirit is convicting you of an Orphan Spirit in your life, take the authority that is given to you through Jesus to renounce the Spirit of an Orphan, repent, and receive the Spirit of Adoption today!