It’s easy to be in ministry, show a public face when people are observing you and be someone entirely different when you are alone or at home with your family. Many of us have lived this reality: publicly outgoing, happy, and caring while personally withdrawn, indifferent and depressed. What’s at the root of this dichotomy?
According to Jack Frost in his book Spiritual Slavery to Spiritual Sonship it is caused by an entrenched “orphan spirit” that produces Christians who lack the security and peace of a son or daughter of God. Spiritual orphans don’t feel like they have a home in their Father’s embrace. To them God is Master not Father. They are servants rather than safe, cherished children of God.
Where does the orphan spirit come from? It’s basically our spiritual inheritance from Adam and Eve when they willingly chose to reject God’s governance and were driven from the garden. We are all born orphans. While parents try to create a safe nest for their children in the embrace of a loving family, parents are not perfect. Early traumas or perceived rejections often occur. As that happens, children begin to close their hearts to love. This causes them to see God, the ultimate authority figure, as untrustworthy as their parents. They may love God and want to serve Him, but in their heart of hearts they don’t believe in His unconditional, unearned, Fatherly love.
How does this insecurity affect our behavior? Spiritual orphans tend to be independent, self-reliant, distrustful of authority, and have difficulty with correction. They often seek praise, approval and personal achievement. Their sense of God’s presence is conditional and distant. Even as they strive for spiritual achievement and distinction, they are basically self-rejecting and insecure. They often seek comfort in “counterfeit affections” such as addictions, escapism, and busyness.
So how can the orphan spirit be cured? Frost says that it can’t be “cast out;” instead it must be displaced by an experiential revelation of God’s love. Entrenched habits of thinking are changed as we make the choice to open our hearts to God and others, submitting to love, and tearing down walls of self-protection. Orphans must forgive their parents and those in authority who have hurt and disappointed them. Often they must ask others to forgive them for sins committed in ignorance or pride and for closing their hearts to love. They must develop an attitude of submission and interdependence, focusing on being a son or daughter instead of a leader. They must daily renounce the ungodly beliefs and hidden lies of orphan thinking. They must seek to bless others rather than pursue their own religious agendas, honoring others, especially those who have helped them in spiritual journey.
As we actively exchange servant-hood for son/daughter-ship we will begin to feel secure in God’s love. We will know that we belong and are free from shame and self-condemnation. We will embrace a spirit of humility toward others and toward God. We will advance God’s kingdom by being subject to His great mission: to experience His love and give it away.Are you ready for this miraculous journey? God has been patiently waiting to heal your orphan heart.