Monthly Archives: June 2014

ORHANS NO MORE – Part 2 The Spirit of Adoption vs. the Orphan Spirit

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.  For you did not receive the spirit again to fear, but you received the spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”  The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God…”  Romans 8:14-16

We are children of God…but how many of us are living like we are still orphans?

The spirit of fear characterizes the orphan.  I’ve had to learn how to disarm fear and build trust with my adopted kids.  The brain’s automatic response to fear is fight, flight or freeze – sounds like some Christians today.  They’re either causing all kinds of trouble in church, church hopping or barely attending, or they attend but never really change.  That’s the enemy’s plan.  Shame is another characteristic of the orphan.  Shame is the result of sin:  either we sin or someone sins against us.  We try to either run from shame, or like Adam and Eve, we try to cover it up -maybe even with religion or good deeds.  Physical orphans suffer from fear and shame, but so do spiritual orphans.  Fear can only be displaced by our Heavenly Father’s perfect love and shame can only be covered by the righteousness of Christ.  

Do we live like we have the Spirit of Sonship or the spirit of an orphan?  We were orphans, but now we are sons because of Christ – we are adopted.  We have the Spirit of Adoption.  We are orphans no more, but I know by experience that you can take the child out of the orphanage much easier than you can take the orphanage out of the child.  

The orphan spirit was brought to earth by Lucifer, the 1st orphan since he was tossed out of his heavenly home.  As satan, the destroyer, accuser, and slanderer he would spend the rest of his time on earth stealing, killing, and destroying.  He was the first orphan, by his own choice, and he hates families.

The orphan spirit is a self-centered mind-set.  “I’m in charge, it’s all about me, no one is going to tell me what to do, I don’t need anyone.”  Physical orphans, whether in foster care or an overseas orphanage, operate in a mode of self preservation -survival mode.  Understandably, their mission each day is just to survive, “I have to take care of myself or I won’t eat.”  But, in the church, this self-absorbed mind-set is what satan whispers in our ears to keep us lukewarm Christians more occupied with living the American dream than the die-to-self Gospel of Christ.

The Spirit of Adoption is characterized by the heart of a son.  Jesus had the heart of a son.  He did His Father’s will.  He always consulted with and submitted to His Father.  Jesus placed himself under the authority of His Father.  He was obedient.  The orphan spirit is opposite of that.  The orphan spirit shows up in the Garden of Eden.  Adam and Eve, God’s first kids, sinned and then experienced fear and shame resulting in the loss of their home.  Home is where the presence of the Father is.  

In a real home where there is a good father there is unconditional love, warmth, security, provision, guidance, joy, peace, and abundance.  The orphan in the orphanage or the child in foster care does not have these things and neither does the Christian with the orphan spirit.  In Genesis 3 we see Adam and Eve had to leave home.  And so began man’s struggle for survival without a father to guide, to nurture, or to protect.  The enemy successfully transferred his orphan spirit to man.  And man passes it from one generation to the next.  Just look at Cain, Adam and Eve’s son.  After killing his brother he was sent out from the Lord’s presence to be a restless wanderer -an orphan.  We need to be healed of the orphan spirit.

My youngest adopted son spent the first 5 years of his life in an orphanage.  He was like a wild animal.  His behavior was outwardly and inwardly destructive.  He didn’t know how to play, he couldn’t accept or give love, he didn’t know what a family was or how to live in one.  He didn’t know this new adopted life was better.  He didn’t know he could trust us to take care of him. He operated out of survival instinct:  fight, flight, and freeze.  Well, mostly fight and flight as he’s ADHD and sensory seeking!  We adopted him.  He became our son.  He was no longer an orphan and we had the court decree to prove it.  He had a new name and a new birth certificate, but he was still living like an orphan.  In his mind nothing had changed.  It has taken over 3 years and a lot of work to disarm his fear.  Our constant presence in his life, pouring out unconditional love, and lots of healing prayer is all starting to make a difference.  He’s beginning to live like a son.

That’s what the Lord does for us.  He adopts us. We become His children.  He loves us unconditionally.  He delivers us from fear and shame.  We have access to his constant presence.  We now have love, safety, provision, and all of His promises.  But are we still living as orphans or are we embracing the Sonship that has been there since our spiritual adoption?  Do we understand the heart of our Father?  It’s more than just believing that God is our Heavenly Father.  We need to know Him intimately as our Father, our Abba Daddy.  Our heart must become intertwined with His.

Being a Christian is about being like Jesus.  And being like Jesus means to eat, breathe, and sleep spiritual intimacy with the Father.  Without intimacy with the Father we just live like orphans.  Jesus had the most intimate walk with the Father. He carried the Father’s presence with him at all times.  He could hear His Father’s voice directing Him at all times.  And He could access the heart and mind of His Father.  Jesus modeled the true spirit of Sonship.  To heal the orphan spirit it takes the love of the Heavenly Father and the sacrifice He made of His Son on the cross.  Many accept Christ, few accept the Father’s love so they never really change or grow into sons.  They still have the orphan spirit mind-set.

The Father is longing to have the same kind of relationship with us that He has with Jesus.  This kind of intimate relationship is what heals us of the orphan spirit and transforms us into the likeness of His Son.  We need to start looking like our Daddy.

When I arrived home from Ukraine with our 3 children my husband, Wayne, was at JFK waiting for us.  He’d been in Ukraine for the first 4 weeks of the adoption but had returned home to our bio kids and work.  Wayne had spent a handful of times visiting with our kids in their orphanage before he had to return home.  Two weeks later at the airport as the kids and I emerged from customs into the flow of waiting family I  hear my husband’s voice, “Andrii, come to Daddy!”  Suddenly 9 year old Andrii bolts into his daddy’s arms.

Running into the Father’s arms is the first step to healing the orphan spirit.  We need to believe God when He tells us who we are.  We are no longer orphans.  We are sons and daughters of the Most High God.  We are joint heirs with Christ.  Everything Jesus has belongs to us too.  Let’s run into Daddy’s arms and stay there!

Orphans No More:  Part 2 – The Spirit of Adoption vs the Orphan Spirit by Sandra Flach

Orphans No More – Part 1 Spirit of Adoption

For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.  In love He predestined us for adoption to Sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will.  Ephesians 1:4-5

According to the above Scripture we have been adopted by our Heavenly Father, but are you living like a son or daughter or are you living like an orphan?

The whole idea of adoption was created by God and modeled for us in the Gospel.  I’ve been a Christian for almost 30 years and today I understand my salvation better than ever as a result of having physically adopted 5 children.  Before God adopted us – we were orphans.  We did not belong to the family of God.  When we come to Christ and receive salvation in God’s merciful love, He didn’t stop there.  It would have been enough just to have been saved from sin, but He gave us so much more.  He gave us a new name, a new family, and a new life.  We became sons and daughters with a hope, a future, and an inheritance.

God didn’t adopt us because He needed kids.  He wanted kids but He didn’t need them.  He adopted us because we needed a Father.  John 1:12 says Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.  We became His children.  And 1 John 3:1 says See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!  

When my husband Wayne and I traveled to Ukraine 7 years ago to adopt, we didn’t go because we needed kids; we already had 4.  But God put an ache in our hearts for orphans who had no family.  We adopted 3 siblings who became our children.  They had living birth parents whose parental rights had been removed due to neglect, alcoholism, and abandonment.  When we adopted our kids they got a new family – a mom and dad, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, grandparents and cousins.  They got everything our biological kids were entitled to.  To us there is no difference because there is no difference.

Spiritual adoption does the same thing.  In Christ we get a new family, a Heavenly Father, a church family – brothers and sisters in Christ.  We become joint-heirs with Christ the Son of God.  Romans 8:17 says Now if we are children, then we are heirs, heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ the Son of God.  

When we accept Christ as our Savior we begin using a new name – Christian.  “Christian” is the family name.  It’s our identity.  The same thing happens with physical adoption.  When we adopted our Ukrainian-born kids they became Flachs.  They literally got new birth certificates with their new names and our names as parents.  And after they arrived in the United States, they got new citizenship papers declaring them U.S. citizens.  As Christians our name gets listed in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  We get new citizenship papers too – to the Kingdom of God.

Adoption gives a child a new life.  They go from mere existence in an orphanage to living in a family.  They get freedom and new life.  As Christians we get a new life too.  We become new creations in Christ.

Adoption is the Gospel and it’s also warfare.  When Christians adopt a child they are taking that child out of the darkness and bringing him into the Light of a Christian home, a place where they can learn about their Heavenly Father and Jesus their Savior.  Our adopted kids have all accepted Christ.  That is a huge threat to the kingdom of darkness just as when a sinner becomes a son.  1 Peter 2:9 says But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s chosen possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.  

Adoption is not natural.  Adoption is divine.  We have been adopted.  Moses was adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter which is the first recorded adoption.  Esther was adopted by her cousin Mordecai.  And Jesus was adopted by Joseph the carpenter.  Adoption is the heartbeat of the Father.  He adopted us into His family.  He gave us a new name, a new identity.  He gave us a new future and an inheritance.  Physical adoption of children models the Gospel.  We are no longer orphans.  

The Lord rescues and redeems.  Physical adoption is a model of what God does for us in the spiritual.  Left in our sinful state we would be headed to death and hell.  I know what future my adopted kids would have faced if they’d remained in a Ukrainian orphanage.  Death and hell about sums it up.

Another way physical adoption reflects spiritual adoption is in the ransom paid.  Adoption is ridiculously expensive.  That’s because the enemy opposes it.  When we were in Ukraine 4 years ago for our 2nd adoption, I felt like we were being held for ransom.  We were there for 4 weeks (I know that’s short for Ukrainian adoption) and just wanted to bring our son home.  But everyday there was some document that needed to be processed and some fee that needed to be paid.  I was really struggling with the process and spent some time in prayer.  The Lord reminded me that He paid the ultimate price for me – the life of His Son.  And let’s not forget that Jesus was ransomed for 30 pieces of silver.  It’s not pretty – it’s warfare!

Adoption also requires sacrifice.  God sacrificed His only Son to adopt us.  Physical adoption also requires sacrifice.  Adoptive families sacrifice time, money, and most of all – self.  It’s true die-to-self living.

In closing, I’ll leave you with 1 John 3:16-18 – This is how we know what love is:  Jesus Christ laid down His life for us.  And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.  If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?  Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with action and in truth.  Sounds like adoption to me.

Orphans No More – Part 1:  Spirit of Adoption, by Sandra Flach.