November 2015 Final Issue
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The Orphan Within Us

Origins

The opening scenes of the Holy Scriptures are that of Adam and Eve in a Garden with direct connection and relationship with the Lord God (Father, Creator). They have no concerns about food, clothing, housing, survival, death or any other needs or fears. This environment was due to the Presence of the Lord God and Adam and Eve’s unbroken relationship with Him.

Then something happened, that seems, at first glance, very insignificant until the results of disobedience unfold. Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the tree called “The Knowledge of Good and Evil” (forbidden by God the Father) and gained the knowledge of good and evil, but lost the relationship with the LORD God, their Father.

In other words, the Father (source of origin) and children (created or formed ones) now have a broken relationship because of the knowledge gained through disobedience. Adam and Eve and their descendants now receive the spirit of the deceiver who enticed them to eat. The spirit of the deceiver was and is: rejection, abandonment, alienation, fatherlessness, i.e. the orphan spirit.

Orphan Defined

The American Dictionary of the English Language by Noah Webster, 1828 simply defines orphan as a child without a father or mother. In the Random House Webster’s College Dictionary, 1991, there is this definition for orphan: “a person or thing that is without protective affiliation or sponsorship.”i-Swing

The word orphan evokes experiences like abandonment, loneliness, alienation, and isolation.

Most of us, even those with good parents and a stable upbringing have something of an orphan spirit. We have all been affected in some way because we are descendants of Adam and Eve.

The role of our earthly parents is to point the way to our Heavenly Parent, Father God. There are no perfect parents. This deficiency is allowed by the Father to help move us toward reestablishing that which Adam and Eve lost in the garden – a close bond with Father God.

Symptoms of an Orphan Spirit

  • The orphan is filled with insecurity and uncertainty. Never feeling confident of safety, nor effectively guarded or protected.
  • The orphan is driven to perform, to earn love and acceptance.
  • The effort to sooth the alienation or abandonment issues, which are deep within, drives the orphan spirit to an extreme focus on their physical development, to become self-indulgent, and narcissistic.
  • Closely related to the foregoing is a need to never fail and always succeed. The orphan often uses people as a means to meet their own goals.
  • Orphans have a love of competition and often fall prey to anger and rage when not winning.
  • Present, but often hidden within the orphan, is the symptom of low self-esteem, finding identity in personal dress, or in what one has and what one does.
  • Orphans focus on their self and on personal needs in the area of worship. This is a major symptom in the religious world. Prayers, worship, and even the Scriptures are used for personal gain or focused on personal desires; e.g., a new house, a new job, a new partner, money to get out debt, and so on. A focus on self replaces worship, adoration, and praise for who the LORD God is, His Worthiness, and His Kingdom rule.

The Cultural Statistics Reveal the Results of the Orphan Spirit

The following statistics of conditions in American culture speak loudly about the effect of the orphan spirit in our society:

  • 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes.
  • 80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes.
  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes.
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.
  • 72% of adolescent murderers grew up without fathers.
  • Fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, suicide, poor educational performance, teen pregnancy, and criminality.
  • 43% of prison inmates grew up in a single parent household, 39% with their mothers, and 4% with their fathers.

By no means do these realities downplay the role of the mother in the parenting process. Both parents have vital and different functions in guiding their children in the growth years. All mothering (nurturing) comes from the Heavenly Father as well. The primary revelation of God in Scripture, however, is that of Father. So it seems obvious why the enemy attacks and deceives fathers in abandoning their homes and children. When the father leaves or gives up his fathering responsibilities, he gives further reason and place for the orphan spirit to be passed from generation to the generation. Children come to believe that the Heavenly Father is like their biological father and cannot be trusted. This pain in the human soul shouts loudly and promotes the feelings of alienation and disconnection with parents. Father wounds can be defined as emotional wounds in the soul, which were caused by the physical or emotional absence of a father during the formative and developmental period of one’s life, or emotional or physical wounds caused by the father, whose methods of parenting were either inadequate, abusive, or overbearing.

Biblical Path to Healing

i-ChildDadIt should seem obvious why we find so many biblical references about connection between us and our Heavenly Father:

He said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.'” Luke 11:2

Our praying, as instructed by Jesus, is to be to the Father.

“Jesus said to her, ‘Do not cling to Me, for I have not ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father , and to My God and your God.'” John 20:17

Jesus made it clear that His Father was our Father too.

“Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.” John 5:19-20

Jesus, as well as, His followers are to be led and directed by the Father.

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.’” John 14:6-7

If we want to know what the Father is like we need only look at Jesus.

“And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’ Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” Gal 4:6-7

The Father calls you: His daughter (His son).

Hope and Healing for the Orphan Spirit

In conclusion, here are some steps that help in healing the orphan spirit and/or Father wounds:

  1. Identify the source of wounding and the person the enemy used to inflict the wound.
  2. Make a choice to forgive, being careful to separate the sins from the one being forgiven from any binding caused from unforgiveness or bitterness.
  3. Receive your Heavenly Father’s love.
  4. Ask the Holy Spirit to heal the hurts and wounds of past and restore His purpose and will.
  5. Receive from your Heavenly Father your true identity

You are a daughter of the Heavenly Father!

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About Tommy Briggs

Tommy Briggs
Tommy is an Associate Pastor in the Freedom Ministry department of Gateway Church. Pastor Tommy has been in ministry for over 54 years, and is currently at Gateway Church where he oversees Kairos and Altar Ministry. He received his BA from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama and his ThM from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He has pastored churches in Louisiana, Alabama and Texas, and has ministered Freedom for over 25 years. Pastor Tommy has three grown children, and 10 grandchildren. He is the author of the book "I Wish I'd Known.

One comment

  1. Nice!! Good work ladies :) Kris Cantlin

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