Healing the Orphan Heart
“For in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring'” (Acts 17:28).
In Paul’s message on Mars Hill, he makes a profound statement that covenant followers of Jesus are His offspring. It speaks of the family line, generational line, and DNA. In short, Paul is saying that covenant believers have been placed into the royal family of the Father and have the same spiritual DNA as that of the Son, Himself.
So, while we are not the Son of God, Jesus, we have the same spiritual DNA as the Son, Jesus. As a son in Christ, we are instructed to live our natural lives with a clear understanding that we belong to the family of the Son, Jesus, and that we have the same rights and privileges as a member of the family, just like the Son, Jesus.
For over fourteen years, I have been heralding the message of the kingdom of God. It has always been and will continue to be the true message of the gospel. The message of the kingdom includes the gospel of salvation but much more.
It is encapsulated by Colossians 1:13-14 (AMP), which states that as believers in Jesus Christ, “[The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in Whom we have our redemption through His blood, [which means] the forgiveness of our sins.”
This is the message of the gospel of the kingdom in its simplest form, and it manifests through us as His offspring in the faith.
Too Many Orphans in the Church
I have made three important observations regarding the orphan heart. First, it originates from deep wounds in the soul most often caused by the lack of genuine fatherhood in the formative years of life. Second, the organized church has done little to recognize this disease of the soul and has actually fueled it by perpetuating service rather than sonship.
The church must have servants to keep their programs functioning. Third, because of the lack of true fatherhood in the church, believers continue to operate as slaves to the church rather than as sons and daughters who are the church. I mean no disrespect to the organized church, but it is true.
For the orphan-hearted person, the concept of God is tainted by life experiences and disappointments. God is often viewed as a tyrant who demands to be pleased, and the belief is perpetuated that acceptance by God can only come through perfect performance and strict obedience. In the orphan’s mind-set, acceptance and favor can come no other way.
Orphans have a limited capacity that focuses primarily on self. They are very narcissistic and the center of their own universe. They see others through a lens of rivalry, jealousy, and competition. Pastors and visionary leaders with this condition rule their ministries requiring strict loyalty and dispensing swift discipline toward those who do not follow the rules of the organization to the letter of the law.
Because of being forced to make it in life on their own, orphans are very independent and self-reliant, causing them to be closed off, withdrawn, and distant in order to maintain control over their lives. Yet, in spite of this, orphans are starved for approval and affirmation through the praise and acceptance of others.
Orphan-hearted people are often chameleons who will change to become like those they admire, much like I wanted to become like Dr. Smitherman. Yet in spite of these changes, they constantly have a distorted self-image. They embrace a religious form in an attempt to change into an acceptable person, only to find that they cannot pray enough, give enough, or serve enough to reach the bar of acceptability.
Since works can never supply the means by which the orphan-hearted can measure up, the lie is fed that they are cursed and must settle for a life of rejection, shame, and self-reliance.
God Has Something Much Better!
Healing of every soul is both an event and a process.
Healing of every soul is both an event and a process. While the initial breakthrough can be instantaneous, time and patience are required for healing to be completed. Healing The Orphan Heart is no different; it, too, is an event and a process.
It begins when we recognize that we have an orphan heart and is completed when we come into the working knowledge that we are a son of God. So how do we do this?
We must begin by coming face-to-face with the truth regarding our condition and have the courage to face it and change it. It is not enough to recognize the presence of a disease in the soul; there must be genuine pursuit to be liberated at all costs.
Recognition that our soul suffers from this infirmity is not enough. We must purpose to do whatever it takes to be free from its control.
We must start with repentance of all bitter-root judgments and forgive all who have deeply wounded our spirit and soul. This will release us from the curse of The Orphan Heart. For the record, not all curses are demonic spells.
Curses can be any severe affliction. Many of us have been severely afflicted for years by the wounds of those who were supposed to love and protect, primarily fathers.
The first step is the most difficult because it demands that we face our past with the greatest of courage, with purpose in our heart to be free, and with determination to never look back as we walk a new road of liberty.