“The Orphan’s Heart” Part 1

Today, I want to speak on the topic of “The Orphan’s Heart.”

Please understand that I am not be-littling orphans.

Some of you grew up as an orphan. Perhaps you were not raised by your mother and father. Perhaps your grandma raised you. Perhaps and aunt or uncle. Perhaps you had foster parents. To you, I say, “you are an overcomer!!! It was not easy for you to overcome those negative circumstances in your life, but you have and look where you are today.

So, when I speak of The Orphan’s Heart,” I see that what you have experienced in the natural, many people experience in the spiritual. Many people have a spiritual orphan’s heart.

To those of you who have been foster parents, I would like to say “Thank you for investing in the lives and hearts of children and teens. You have made a big difference in their lives. Thank you.”

 

Romans 8:14-17

14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

 

For the first 14 years of her life, Jenny could not receive the affection, affirmation, security, comfort and protection from her father.

Because of his own wounded heart, her dad was stoic, intense and a harsh authoritarian father who demanded obedience but rarely expressed the love and nurture that Jenny needed – even though he loved his daughter deeply.

In her early years, Jenny responded with a strong will, independent and often defiant.  As she grew older those characteristics only intensified.

But, in 1995, Jenny’s dad experienced a personal revelation of His Heavenly Father’s love. His character changed for the good. He was now starting to become gentle, comforting and affectionate as a dad should be.

Once she saw the change in her dad’s heart, Jenny began to slowly open up. She started to develop a sense of value and respect for her dad.

You see, someone can legally be a son or daughter, live in a home of perfect love, yet choose not to receive the love or the parenting. (Just ask the prodigal son and his older brother (Luke 15)

   But things were still far from perfect. When things were going good, Jenny was able to receive love and admonition from her dad. But when things went wrong at school, at church, or at home, she would close her spirit and isolate herself, even though her dad did nothing wrong.

She would go from being lively and joyful to being withdrawn and a somber orphan. On the outside, things looked pretty good. But on the inside, Jenny struggled with feelings of rejection, independence, isolation and even oppression.

Many people like Jenny, whether they are young or old, male or female, live their lives as if they do not have a home. They live like a spiritual orphan – feeling that they do not have a safe and secure place in the Father’s heart where He protects us, affirms us, provides for us, and expresses His love to us – a place where we belong.

 

  Jenny exhibited an assortment of different orphan-like characteristics.

1) She focused on the faults of her father. She didn’t realize that her dad himself was struggling with many unhealed issues he suffered as a boy. But Jenny interpreted his responses as his rejection of her.

2) She experienced a wounded heart. Because she perceived that her dad was rejecting her, she was disappointed, discouraged and even depressed.

 

3) She lost basic trust in parental authority. Basic trust does not mean the ability to believe or trust one another. It is the capacity to hold your heart open to others, especially if you believe another’s motives or intentions are not pure. Basic trust is having an open heart. It is when you risk being vulnerable, even when it hurts you to stay open and not close your spirit. Basic trust is when you are able to move beyond the weaknesses in others, receive God’s healing touch one moment at a time and not run away. Basic trust is foundational for building healthy relationships. If someone does not have Basic Trust, they often battle with pride, fears and control.

 

4) She had a fear of submission to receiving love, comfort and admonition  . . from her father. Submission is an act of humility and receiving that releases God’s grace and abilities in our lives and helps free us from our fears and insecurities with relationships. (I Peter 5:5-7)

 

5) She closed her spirit during her time of need. She felt that she could not risk being vulnerable to her dad.

 

6) She developed an independent spirit. “Well, if I can’t trust people, I will have to make it on my own. I’d rather handle everything myself.”

 

7) She developed a controlling spirit. “I’m not going to let anyone hurt me, so I will always have the upper hand with all of my friends.”

 

8) She developed unhealthy affections. The music she began to listen to was filled with profanity. The friends she began to hang out with didn’t want to have anything with God. She had a craving for money.

 

9) An insecure spirit. Sometimes, we are left with the feeling that we have no safe place. No one to care for our soul. No one we can trust. No one to affirm and admonish us. No place to belong.

 

10) An unfulfilled spiritual life. She walked away from God.  There was a void in her life. The reason why some people who have an orphan heart walk away from God is this: If they have trouble relating to an earthly father, then they are likely to have trouble relating to their Heavenly Father.

 

At age 17, Jenny went through several weeks of deep rejection at school. But, she still didn’t feel comfortable going to her dad for affirmation, acceptance and belonging. One day, she broke her withdrawal and approached her parents and asked them to pray for her. Her dad prayed something like this: “Father, show us at what time in Jenny’s life did she cease receiving me as her daddy and allowing me to comfort, protect and parents her.”

After several minutes, Jenny mentioned an incident that happened when she was 5 years old. She ran and jumped into her father’s lap. Her dad remembered that incident. Because Jenny’s knee happened to hit her dad in a very private place and caused immediate physical pain, and he responded by throwing her on the nearby couch. She wasn’t hurt physically, but she began to weep uncontrollably because she thought he was rejecting her. That day, she lost basic trust in her dad.

  Now, the relationship between father and daughter has been restored. She now realizes that her dad does provide a safe place. Now, Jenny is able to receive words of affirmation when her dad says, “Jenny, you are my beautiful daughter whom I love deeply and believe in greatly.”  

And now, she feels loved by her Heavenly Father, as she now understands that He loves her and has His favor.”

 

The root of feeling like a spiritual orphan is one of the greatest hindrances to people receiving their healing and walking in expressed love, intimacy and healthy relationships.

 

What we see taking place in the natural is often a reflection of what is beginning to occur in the spiritual (I Corinthians 15:46). What is this built upon?

Much of this can be traced back to Genesis 21.

We are told of 2 half-brothers. Ishmael and Isaac.

Ishmael (representative of the orphan heart) has always had struggles against Isaac (who represents the spirit of a son).

Ishmael was the first born son of Abraham to Hagar, the handmaiden of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.  At about 16 years of age, Ishmael was forced into the wilderness, away from his father, because of jealousy and rivalry between the two women over whose son would have the rights to the inheritance of Abraham (Genesis 21:9-21).

The prophecies from Genesis 16:12 and 25:18 came to pass: that Ishmael will be a wild donkey of a man, his hand will be against everyone, and everyone’s hand will be against him . . .  He settled in defiance of all his relatives.

  For many years, the Orphan’s Heart of Ishmael surfaces with rivalry, envy and jealousy, often resulting in violence both in the spiritual and the natural. People with an orphan’s heart search for acceptance and significance and it often leads to a “holy war” as it unconsciously struggles for position, authority and inheritance.

 

I also see that Sarah had an Orphan’s Heart.

She didn’t trust God that she could bear a child.

Her controlling spirit surfaced when told Abraham to sleep with their maidservant. She wanted to be in control of the situation.

After her son, Isaac, was eventually born, she made the comment, “Everyone is going to laugh at me.”  She concerned about what people say.

Then, she got jealous of Hagar and demanded that Hagar and Ishmael be sent away.

Talk about being “insecure.” Sarah had an Orphan’s Heart.

 

Today, an Orphan’s Heart surfaces in many ways.

Sometimes, we experience an Orphan’s Heart because of the color of our skin or the language we speak or social status we grew up in.

 

At the core of an Orphan’s Heart is the issue of . .

1) Rejection

It may be actual rejection or it may be perceived rejection. But many of us deal with that. Some of us have felt the rejection – real or perceived – from a dad, or a mom or a pastor or a spiritual leader – or a boss – or a husband – or a wife – or a boyfriend or girlfriend. And depending on our character, we react.  Some of us will withdraw.  Others of us rebel. But the core of the issue is rejection.

 

2) Authority

God uses a chain of authority in every area of your life.

Many teenagers leave home because they don’t want to be under the God-ordained authority of their dad and mom.

Sometimes, parents make mistakes. Dads and moms are not perfect, but we still represent the authority figure in the home. And down deep, all of us long for that fatherly authority figure.

In Biblical days, a slave – after serving his master for a certain amount of years – would be given the option of leaving and being set free. Many times, the slaves would choose the option of staying with that master. Why? Because they want to stay under the authority of that master. To symbolize that they made a choice to remain a slave, male slaves would wear ear rings. That was their way of saying, “I need an authority figure in my life.”

 

God uses a chain of authority in every area of your life. How about the God-ordained institution of the Government?

Thursday was April 15th.  Tax Day. If you choose not to pay your income taxes, you will soon find yourself in a prison ministry.

 

God uses a chain of authority in every area of your life. How about the God-ordained institution of the church?

There have been a few people have come to Fortress Church and have made the comment, “I’m so glad I found Fortress Church because the last church I went to had some major issues going on, so I left.”

When someone tells me that, I have to make sure that that person left their previous church on good terms.

Here’s a principle: How you leave one place determines how you enter the next place.

 

One U S City did a study and their study showed that 25,000 people in their city - every week - were leaving their church.  Wow!

 

I praise God for our Elders. I believe that I must be live in accountability to the church board. I praise God the Assemblies of God. I praise God that I have an authority over me. I can’t do just anything that I want to do. There is a line of authority that I must follow.

That’s why I get leary about all these non-denominational churches around us. Many of them don’t even have any sort of authority over them or accountability. The pastor answers to no one. He can do what he wants and doesn’t have to be accountable for it.

We are a denominational church because we believe in accountability to the A/G and the doctrine of the A/G. God is a God of order.

 

Romans 13:1, 2 – Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

Those who rebel against authority rebel against what God has instituted.

 

An Orphan often goes from home to home.

Those with an Orphan’s Heart will often go from church to church; from job to job; from leader to leader; from husband to husband, etc. because they are fatherless.

 

Most leaders will offend you.

Principle: "God uses the gentle leaders to nurture us and the harsh ones to refine us - they both serve a purpose in God's plan." John Bevere

 

3) Trust

Do you have a hard time trusting people?

Someone has burned you before, and you are afraid of that happening again?

 

The only way any of us advance in life is when we trust someone.

If you want a successful marriage, you have to trust your spouse.

If you want a successful financial portfolio, you have to trust in certain investments.

If you want a successful career, you have to trust your boss and your co-workers.

If you want a successful son or daughter, you have to trust them to make right choices.

 

The whole story of Abraham and Sarah and Hagar and Ishmael and Isaac didn’t go the way the Lord intended it to go. But, God’s will still took place.

Even though Sarah exhibited an Orphan’s Heart, God still used her.

She could have saved herself lots of pain and lots of tears, but God’s will was still done.

Likewise, if you have an Orphan’s Heart, it doesn’t mean that you are out of God’s will. It simply means that the enemy is stealing your joy.

God did not intend for you to have an Orphan’s Heart.

God created you to be a child of the King!!!

You are a son – a daughter of the Most High God!