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The orphan spirit

by Jean-Louis Coraboeuf

"Jesus said to him: I am the way, the truth, and the life. No-one comes to the Father but by Me" (John 14:6).

God's plan is to be a Father to those who accept His Son. So Jesus came to earth to make known to us His Heavenly Father and to be the way which leads to Him (John 14:6-7). He identified Himself clearly with His Father, "If you knew Me, you would also know the Father. And henceforth you know Him and you have seen Him" (John 14:7). So the Spirit of the Father was living in Jesus in order that He (Jesus) could accomplish His (the Father's) works, and that is why, according to the prophet Isaiah, Jesus was to be called "Everlasting Father" (Isaiah 9:5).

His imminent departure from the world aroused anxiety amongst His disciples (John 14:1), that is why Jesus said to them: "I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you" (John 14:18). His presence at their side was a comfort to them in their position as sons. And as Jesus knew that an orphan was often someone vulnerable: "Plead for the orphan, defend the widow" (Isaiah 1:17b). He gave them this promise:

"And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Comforter, in order that He may remain with you forever, the Spirit of truth, that the world cannot receive, because it cannot see Him or know Him; but you, you know Him, for He remains with you, and He will be in you" (John 14:16-17).

The Holy Spirit is sent therefore to replace Jesus in our lives. He is given the task of leading us into the truth, of reminding us of all that Jesus has said and done, and of informing us of the things to come. It is He who will witness to our spirits that we are children of God (Romans 8:16).

Spirit of bondage

"And you have not received a spirit of bondage to be again in fear: but you have received a Spirit of adoption, by which we cry: Abba! Father!" (Romans 8:15).

The spirit of bondage is a spirit which induces slave-like (doulos) behaviour in the bad sense of the word. It provokes fear of God and comes to oppose the Spirit of God who gives a sense of sonship to the Heavenly Father (Romans 8:16). It is therefore the Spirit of God who will lead the child to become a son of God in order to become a co-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17).

And so the child is potentially an heir, but if he remains a child he will not be different in any way from a slave (Galatians 4:1). In order to inherit, the child must therefore become a son, which will not happen without some pain (Romans 8:17-19) and change.

The aim of the spirit of bondage is to prevent us from behaving as God's children, and then as a consequence of becoming God's sons. This spirit thus pushes us into:

  • making a name (for ourselves) in the church, whereas it is God who gives it to us (Isaiah 43:1),

  • seeking our own glory, instead of giving everything to God (John 7:18),

  • seeking the approval of men by exercising our own righteousness (Matthew 6:1),

  • seeking honours (Luke 14:10).

The Spirit of Adoption

This spirit is the accomplishment of the promise of Jesus made to His disciples. God has a precise plan for those who accept His Fatherhood: "He gives a family to those who were abandoned. He delivers the captives and makes them content" (Psalm 68:6). Therefore God does not want man to remain alone, particularly when he has had to leave his natural family to follow Jesus (Luke 18:28-30), also He will provide another family, the Church, and become a Father to each one of us.

God is the defender of orphans (Psalm 68:5) and asks us to plead for the orphan, that is to say, to welcome everyone He adds to the Church of Jesus Christ, which will allow the creation of an environment in which the Spirit of Adoption will be able to act freely.

This Spirit of Adoption pushes us into:

  • seeking the presence of God in worship (John 4:23-24),

  • seeking to glorify God (John 7:18),

  • doing what is pleasing to God (John 8:29),

  • behaving as sons (1 Corinthians 13:11),

  • pleasing God and not men (1 Thessalonians 4:1).

The battle

If we doubt our divine sonship, it is the orphan spirit that is at work in our life. This is how it works:

"Lord! they crush your people, they oppress your inheritance: they slaughter the widow and the foreigner, they slay the orphans" (Psalm 94:5-6).

Satan is a thief, an assassin, a destroyer (John 10:10) and a liar (John 8:44). That is why he will constantly try to crush us (through others), steal from us (our inheritance in Christ), lie to us about our status as children of God ("God cannot accept you as you are"), keep us in fear (the wrong fear of God) etc. All this to induce in us slave-like behaviour.

And it is in this manner we shall follow this way of slavery to get ourselves accepted, a way which will unfortunately lead others to despise us and wound us even more, and finally to reject us.

Our response

We are partly responsible because we often accept the situation and we easily become comfortable with it. But it is a sin for it is contrary to the Word of God which says clearly that it is a Spirit of Adoption that Jesus has sent to us and not a spirit of rejection and bondage.

So let us repent of having accepted the lies of the enemy of our souls and of having accepted this orphan spirit into our lives. Let us ask the Father to forgive us, for, in fact, He is the One who had rejected us. Then let us take the authority that we have received in Jesus Christ and command this spirit (of rejection) to leave us in His Name.

It is then that we shall be able to receive the love of the Father because the Spirit of God will have total pre-eminence in our lives. And this love which we were lacking so much and which we were looking for without success from men, will come and fill our lives in its fullness. And so all the relationships which were on a wrong basis will be rebuilt in the right way for the glory of God the Father.

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