No one wants to be an orphan. To some degree, we’ve all felt shades of the experience; what it’s like to be alone, unwanted, or invisible. What it’s like to have to figure things out on our own, to be void of needed resources, to have no one to turn to for help. These are all part of the orphan’s journey and are meant to be history the moment I come to God through faith in Christ. He becomes my new Father. My perfect Father. This Father is not passive, but engaged. This Father does not leave me alone to figure out who I am after this radical re-birth. He draws close, defines, reveals, and makes promises that feel too good to be true. I know many of them by heart and trust them by faith. You probably do, too.
But what our head knows and what our heart experiences can conflict. I can know that I am God’s much loved daughter. I can know that I’m invited to live in the joy of my new identity. But knowing it and feeling it can be far apart. That’s because history is powerful and my view of myself has been shaped by relationships and experiences on earth. None were perfect and most of them are as old as the number of birthdays I’ve celebrated. Let’s face it. Re-defining ourselves is a tall order. Yet we must realize that we’re not the ones doing the re-defining, the mental or emotional. God will do it if I’m all in and He possesses the power if I am open.
This series will explore the ten profile characteristics of a spiritual orphan ~ then the ten characteristics of a spiritual daughter. You will probably see yourself in the first ten and aspire to live in the reality of the next ten. You might ask ~ Where did these orphan profiles come from? Let me answer. They came from me. I knew them all and named them. They fit me like a second skin. Believe me, I’m intimately acquainted with what it’s like to be called a child of God but live as though I’m an orphan. I have many decades of experience.
Change is possible. The spiritual battle between what I feel and what God says is true need not be opposites. It is possible to know and feel what God knows and feels. I am to know I’m His beloved daughter but also feel like His beloved daughter. How is this possible? By the Word and by the Spirit. One without the other will not bring change. Both are needed. I will tell you that I was never shown this earlier in my life. It’s the key to inward congruency. To fully understand the power and implications of the Gospel, I must understand what really happened at my new birth and at the time of salvation. The catalysts for change then are the same catalysts which bring about changes in me now.
Tomorrow, we’ll begin. We’ll look at a passage that might seem so elementary that we’re tempted to tune out. Don’t! I discovered that I missed the whole point of Jesus’ talk with Nicodemus in John 3. Then I woke up and this series was born.
So, I’m praying for you ~ that God will give you new eyes to see, new ears to hear, and a new capacity for spiritual understanding. At stake is what identity you allow to shape the rest of your journey home. Beloved, now we are the sons [daughters] of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be . . . I John 3:2