11th October 2015

From orphan to heir: identity

During my sabbatical over the summer, God spoke to me about some precious things that I am sharing today and over the next two Sundays.

Do you know God as Father? Do you personally know Him as your Abba?

Being a Christian is all about knowing God. There are lots of things that are important and worth thinking about, but nothing compares to knowing Him and knowing how He sees you. Jesus promised that He would not leave us as orphans.

When we read verses such as these – Romans 8:15-17a, Galatians 4:4-7, Ephesians 1:4-5 – we realise that God wanted us and wants us! He chose me, He adopted me, and it's all because He wanted to!

In light of this, I must shake off an orphan mindset, because I am chosen and loved and I belong to the Father. It was for freedom that Jesus set us free – to live the life that Jesus purchased at the cross; to live as secure, accepted, chosen children. We live from identity, not to perform.

When Jesus said, "I will not leave you as orphans..." He was saying that He wouldn't leave us in our current state. An orphan is someone not living under the care of a parent. We can be baptised in the Spirit, coming to church, but our hearts full of wounds and our souls in unrest.

If you never pick up the Bible, you never go to church again, God loves you and adores you 100%.

Symptoms of an orphan heart include feeling like your heart has no place to call home, wandering around looking for security, acceptance and significance. Other symptoms include constantly feeling rejected, alone or isolated; criticising and judging others; a victim mentality; the need to be affirmed, recognised and given position; the unhelpful drive to be something or someone; easily angered or agitated; being super defensive; having a perpetual sense of hopelessness; etc., etc., etc.

These are just the tip of the iceberg. The root causes of these – what's below the surface – are often things that have happened in the past, such as a parent or parents failing to love us well.

How do we break free from orphan thinking? Jesus wants to take us from where we are to the Father's heart, that we would live in His love and goodness.

An orphan heart isn't something that needs to be cast out: it needs healing. Since the fall of humanity we have all been in this orphaned state, and Jesus came to bring us back to our Father.

Firstly, we need to acknowledge that our hearts need healing. Secondly, we need to reject lies and affirm truth. The Bible says we're transformed by renewing our minds to think what God thinks about us (see Romans 12). Are you letting what the Bible says define who you are? God's mind is wrapped up in the words in the Bible.

We must also be those who walk in forgiveness. The danger of unforgiveness is that it's like drinking deadly poison but expecting someone else to die!

We then need to see the beauty of the gospel again. Jesus was sent by the Father as our life raft – once we've been saved, we don't live on the raft, but Jesus takes us to the Father. Jesus is the rescue and the access to the Father. Jesus died on a cross so that we can live for eternity in the Father's house.

Everything that is true of Jesus is now true of you, too, if you are in Christ. Everything that Jesus inherits is now ours!

Santino Hamberis

Posted by Santino Hamberis










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