Christians that fail to understand the promises and character of God often operate under an orphan spirit. They tend to see God as mean, stingy, angry, unforgiving, and quick to punish. Essentially, they don’t know that they have a Heavenly Father that is loving, forgiving, powerful, giving, just, and understanding.
An orphan mindset can stunt a believer’s spiritual growth. A negative view of God’s parental role may cause believers to constantly fear being rejected, overlooked, punished, and judged. These fears cripple their walk and cause them to lack confidence in God’s love and protection. Essentially, it becomes hard to stand firm in faith during obstacles when you don’t believe God is good.
In contrast, confident children of God can boldly approach God and believe biblical promises. Ultimately, they’re secure in their relationship with God: “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
16 Characteristics Of An Orphan Spirit
Do you struggle with the characteristic traits of an orphan spirit? Begin confronting those lies by reading scriptures that oppose false theologies and beliefs. In addition, speak to a biblically sound mentor that can help you uproot lies that hinder your spiritual growth.
- Unbelief that God forgave your former sins.
- Feeling stuck, hopeless, defeated, and giving up quickly.
- Constantly fearing that God will punish you.
- Competing and comparing yourself to other Christians.
- Fasting and praying from a place of guilt, fear, and striving.
- Feeling unworthy of salvation.
- Distrust that biblical promises are your portion.
- The inability to walk in spiritual authority.
- Fear of walking in your purpose and calling.
- Believing lies about the character of God.
- Relying on your own self-effort rather than God’s strength.
- Forgetting to pray and ask for God’s help.
- Fearing God will withhold good things from you.
- Allowing offense and fear to separate you from a spiritual family.
- Doubting the power of God to intervene in any situation.
- Fear of intimacy with God and others.
God is a Good Father
Under the Old Testament Law, the Jews had a very legalistic understanding of God. They believed they had to work to earn his love. In the Apostle Paul’s life, we see this twisted understanding of God which led him to kill Christians. He didn’t understand that heart transformation was more important than “holy actions”. Essentially, God is pursuing humanity to win their hearts!
When I received salvation, I was still stuck in sin and I didn’t know how to stop. I was told that God loves me and I just had to surrender my life to him and ask for his help to clean it up. And God did just that. He loosed me from the insecurities and pain that kept me tied to my cycles of sin.
While God hates sin, he LOVED me despite my constant mistakes. He knew my heart and weaknesses. He knew how hard I was fighting for purity even when I was impure. I clung to him with the little faith I had at the time and he moved my mountains.
My journey with God taught me that God is committed to being intimate with me. He even sent dreams about temptations before they came into my life. I’ve avoided so many bad situation, relationships, and friendships because God revealed the hearts of people. And he even revealed my own heart’s longing to sin, so I was able to make better choices before the temptation came. Isn’t he good?
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
What is the spirit of adoption?
Essentially, the spirit of adoption is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit connects and seals you to God eternally. In the natural, a legally adopted child is bound to a family permanently with paperwork. In the spiritual sense, the Holy Spirit is the paperwork or proof that God sealed the deal when he adopted you!
“You have received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba Father!” The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him” (Romans 8: 15-17)
As you read the Bible, you’ll see that the relationship between Jesus and God is breathtaking. It’s a reminder of the intimacy that you can also have with God through the spirit of adoption.
More Detailed Resources:
- What is the Spirit of adoption (Romans 8:15)?
- What does it mean that Christians are adopted by God?
- 12 Benefits of The Holy Spirit + Scriptures
How did God adopt us?
God promised: “I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:18)
To fulfill his promise, God sent us the Holy Spirit or “spirit of adoption” when Jesus Christ died. Essentially, “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great delight.” (Ephesians 1:5)
Why do we need the spirit of adoption?
The synonym for orphan spirit is the “spirit of bondage” and the “spirit of slavery.” To be under the orphan spirit means that you are not stepping into your rightful place as a child of God.
Without the spirit of adoption, humanity is captive to the father of lies — Satan. Essentially, Satan is a liar and deceiver that seeks to imprison individuals in a cycle of legalism, shame, fear, pain, anger, and rebellion against God.
Thankfully Jesus’ master plan was to free us from this prison with the help of the Holy Spirit: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” (Isaiah 61)
Initially, sin caused humanity to become separated from God. Fortunately, forgiveness of sins and the Holy Spirit are a bridge that ended the separation. Once you accept Christ, you have the pleasure of becoming a child of God — a permanent member of God’s holy family through the “spirit of adoption.”
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39)
How to Defeat The Orphan Spirit
The key to breaking the orphan spirit is renewing your mind. The orphan spirit is simply your old nature’s pattern of thinking. Now that you’re in right standing with God, it’s time to think like you’re royalty. “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
- Read the Bible. It’s time to start reading the Bible. The word of God is active and as you read, God will use it to defeat any lies you believe. He will show you his character and your identity in him. His love for you is immense and he would NEVER give up on you.
- You are a son or daughter of God. I once had a dream, I was sad because I wanted an apple after seeing someone else eating one. In the dream, someone was shocked at my sadness over something so small. They said to me: “Do you know who your father is? He is the King.” I immediately realized that God was POWERFUL and cared about the little things I cared about. And he had the power to make all my heart’s desires come true. Essentially, our heavenly father is good and he “withholds no good thing from those who walk with integrity.”(Psalm 84:11)
- Accept the gifts of God. God promises the believer so many internal treasures that people forget to grab hold of. For instance, God promises peace that surpasses all understanding. Essentially, He has given you everything need to stand firm in chaotic life moments.
- Surround Yourself With Wise Counsel. Often we try to do everything ourselves and the Bible says we need mentors and wise counsel to guide us into truth. We can SKIP a lot of pain if we hear the mistakes and steps to victory from others that have gone before us. “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” Proverbs 12:15
Prayer to Renounce the Orphan Spirit
Abba, thank you for being my father. I invite you to heal the orphan mindsets that I may have. My only desire is to confidently approach you in intimacy. Thank you for always paving a way for us to be close O’ Lord. You are so good. You saw the gold in me when I couldn’t even see me. I’m learning to love who I am because you’re a good teacher. You are the potter and I am your unique and beautiful masterpiece. I’m thankful that you created me the way I am. And I’m grateful for the gift of the Holy Spirit to keep me in purity and connection with you.
I am in love with the way that you guide, protect, teach, discipline, and bless me papa. I rejoice because I am learning how much you love me more and more every day. I’m learning more and more that everything you do is motivated by love. I hope to be more and more like you. Papa, set my heart a blaze for all the fatherless and motherless in the world. I want to help others to see the beauty of intimacy with you. At your word rejection, pride, fear, doubt, unworthiness, and lack are defeated. And I’m excited because your lost children will rejoice when they understand this GOOD NEWS. I love you Abba. Amen.
I have loved this message and found my self having some of these characteristics of an orphan heart even though I didn’t grow up as an orphan
Wow! Thank you for your comment, it truly blessed me 🙂 I pray that God would show you how deeply loved you are and that you are a true child of God.