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Posts Tagged ‘Adoption’

Orphans and the Family Business

08/11/2012 1 comment

“In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and I will take you to myself, that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3 ESV).

The ESV Bible has captured the idea of this text. A house has rooms, not mansions. But the word house can also mean household. We, the Church, are the household of God (Heb. 3:3-6; Eph. 2:19). It seems to me Jesus is speaking of the Father’s Family Business which operates out of his house. At age 12 Jesus was already about his Father’s Business (Luke 2:49). The word business in Luke is a form of the word for house.

So what are the many rooms in the house of the Family Business? A short answer would be that the rooms are for particular functions within the House. Father is in the business of saving, healing and training others in the ways of the kingdom of God. There is a room for each of us according to the function we are called and equipped for. He did not leave us as orphans; we have a place in his House.

Jesus went to prepare a place for each of us according to the nature he put in us when he knit us together in our mother’s womb. When a person receives the Lord, Jesus comes to bring them to himself and involve them in the Family Business. To function in that room we must be responsive to daily instructions from Father. Jesus lived his life doing only what he saw the Father doing (John 5:19). When he brings us to himself, we are in that place of intimacy (the bosom) where we can see what Father is doing and allow him to do the work through us. Your room is waiting for you.

We noticed in previous blogs that orphans are those who behave as though they don’t have a father. Many Christians never relate to the Father; they act like spiritual orphans. Some feel that there is no Father who is really there for them to help them and protect them. Some try to do the Family Business with no input from Father. Others act as though it is the responsibility of a select few to do the work. They have no real part in the Family Business. All three groups often criticize others who are doing the work.

Some orphans wear themselves out trying to do the work with no energy from the Holy Spirit. Some time ago I heard someone say that ministry drains them. Ministry actually energizes those who are doing what Father is doing and receiving his energy to do it. There is certainly a time to go to a quiet place to rest. Jesus went to a desert place often. He didn’t go away to avoid people; he went to be with his Father and receive more to give away the next day.

The place Jesus prepared for us is in the Father’s heart for the nations. Father loves the whole world. Those who are in the place Jesus prepared for them will overflow with Father’s love within the function (room) they were designed to fill. We are behaving like orphans if we are not involved in Father’s Family Business.

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Fount Shults
President and Founder
On Word Ministries
http://www.onword.org

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Recognizing the Orphan

07/01/2012 3 comments

“I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:18

Most of us think like orphans at least occasionally. We feel like there’s no father there for us who understands or, if he does understand, he’s not able to help. We feel we must face our problems alone and fight our way through life trying to get ahead of the game. In other words, we feel like there’s no father who’s actually willing and able to help. There’s no father who loves us enough to be there and walk with us. We feel like we’re alone in our journey.

According to Thayer, the word orphan refers to one bereft of parents, teacher, guide or guardian. It’s one who has no one who cares or no one willing to teach, to guide and to guard. When we speak as though no one is there for us, we are speaking like an orphan. With no guide, we are alone to make decisions. With no teacher, we must learn the hard way. With no true father, we are without comfort when we fail. We are alone in a desert place.

Jesus said, “I will come to you.” He promised to never leave us alone in our journey, to never forsake us in our difficult times. Jesus is willing and able to help us. He sent the Holy Spirit as a helper. But our feelings of being alone betray us. These feelings identify us as those who do not really believe the promises deep in our heart. We may believe them in our mind. But our heart is the seat of feelings, and we feel like we’re abandoned and alone.

So we recognize the Orphan by those feelings that are contrary to the promises of the presence and participation of Father, Son and Holy Spirit in our lives. The process of growing in Christ is the process of overcoming all feelings that deny Father’s presence and availability. Recognizing this orphan thinking is the first step to freedom from anxiety. We do have a Father who loves us unconditionally and who is able to help. The prodigal son ‘came to himself’ when he realized he had a father who was willing and able to support him. We need to come to ourselves as sons.

Orphan thinking began with Eve. The snake suggested that God did not want her to be like him. He was forbidding the one thing that would make her like God, he suggested. God created mankind to bear his image and likeness. But the only way to develop that likeness is to receive the unconditional love of God who IS love. When Eve fell for the lie she began to think like an orphan. Adam joined her in this lie and both were suddenly ashamed of what God had created.

From that day to this orphan thinking has been common in the human race. My experience as a five year old boy is probably not uncommon. In the previous blog I related the feeling that my parents had adopted me, that I really didn’t belong to them. It is as though we were orphans when we were born. Even with parents who loved as best they could, we often feel like we are without a helper and a guide.

Jesus did come to us, and in his presence is the presence of Abba Father. He did not leave us desolate and without help. We do have a Father who cares. That means our orphan feelings are lies. They come from the original orphan, the father of lies.

We will continue this line of thinking as we seek a lasting solution to the problem of orphan thinking. If you desire to receive automatic notice when new blogs appear, go to: https://onwordministries.wordpress.com and enter your email address in the link provided on the right toward the top.

The thoughts in this blog series is a continuation of thoughts presented in “Invitation to Intimacy: Reflections on he Lost and Found Parables.” You can order a copy online at: https://www.createspace.com/3509902

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Looking Forward,
Fount Shults
President and Founder
On Word Ministries
http://www.onword.org