I am convinced that most people can live free lives once they discover their real spiritual identity. Identity is everything. If we believe wrong information about our identity, it affects the way we think, feel and behave. If we know the truth about our identity, bondages are broken and freedom is found.
I believe there are three primary groups of people in most local churches – orphans, slaves and sons.
Orphans are never sure about their place in the family and never believe they really belong among God’s chosen people. The idea of a heavenly father that is good is difficult for an orphan to grasp. Most spiritual orphans have had a lousy experience with their earthly father or other male authority figures. They were never fathered, so they never learned how to be a son. They often wander through life with no sense of purpose and find it difficult to commit long-term to a career, a marriage or a ministry assignment. Orphans are cynical and skeptical of real relationships and often end up hurting others before they can be hurt by others.
Slaves know they have an assignment, but are convinced the only way to please the father is to perform and work harder than others. Their place in the family is dependent on how well they do something. They do not believe their place is secure and believe at any moment they could be replaced or demoted. Slaves want the constant attention of the father and are jealous when the spotlight is on someone else.
Sons are free to love the father and enjoy the land the father owns. Sons know they have chores and assignments, but know that the father is more pleased with whom they are becoming rather than what they are doing. Sons are free to make mistakes and are sure to receive discipline from the father, but the discipline is only to help them and not intended to harm them. Sons make good fathers, good husbands and healthy leaders. Sons get to spend a lot of time with the father and are never threatened that dad will leave or reject them.
I know I am a son. This truth is what set me free to live years ago. I pray everyone will discover their true identity and begin to live free.
March 9, 2009 at 3:30 pm
This is such an outstanding series! I think that in spite of ‘knowing’ we’re sons or daughters, we often slide between the orphan and slave mentality instead, for sure. Your message made me think of the great old spiritual, “Shut de do’ (Keep out de devil).” Check out the song on YouTube if you are interested. They just left out the part about shutting the windows too!
March 10, 2009 at 7:53 pm
Living free is very possible and thanks brady for this message. Before you preached this I was praying almost everything that you preached for new life and for the church at large. Obedience to the word of god is vital but as pastor jack hayford told us in his last message at new life, obedience does not have to be perfect. we will not always obey perfectly. God knows our hearts and knows how much we desire to obey him. Take it from someone who has experienced deep difficulty in life. brady thanks for your honesty also. The enemy hates your honesty and tranparency. God is gracious to heal all of us from our sins. we will change the world as we fall in love with jesus and just obey him.
March 11, 2009 at 8:10 pm
I’ll admit that I am an orphan. I grew up the youngest of three children and I was the one who could never do anything right and my brother (the oldest) could never do anything wrong. Even after my parents found a couple of skeletons in his closet (so to speak), nothing changed. I always thought that my Dad was perfect – it was hard for me to accept that his ways were not the best. He acted like his father who I suppose acted like his father and so on. Since Mom passed away in 2007, my relationship with him has improved but he is still the same in a lot of ways.
Every time I go in to NLC with something on my mind or a problem, you always answer it – it is like you are talking to me. I had been searching the Bible for the passages that talk about generational curses and now I’ve found it with your help!
You’ve set me on the right path to becoming a son. It doesn’t seem that difficult. Thanks for showing us the way.
April 28, 2009 at 11:33 am
Thanks for this message, I had often thought of myself as a spiritual orphan as a result of some terrible church situations (not at New Life). Subconsciencely, I knew this outlook was not right or how the “church” was quick to throw the sheep out was not right either.
Thanks for making this former spiritual orphan feel apart of the family.
March 10, 2010 at 10:58 am
I can just say thank you for this wonderful post!