Romans 8:15 reminds us “So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children. Now we call Him, ‘Abba, Father.’ ”

This last week I’ve been thinking about the long process of bonding and attachment that all adoptive parents work on once they are home with their children.  It’s not unlike the process each of us as Christ-followers spend our lives working on as we learn to live in our new identity as God’s beloved children.

Fear?  Shame?  Self-preservation?  All are signs that I am not yet fully trusting, fully ‘bonded’ to my heavenly Father.  Signs that I am living as if I have no Father, no one I can trust.

Sandra Flach, an adoptive mother, has written very poignantly about the Spirit of Adoption vs. the Orphan Spirit…

We are children of God…but how many of us are living like we are still orphans? The spirit of fear characterizes the orphan.  I’ve had to learn how to disarm fear and build trust with my adopted kids.  The brain’s automatic response to fear is fight, flight or freeze – sounds like some Christians today.  They’re either causing all kinds of trouble in church, church hopping or barely attending, or they attend but never really change.  That’s the enemy’s plan.  Shame is another characteristic of the orphan.  Shame is the result of sin:  either we sin or someone sins against us.  We try to either run from shame, or like Adam and Eve, we try to cover it up -maybe even with religion or good deeds.  Physical orphans suffer from fear and shame, but so do spiritual orphans.  Fear can only be displaced by our Heavenly Father’s perfect love and shame can only be covered by the righteousness of Christ.  

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