First of all, if this subject interest you, you may want to read this previous post: https://cbgrace.wordpress.com/2010/02/24/how-to-pray-for-an-orphan-spirit/
When I wrote the previous post, I had a friend ask if I was writing about him. No, I didn’t feel I was. This post, however, may more accurately apply to him. The difference is orphans have no father at all. And stepsons have “acting fathers”. With the stepson, there is spiritual authority present, however, more often than not, that authority is abusive in some way or not aware they are acting as a spiritual father (although the stepson views that individual as a father).
This isn’t meant to offend any of the pastors I had while I growing up. For the most part, they are lovely men of God who genuinely believe in how they did things. This relates to a system more than individuals although there are some individuals that have perpetuated this disease.
My parents, and therefore I, were spiritual birthed into a system that regarded men above the Holy Spirit. To the point that many times what was preached was considered “gospel” even if it was NOT in the Bible. They said they were all about the Holy Spirit but when it came down to it, a person’s last name and their family history was exalted above who was called by God. In fact, one was not considered “called by God” unless they had the “right” last name or a heritage of pastor’s in their personal history. For example, it was not at all unusual to hear a pastor (or evangelist) say, “My grandfather was so-and-so who built this church in wherever.” The problem with this system is, if you were born into it by birth, you had a birthright to ministry, however, if you or your family “got saved” you were only “allowed” to fill a pew unless you had some special talent (like an ability to sing). You could also fill “serving” roles in the church such as cooking meals, keeping the nursery or teaching Sunday school to children. If you were holy enough (which is such a flawed thought since holiness is positional not conditional) you may be able to go to Bible College and maybe become a missionary (even women could become missionaries which is a whole other post. Being a missionary was a job most people didn’t want) or plant a church in an obscure place where no one else wanted to go. You would most likely NOT be invited to come preach at the larger churches in the system because of course, you didn’t have the “right” last name and no one knew who your grandaddy was. What I didn’t see was people being encouraged to be who God created them to be. I saw so many people trying to fit a mold and when they failed, they became discouraged and many fell away from the faith.
What I realize now is people who came to the faith rather than being born into it were treated like step kids. They could live there but they would never inherit.
Read I Samuel 2. Eli was the high priest and his sons were priests in the temple; corrupt priest. Because of who their father was, they remained priests. Meanwhile, Samuel was serving in the temple. He was God’s chosen voice for Israel at that time, however, Eli allowed his sons to continue their wickedness. Samuel was merely a stepson in the house of God. He may have been God’s chosen but he wasn’t a son by blood. In order for Samuel to take his place, Eli had to die and not just Eli, Eli’s house had to die.
Ultimately, there are not “step” kids in God’s Kingdom. (More about this later).
God’s plan has never been religion. Religion is man-made. God’s plan is relationship.
Here are some of the characteristics I’ve seen regarding Spiritual stepsons (Keeping in mind, people will “walk in” these characteristics even after they have left the situation that relegated them to a “step” relationship).
- They constantly strive to earn favor and have not learned to rest in God.
- They do not inherit; they know this and it drives them to work for everything. They have no expectation of unmerited favor.
- They often do not believe the promises of God are for them.
- They walk in terror of failure, knowing they have no one to fall back on.
- They are generally frustrated in their ministry an/or position in the church.
I have the experience to write on this topic. For years I struggled with the fact that I am adopted by God, that I am called and that I am God’s favorite and He has great things in mind for me.
The truth is there are only sons in God’s Kingdom. There are no stepsons there are no orphans. If you have been let down by a system or even a man (or woman for that matter who tried to spiritually parent you but did not love you the way God loves you) there is healing available.
Two recommendations I make to get started:
- Pray. Tell God exactly how you feel and do not hold anything back even if it means “telling on” someone you respect. He knows anyway. Ask Him to help you forgive the person or system. Most of the time, without words or without even meaning to, the spiritual father has relegated you to the position of a stepson by favoring some one else (in many case a natural son or daughter). There may have even been a moment (a pinpointable moment) when you realized you could never inherit no matter how “good” you were. Shed the tears you have held back. This may be hard for some of you tough guys but think about your own children (if you have them), when they hurt you pick them up and hold them and wipe away their tears. Your “Abba” Father wants to do the same for you.
- Read your Bible. Read Romans chapter 8. Over and over if you have to.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ Romans 8:14-17
If you read on, verse 21 indicates that as children of God we enjoy glorious liberty. Glorious liberty is a benefit of being a child of God and we are all children of God if we have chosen to be in relationship with Him.
Living as a stepson when you are destined to be a son is…well, it is hard to describe….it is frustrating. It is as if something is “off” but you aren’t quiet sure what it is. Everything seems to be in order but your relationship with God seems “hard”. It is hard because you are constantly working to earn His favor and get everything done that you feel called to do. By “get it done” I mean you are working on your own to get it done. Meanwhile, God is sitting back waiting for you to hand it over to Him so He can work on your behalf.
In Matthew 11: 28, Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Sure at times, the Kingdom requires hard work but the payoff is always more than the work. And the labor does not last forever.
It is time to shed the stigma of “step” and own sonship.