Abandoned Doll

Are We Spiritual Orphans?

There is no more blessed way of living than the life of faith upon a covenant-keeping God—to know that we have no care, for he careth for us, that we need have no fear, except to fear him, that we need have no troubles, because we have cast our burdens upon the Lord, and are conscious that he will sustain us. –Charles Spurgeon, pastor and author

But the people thirsted there for water; and they grumbled against Moses and said, “Why, now, have you brought us up from Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” . . . He named the place Massah and Meribah because of the quarrel of the sons of Israel, and because they tested the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us, or not?” Exodus 17:3,7 (NASB)

Spiritual Orphans

When Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they chose to distance themselves from God, choosing instead a path of independence. How quickly those unfortunate souls must have realized the unbearable burden that they had pulled squarely upon their own shoulders! Attempting to be like God apart from God makes humans debtors to perfection. It is a debt that we can never possibly pay.

The Bible records that Adam and Eve withdrew into the shadows, hiding in shame as the contrast between their sin-stained selves and the perfectly magnificent Creator became all too clear. Born was the fear that total disclosure is the precursor of abandonment, an inherent belief that rejection is inevitable as soon as others see the real me. The only practical solution, it seemed, was a futile attempt to hide from His penetrating gaze. Adam and Eve made themselves spiritual orphans.

Fear of Abandonment

Since that fateful day in the garden, the fear of abandonment has been ingrained in the human psyche. And because a covenant worldview is now found only in movie fantasies, the problem of abandonment has increased in both scope and intensity. Today, we have husbands deserting their wives for younger women, mothers leaving their children to do drugs, companies jilting their employees due to greed, and governments forsaking their citizens for the sake of political gain. Add an almost endless list of other forms of abandonment common to our culture, and it should be no surprise that we often find ourselves feeling insecure and anxious.

To our detriment, our view of God can be tainted by the shortcomings of unfaithful humans. All too often, our lack of confidence in others morphs into a lack of trust in God and His promises. Like a shark patiently cruising under the surface of the ocean in search of its prey, our underlying uncertainties linger beneath the surface of our hearts, surging quickly to tear at our souls when we enter unfamiliar and adverse wilderness territory.

Our Heavenly Father Doesn’t Leave Spiritual Orphans

If we take but a minute to stop and reflect, we will come to realize that a lack of trust in God makes absolutely no sense for a Christian. Our King is all-powerful and full of love, ever faithful to His word, fulfilling each and every promise He makes along the way. If we truly believed in the goodness of God toward His children, we would never—even for a moment—doubt that He will be there to meet our every need. And yet, doubt we do—a lot! Fear and doubt, inherent to our fallen natures, deceive us with feelings that scream loudly: “If I don’t look out for myself, no one else will!” We are blind, totally misunderstanding the true nature and character of our loving Lord.

Foreseeing our fear, worry, and anxiety, our Father provided the opportunity for us to envision His absolute faithfulness by instituting, the concept of a blood covenant—a sacred and binding relationship, similar to a blood brotherhood as might be seen in an old movie. Intended to be unbreakable in nature, it amounts to what we might call a super-glued relationship. The covenants of the Bible provide powerful evidence that our heavenly Father doesn’t leave spiritual orphans.

God’s Faithfulness

The first covenants were established in the garden of Eden, and since that time, God’s interaction with His beloved children has taken place through a series of covenants.  The New Covenant is a blood covenant, established by Jesus with the price that He willingly paid for our sins (see 1 Corinthians 11:25). All of this points us toward our absolutely faithful Father; we can trust Him with total confidence regardless of how horrible our circumstances may appear. There may be times when we don’t understand God’s actions (or inaction), but we can always trust His faithful love.

The beauty of the gospel is that we don’t need to be perfect for God to fulfill His promises to us. In a very real sense, God’s faithfulness has nothing to do with our worthiness (or lack thereof), and everything to do with the nature of His character. If our loving Lord leads us somewhere, we can be sure that it is with a good purpose and that He will never abandon us in the process. Whether the winds of our lives are favorable or fierce, let us be sure to place the full weight of our trust in our heavenly Father who doesn’t leave spiritual orphans.



This post is drawn from Chapter Thirty-Seven of Bob’s devotional: Champions in the Wilderness—Fifty-Two Devotions to Guide and Strengthen Emerging Overcomers