Recognising The Orphan Mindset In The Parable Of The Prodigal

Kobus Swart                    Series: Sonship

Luke 15:3-32; Luke 3:38; (John 5:43); 2 Cor. 5:18-20; 2 Peter 1:2-4; (Hagg. 2:8); (Matt. 21:2);

(Psalms 128); (2 Cor. 5:1-4)

Jesus came to reintroduce humankind to the Father after Adam’s Fall had seen the beginning of an orphan culture. There is therefore no more need to live as orphans. However, the spirit of religion has so overtaken the world that it keeps on feeding that orphan mindset.

We have seen over time the word “repentance” taking on a meaning which was incomplete. Repentance was seen as something that only a sinner does when he/she comes to the Lord.  In Luke 15 we first see a man who had 100 sheep, then a woman who had 2 coins. In both cases there was great joy when the lost one (sheep and coin) was found, and these parables concluded that that there is “great joy in heaven over every sinner that repents”.

There is more to repentance than that. Repentance means a change of mind, change of direction, which will then influence the way you live and the way you approach God.

In the third parable in Luke 15, we find a man who had (only) two sons. The youngest son then demanded his inheritance while his father was still living, and the father divided his wealth between the two sons. (Luke 15:12). The younger then went to “a distant country”, basically disconnecting himself from his father. The moment the prodigal came to his senses, bankrupt and hungry, he realised, “I have a father, he has not disowned me; yet I have disowned him.” The father did not look for the prodigal in the swine fields. Something had to happen in the heart of the son first, even though the heart of the father was waiting for him to return. (Luke 15:20). He returned to the father with true repentance and was given a wonderful welcome. There are many sons who have left their spiritual fathers prematurely and with a wrong spirit, violating this important principle. But God has a way of getting the attention of the prodigal who has made himself an orphan.

The older brother in the parable of the prodigal manifested an orphan spirit in a different way. He lived in the father’s house, but never fully realized all that was his. There can be people sitting in the household of faith with an orphan mindset. Somehow they have never entered into sonship. This older brother thought that doing good works was as good as having a relationship with the father. Something goes wrong in your perspective when the orphan mindset rules your thinking. You see things differently, you grumble, you become selfish, competitive and jealous. In a house where there are sons you will never find a competitive spirit because everybody knows they are treasured, they have a relationship and everybody is at rest and at peace in their own unique gift and grace. The father reminded this older brother: “… you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours”. (Luke 15:31). That is a revelation that we need.

All that must happen since Calvary, is that mankind must be reconnected to the Father. The first Adam disconnected humanity but the last Adam came and paved the way for a reconnection. People are either in the first or in the last Adam; there is no middle ground. Salvation means being reconnected with the family of the Father. The message of salvation should be a message of reconciliation; God has given us the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20).

… His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. (2 Pet. 1:2-4). Father has made everything we need available to us in Christ. If we are delegates or viceroys of the King; if we are about the King’s business, all we need to do is to send a requisition that says; “this is what I need to do Your will”. The orphan will always fight for the provision and protection that he has to earn. We cannot earn anything from God! Jesus never owned anything and yet had access to everything. His Father was his estate. An ambassador must have all he needs in a foreign country to fulfill his commissioning. We do not have to compete with the world, as long as we have what it takes to fulfill the mandate God has given us and do it right. We must make sure that we are in the business of the King, not with selfish motives, and see how your needs will be taken care of. If you live on the level of the first Adam, your mindset is defined by the fallen state of man; you still think of yourself as a beggar. God is raising an administration that can take this truth of us having been reconciled with Father – no longer orphans, no longer fatherless, and let that reflect in our daily lifestyle.

The gold and silver of this world will come to the house of God, but it will only come after there has been a shaking (Hag.2:8). There will be a shaking that will shake out all the wrong motives and identities. There are orphan leaders of churches who have never been fathered that are producing orphans. They see members as assets to provide protection and provision for themselves. God has always wanted a family, and around the table of the father and mother will be sons like olive plants (Psalms 128). Olives produce oil and oil speaks of the Holy Spirit. The anointing will be around the table, everything the father needs.

God must help us in our whole approach to the things of this world. The next transition is from the natural to the spiritual. We will define things from God’s perspective and not from the earthly perspective. Our biggest challenge is the soul man in us still taking control, instead of the spirit man. We have to be spirit led. See yourself as a son in the house; a son of the King; an ambassador; having access to everything.

He has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness.