“The Father has loved us so much that we are called children of God. And we really are His children. The reason the people in the world do not know us is that they have not known Him.” 1 John 3:1

While have been adopted as sons and daughters into the family of God, many of us still carry an orphan spirit. Missionary, Bible teacher, and advocate, Beth Guckenberger describes how having an orphan spirit affects our relationship with God and our understanding of who we are in Christ.

“Someone with an orphan spirit doesn’t live in the Sonship that God has given us. We think we don’t deserve what God has for us so we don’t ask for what it is that we need. We really are begging with our head down, hoping for God to just have a little bit of mercy on us.”

Instead of living as children of the Most High King, our posture resembles that of a vulnerable child who believes they are unloved, unworthy, and left behind. Beth shares from her twenty years’ experience working with orphans.

“I realized what the orphan spirit really is, it’s a sense of loss and there’s no permanency. There’s a beautiful quote from author Curt Thompson that says, “Every baby is born into the world looking for someone looking for them.” I think orphans don’t believe that anybody has seen them; they don’t think that anybody is looking for them.”

“When we live as children of God, we recognize that God so loved the world (John 3:16), that He so loved us and He lavishes His gifts on us.”

As children of God, we have the power and authority to ask for what it is we need and then receive what He has for us.

“When I come to my prayer life I don’t have to say, ‘Pretty please, God, I know yesterday you gave me your mercy, wisdom, patience, and grace – and I don’t mean to ask for it again – but I might need all of that today.’”

“I can say, ‘I am doing exactly what you want me to do today and I don’t have enough for all of it so can you give me what I don’t I have. I need self-control, I need perseverance, I need joy. I need love right now. And I need all kinds of stuff. God, I know you want to give it to me, so please do.’”

Because of who God says we are, we no longer have to carry an orphan spirit. We can rest in our true identity as His sons and daughters and live in that freedom today.

Living as children of God


Beth Guckenberger and her husband, Todd, live with their family in Cincinnati, Ohio where they serve as Co-Executive Directors of Back2Back Ministries. Between biological, foster, and adopted children, they have raised ten children. Beth is author of several books including Start with Amen: How I Learned to Surrender by Keeping the End in Mind.

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