Skip to main content

I want you to turn with me to Judges chapter eleven. This is Pentecost Sunday. The celebration of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Just by way of introduction. We’re not going to stay there long. But I just want us to look at the story and it’s a story of a young man called Jephthah and there was a war going on.

The people of Israel were under attack In the previous chapter Judges chapter ten. The last verse in chapter ten is who is the man who will begin to fight against the people of Ammon? He shall be head over all inhabitants of Gilead. I believe God is looking for warriors. He’s looking for leaders. He’s looking for people who’ll stand in the gap. Who wants their want their life to make a difference. You do not want to orchestrate or lead the war from behind an administrative desk.

One who’s prepared to get in the trenches will stand in the gap. He’ll stand and be counted. Amen. They will say we need a leader. We need someone to lead us. And I believe God’s raising up many new leaders in this hour. Amen. It says, now Jephthah, the Gileadite, was a mighty man of valour, but he was the son of a harlot. Jephthah, his name means striker and opposer. He’s a great warrior.

He had a great capacity as we see later on in the story. He had a great love for God and he knew and understood Israel’s history. He was a great man. But he was a son of a prostitute. I believe today God wants to turn your buts into benefits. Amen. Glory to God.

It says there that Gilead Jephthah’s father, and wife bore sons. When the wife’s sons grew up, they drove Jephthah out and said, you’ll have no inheritance in our father’s house. For you are the son of another woman. Then, Jephthah fled from his brothers and dwelt in the land of Tob and worthless men banded together with Jephthah and they went out on raiding parties with him.

It seems like when this little boy was you know only a few years old, Gilead who had fathered him to a prostitute, this prostitute came to Gilead’s house and dumped him off there and said, here, your kid, you raise him. And this little boy, he’s now got a stepmother who absolutely hates him because, he, to her, he represents my marriage isn’t good enough. I failed as a wife

She goes on to have other sons who hate him also. Because why look at our mum’s upset? Why does that kid have to live in our house? Why does Jephthah have to have presents at Christmas? Why does he get a bed in Johnny’s room? Why are we stuck with this kid? And you know they say, people who are rejected, Reject. Get in first. Rejected people reject.

And his name is striker and opposer. In his background. That was his beginning. But you know what also one who breaks through. And so we see here that this guy grows up and he doesn’t know why he’s disliked, he’s hated, he’s not wanted. And it would appear that Gilead, Jephthah’s father dies because they don’t divvy up the inheritance until the father dies.

And so the sons are there and they say you better just get out. So don’t think you’re getting anything of our inheritance. And the devil does not want you to know you have an inheritance and that you have a future. You have an inheritance. And it says there that Jephthah fled and he fled to the land of Tob. The Bible is full of amazing pictures. The word Tob means goodness. It means beautiful. It means favour.

The same word in Exodus thirty-three. When Moses said to God you know show me your glory. And the Lord was so he was thrilled that he asked it. Show me your glory. And it says he hid Moses in the cleft of the rock. And allowed all his Tob to come around about him. His goodness. The word means goodness. You cannot separate God’s glory from his goodness. Amen?

And Jephthah in his runnings, he actually got out from under all those labels, all those mindsets, all the things people called him. But he was an orphan. Because he was dumped by his mother. And his father died. So now pretty much he’s an orphan. And you know, John the great theologian said this, after salvation, the greatest work of the Holy Spirit is to reveal the spirit of adoption. The spirit of adoption.

And Jesus said these words, I will not leave you as orphans. I’m not going to leave you as orphans. I believe God wants to break off areas of an orphan spirit. You know, orphans don’t believe anyone’s going to come and help them. Orphans struggle with their identity, in knowing their father. And I myself came from a family where my dad was a heavy drinker and my mother wasn’t a well woman. She had a mental breakdown when she was twenty-eight.

My father would come home drunk a lot. He was probably you know an alcoholic but nobody used that term. They had five children and three chronic asthmatics. And so when my mum had a breakdown they didn’t have much help for people with mental issues. So we went into care with the nuns and they were very good to us. A family but after a couple of weeks, she had to come home.

Then I was about 12 when she took her first overdose. And once again we went into care. And she was taken to hospital and she came through and so you know when my mother couldn’t cope she would take a lot of pills. Not enough to kill herself but just to escape. Just escape. Just have 24 hours of escape. We would sit by her bed to listen to her breathing. Because if it got too shallow we’d bring an ambulance but we went into care a few times and you know sometimes you can feel that the primary caregivers of your life need care. Amen.

And often times there are ‘buts’ in our background. You know Jephthah was a mighty man of valour but he was the son of a harlot. But what are the buts? What are the things that have formed an identity?

Because what defines you, will control you.

And God wants to get to the labels on the inside. And I believe one of the greatest things that heals the label on the inside is a spirit of adoption. Because he went and he dwelt in a land called goodness. He dwelt there. He didn’t just visit it. He stayed there and something shifted over his life that was so powerful. Something shifted so powerful that worthless men began to be drawn to him because he’d found something.

I believe he’d found the goodness of God. And what happened was the people that kicked him out. The people that had demanded he leave come and sort him out when the battle broke out again and asked him to lead. And he became the leader of the whole nation. A military genius that led them into revival. He got a revelation of the goodness of God. And I believe God wants to bring a revelation of the goodness of God. And Jesus said I will not leave you as orphans. But I will come to you.

Then he said, it is better for me, for you that I go away. So that the helper can come. Can you imagine those guys that have walked with him? That had, he’d talk with them every day. They’d seen the miracles. He’d been their friend, their confidant, their trainer, their teacher. You know, for Mary Magdalene. You know the only man that ever treated her with respect.

The only man that ever treated her not as an object but as someone to be loved and he’s saying now to these disciples, it’s better for you that I leave and they’re going, what? And he said, no, if see, in his flesh, he could probably minister to ten, 50,000 people maybe, but he couldn’t, his voice, no TV, no, no Zoom, no whatever. But he said, if I go away, every one of you come personally with me. Every one of you the Holy Spirit will reveal Jesus.

Every one of you will know me intimately and personally but it was hard for them. And you know the two things that happened before the beginning of the world. Before time began. Number one. Revelations thirteen eight. The lamb was slain before the foundation of the world. And number two you were adopted in Christ before the foundation of the world. Before time began. God planned for you in love. The Bible says in Ephesians one. So it’s amen. Good news.

And so adoption does not plan B. No. He knew everything that would happen. And you see he could have stayed with the language of new birth. He could have stayed with the language. That we’re part of God’s family. But he’s extravagantly getting across to us who we are. So I want to just read a couple of scriptures.

There’s one in Galatians four. And it says this:

Galations 4:4-7 NKJV

But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Also in Romans eight it says there,

Romans 8:15 NKJV

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.”

And The Passion Translation says to fear of never being good enough. But you receive the spirit of adoption by which we cry Abba, Father and the Spirit himself bears witness.

Romans 8:15 TPT

And you did not receive the “spirit of religious duty,” leading you back into the fear of never being good enough. But you have received the “Spirit of full acceptance,” enfolding you into the family of God. And you will never feel orphaned, for as he rises up within us, our spirits join him in saying the words of tender affection, “Beloved Father!”

And the spirit of God whispers in our innermost being. You are God’s beloved child. The spirit of adoption is the feelings and emotions. Of sonship. There’s feelings and emotions. Romans eight verse one says there is therefore now no condemnation. 

Romans 8:1 NKJV

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

Romans 8:1 NASB

Therefore there is now no condemnation at all for those who are in Christ Jesus.

And in your translation, it might say to those who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit. That was added later. That is omitted in the original transcripts but the religious people could not get their head around such freedom to say. There is therefore now no condemnation. Does it say who will separate you? What can separate you from the love of God that’s in Christ Jesus? Can principalities, can heights, can it says, who can lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? Amen.

As parents, we say, better not criticize my kids better not put down my kids. That’s what God says. Yeah. You see, the accuser of the brethren is there but God, He said, no, that’s just the lies of the devil and I want to talk about the spirit of adoption in a personal way because it, the goodness of God wants to be poured out today and I want to take you through a personal journey.

In this personal journey, my middle daughter wanted to have and when she and her husband got married and as Christian mums when my daughter said well we’re thinking of starting a family and I said well that’s great and I’ll pray and when the first year went past and then the second year and then the third year and then the fourth year. Mum, mum do you think it’ll happen? Here’s I’m praying darling. I’m believing God. I’m seeing it. Seeing it by faith.

And but then the next year. And then the IVF. All the money and then the next IVF that failed. And then the next let’s try again. When that failed. I saw her heartbreaking each time. But I saw I felt the urgency in God. Because even with medical science we think oh well that’ll work. Which is really bad. But anyway. And so I’m praying. I’m really praying. And my daughter said I can’t go through that again.

And they talked eventually about adoption. And when you adopt it’s a process. As we know in Australia. And when you pick an orphanage you stick with that orphanage. You cannot have different irons in the fire. You have to stay with that particular one, there you wait till everything’s processed in Australia. For anything up to two years before your file is ever sent to that place. It’s such a wait.

But I want to say this God waited thousands of years for you. Thousands of years. And eventually, their file is there. And then we start praying for the first year. Do you think it’ll happen this year Mum? Well of course let’s believe God. And then we’re praying again for the second year. And then the third year. Now, I remember when I stood in church with her and her husband, I could feel the grief, I could feel the disappointment and even I was saying, Lord, I can’t go any further until you give my daughter a child.

And we prayed again. I love being in the house of God. I’d love to be in the house of God because as we took communion, I said to my daughter, don’t pray anymore. Because I felt the grief. I said, just keep your confession right. Don’t get angry with God. Don’t get cranky God. And I’m going to keep praying. And I’m going to keep standing. And so we took communion again and said thank you, Lord. That you’re God who answers prayer.

And the next day she rang me and she said Mummy you’re sitting down. I said no why? What are you talking about? She said we got the call. I said what call? What were you talking about? It had been so long. Said we got the call. They’ve matched us with a little boy. He’s 18 months. And his name is EJan from Taiwan. And so we’ve got the picture. They sent printed up this big. Put it on all our fridges. talking about him.

And then they got to see then they have to publish it in the local area and then in the nation. If nobody locally wants to adopt him. If nobody in the nation wants to adopt him then he’s released internationally. I don’t care who didn’t want you. There’s someone who wanted you from when you were born before you were born. Amen. And then they get a chance to Skype him. That’s Ejan. But that’s the eyes of an orphan. Then they got to Skype him.

And they got a ball and they’re trying to engage him and he’s kind of just staring at them and I said to Matty can I be there? And she said no mum just the parents. So I said video you talking. Eddie, I had a little xylophone and a drum and he’s banging away. I said look at that. We are enrolling him on the International Music School. Look at that talent. Look at that gifting well then they got to fly over and meet him for the first time.

But they walk into a room and they bring this little guy into the room. And he’s staring at them. And there they got some toys and but before they actually got to meet him they had to put together a talking book. And a talking book is pictures of Maddie and Kane. It’s called their Forever Family Book. And it’s a book that your tummy mummy couldn’t look after you. So she looked and found a forever mummy and a forever daddy. And there it’s translated into Mandarin and read to him every night.

This will be where you’re living. That’ll be your home. That’ll be your family. Now he probably doesn’t get it. But just yet. But this is God’s talking book. This is God’s talking book. And sometimes we’re like that orphan. It’s like over our heads you know. And as they went to visit him and they brought him into the room. My daughter speaking to in English. He doesn’t understand that he’s been around Mandarin.

And she’s saying you know what? You don’t know this yet but we’re going to take you home to a wonderful land. We’re going to love you like there’s no tomorrow and you’re going to be our little boy and we’re always going to be your mommy and daddy. So, he’s just there going over his head. Sometimes, we hear this stuff Sunday after Sunday. Yeah. And it goes over our head and he’s trying to get through to us.

He’s, you know, the apple of my eye. I gave up my son. You’re the object of my obsession. My, you know, the object of my affection but here he is after about an hour of playing with the toys he actually put his little backpack on because it’s about six months later now he’s two because there’s a lot of red tapes and he goes and waits at the door because he knows the drill. Someone will pick him up and take him back. And he doesn’t get it yet.

They had to go to court. And in the court, they had to actually say we declare that we will look after this child for the rest of his life. And that child will inherit with any other siblings. All the inheritance and all we have. We commit to looking after this child physically, financially, and emotional they did not bring Ejan in and say if you’re a good boy. It’s all done. He got a new birth certificate. He got a new name. Before he even knew it. Amen?

They had an adoption party. He had no idea that there was a whole excited family that can’t wait to meet him. They’re in Taiwan. Meeting him. This little boy is now getting ready to go on a plane to travel from Taipei to Singapore and then 10 hours to Brisbane to a place he’s never been before. To meet people he’s never met before. To face a future. He can’t imagine what it’s going to be like. He’s covering all his bases. He’s got three dummies and a bottle. He had three of them in his mouth at one time. He looked like something had a predator. But anyway praise God.

So, next picture This is our first glimpse of Ejan who’s called Jack now. Wearing the Parramatta Eels colours. Now, there we’re all at the airport but the Bible says, all of heaven is rejoicing when one sinner comes home. When one child gets adopted, all of heaven is rejoicing and so excited. Whether you feel it, whether you know it, do not consult your emotions to see whether this is true. This is true. Your forever father, your forever god Amen.

Yeah, so the Bible says for the joy set before him. My first nurse. My new grandson. Meeting the family. We not only have the Lord. We have our family. That was him going to church. Yes, we dressed him up. They dressed him up with a bow tie. You see he’s got a daddy. You see and for his pleasure, you were created. They did not get that little boy to mow the yard. And to clean the house. And to be trained as a servant. The joy they get is out of the relationship.

And we have sometimes been more comfortable with serving than intimacy than looking in the eyes of the father. Because and for his pleasure you and I were created. Amen? You see all God wants is a relationship. He just wants to walk with you every day. But just leave it there for a minute. You see they had so much love in their heart, Madeline Kane. They decided to have another child.

And so next this is a picture of evangelism going back to the orphanage and getting another little boy. Wow. Getting a little brother. You see, God has this great love. He is love and when you look around and you see all, you see so many different races. There’s the Koreans, the Chinese, the Americans, the Australians because God’s got so much love. And he has so much love for his family but individually, he loves. Amen?

Okay, next picture. There you go. So, that, they got a daddy. You see, that’s the gospel. That’s evangelism. Going and getting another brother or sister and bringing them to the father, amen? And that’s how much God loves you and you know, his name was EJ and they couldn’t give it as a second name because it would have been Jackie Ejan but so is Jack Kane, Ejan. The second little guy was Shushuan and he’s Max. And so he and Jack Boy are like this as he calls him Jack Boy.

And you see God wants to release the spirit of sonship. The spirit of adoption. When they brought him home they had to do what’s called bonding. And it with bonding what they have to do is they stay at home and they actually cocoon as in. No one can come and visit. Nobody comes near them. Because they have the child has to reattach. The child has to bond. Even when I drive around with a meal.

I was like mum you can’t come in. Is that he might concede through the screen door? Mum. I’ll get the meal. That’s him with Kane. I was like, I want to go around to the window and scratch on the, hey, eat Jan. It’s me. But you see sometimes if we’ve come from a religious background as I did. And I thank God for the Catholic Church. The nuns were very kind. But it was rules.

And even as a primary school student you know they would say on a Monday who didn’t go to Mass on Sunday stand on your chair. So we would have to stand on our chairs. If we didn’t go to church on Sunday. So there was a lot of shame-based rule-keeping. And so when I got saved I mean it was just amazing and I found this God who loved me who really came into my life. I was a single mother.

I had been into dope-smoking, riding a motorbike and I was a single mom with a three-year-old. When he came into my life, I was just so overwhelmed but if you’ve seen the movie Annie, Annie, when the Annie is adopted in the musical Annie, they bring her home to Daddy Warbucks, the richest man in New York. And they say, what would you like to do today, Annie? And she said, well, I’d like to, first, I wash the floors and then then I’ll wash the windows. They said, no, no, no you don’t get it. All this is for you. You’re not a servant. All this is for you.

And so what happened is that she had to learn how to receive. And I found that I didn’t actually allow that bonding to happen enough. And I immediately went into God. I’m going to show you I can be the best worker, and servant. I’m going to teach in Sunday school. I’m going to run the new Christian class. I’m going to do follow up. I’m going to work so hard because God you did so much for me. I’m going to give it back. But you see, I didn’t actually do enough. I didn’t I didn’t let him love me enough to change the labels of rejected, inferior. The old names of failure, are not good enough.

But I found that the grace of God through the spirit of adoption healed my heart. And healed my heart with seeing my grandsons. Healed it even more. Because I had a father that was an angry man. And figures can block our love for God. Our ability to bond and when Jack came home he you know when he would eat his dinner he would hide food in the high chair. Because orphans don’t know that they’re going to get enough food.

The first thing English word he learned was more. The second one he had to understand was to slow down. Slow down. And then we had was they found that things were going missing in the house. He was hiding it. Because orphans don’t know they’re going to be provided for. So they had to give him a cupboard. It’s called Jack’s stash. Where he hid all his contraband and what he stole. Okay, put it in there Jack. And I remember going out to dinner one night because his nickname was Popo. And they had started calling him Jack and I was testing it out a few months later and I said, hey, papa. And he said, no, Jack. Jack. And then he said, mommy’s baby. Mummy’s baby.

You’re not rejected. You’re not that person that was divorced. You’re not that person that was a failure. You’re God’s daughter, God’s son and I saw as he came into that identity that instead of hiding things away, well, when we go through the catalogue and what do you want for Christmas, Jack? He got this. Oh, that’s great. And that. Okay. And that. And that he learned to be a son. He learned that life was always going to be good around him. Amen. Can we just stand right now? Because Jephthah got out from all those labels. And he dwelt in the land of goodness.

The spirit of adoption is the emotions and the feelings. The bonding and the revelation of how much we are loved. Head knowledge is weak knowledge. You can teach a budgie to say Jesus loves me. Its internalized truth will change your life. What’s inside of you will talk to you all the time.

Guest Ps Faylene Sparks

Leave a Reply