Imitation or Real?

Welcome to Making Space Monday (Making Space for God, that is!) Today I have something on my mind concerning being a fake or being real; the imitation/counterfeit or the real deal; the truth or the lie. What does Scripture teach us about the counterfeit?

The online dictionary defines counterfeit as made in the exact imitation of something valuable or important with the intention to deceive or fraud. 

It can be a fake, a forgery, copy or reproduction of the real thing.

Our culture is filled with the counterfeit. But God’s kingdom is just the opposite, filled with the authentic, genuine, and real.

A few years ago, I found a painting that I really liked and ultimately bought it for my house. I bought it knowing that it was not an original but a giclee, which is a sprayed ink reproduction. But what if I had bought the painting thinking it was the original— the real thing? It would have been another story, particularly if I had paid the price for an original and it was only a copy.

This brings me to my point. How do we identify that which is the reality of the kingdom of God and that which is counterfeit?

Jesus taught us that His kingdom was not of this world, so that is the first clue:

My kingdom is not an earthly kingdom.  If it were my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my kingdom is not of this world. (John 18:36)

In addition, Paul describes the Old Testament feasts as shadows, representations pointing to Jesus Christ.

These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. (Colossians 2:17)

So we see that the Kingdom of God is otherworldly- not what we see with our physical eyes on earth. It is spiritual. And that all of Scripture points to the reality of Jesus.

Let’s get practical. How do we ensure that we are following Christ — seeking His kingdom and His righteousness as opposed to following a counterfeit god?

In researching the process of detecting real money versus counterfeit money, I learned that bankers and treasury agents are trained to identify the counterfeit dollars by handling and studying real bills. A treasury agent does not study lists of counterfeit bills as that continually changes. He focuses on the real. 

Similarly, as Christians, we must study God’s Word in order to know and understand Truth. The analogy breaks down however because bankers and treasury agents are studying pieces of paper while Christians are handling the process of discerning truth, ideas, and Biblical reasoning.  A Christian’s job is not merely to read the words of Scripture, but cultivate an understanding of the Word.

The signs of the counterfeit in our everyday life are such things as:

  • Chaos, rather than peace
  • Indecision and confusion verses clear direction
  • Life taking rather than life-giving
  • Hopelessness verses hope

The best way I have found to know whether or not I am walking in kingdom principles is to remember these things primarily because Jesus made it very clear that his mission and the mission of the enemy are opposite.

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life (John 10:10 NLT)

Friends, in a world where the enemy seeks to counterfeit God’s holy purposes, we must remember that the only satisfying life is found in Christ. Paul said to imitate him because He imitated Christ. We must do the same. Study the real, the genuine, walk in the light of Christ, and you will not be deceived. We may take a circuitous path as we try to discern whether or not something is from God or of God, but when we seek Him, He will help us find the right path.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight. (Proverbs 3:5)


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