Monday, January 21, 2019

How to spot a counterfeit

If you were to tell me something today - something very important for me to remember - I'd do my level best to keep that foremost in my memory, rehearsing it until it was committed there. Unfortunately, if you were to just talk to me about something without really impressing the importance of it to me, I might not give it a passing thought again. I would just see it as 'information' shared, but not really see it as something I needed to hold onto very long. It was what we shared in the course of the day - something in passing - but it wasn't expressed to me in such a manner as to make me commit it to memory. Telling me what is on sale at the local grocer this week is only of use to me until the end of the week and the new ad being released. If I commit it to memory, it won't do me much good because it no longer applies - it was time-limited and specific to that store. When you tell me where you hide the spare key for your house in case I ever need to do a welfare check on you, that is much more important for me to 'hold onto' in my memory! When God tells us something - is it held onto, or do we let it just be passing thoughts that really never get committed to memory?

I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you, I attentively watch how you’ve done it. I relish everything you’ve told me of life, I won’t forget a word of it. (Psalm 119:15-16 MSG)

God asks for us to ponder his Words as wisdom we will never really find anywhere else. He also encourages us to consider his actions - to pay attention to the ways he works, the timing of his actions, and the specifics of his movements. Why? He wants us to be able to recognize counterfeit "truth" when it comes along! He wants us to be so familiar with him that we don't get caught up in anything that is only 'partial truth'. Those who work with the Department of Treasury will tell you they didn't take courses on how to spot 'counterfeit' monies by studying the 'fake' bills - they studied the real until they became so familiar with all the aspects of the 'real one' that they can easily spot a fake! The more we study God's Word, combined with the observations of how he moves heaven and earth to accomplish his purposes, the more we will be able to spot the 'counterfeit' as it comes along!

When we 'relish' something, we are saying there is sufficiency in that 'something' to satisfy us - it meets our desires. The more we come to appreciate his Words as more than just 'good advice' and really count on them as life-sustaining, the more we will find our desires begin to change. What once we found satisfaction in pursuing just doesn't impress us with that deep sense of satisfaction any longer. We recognize those things have been 'counterfeits' of the very real life-giving, life-sustaining truth we are now surrounded by when we embrace his truth. We understand there was an element of truth in everything we embraced previously, but it wasn't 'totally' or 'thoroughly' accurate. Much of the 'truth' we come to believe in life is because it was taught - either by example or in some form of instruction. Imagine how we feel when someone comes along and shows us an even better solution to that problem in life - the 'truth' we were using over and over again in our lives becomes apparently 'deficient' in potency. We take up the even 'greater truth' we now see and understand - using that truth to solve the problem moving forward.

In God's kingdom, truth doesn't change. It remains the same, but our appreciation for it grows over the course of time. We begin to realize we have bits and pieces of 'counterfeit' truth influencing our lives and we don't want to keep the 'counterfeit' any longer. We yearn for the real, trustworthy, and reliable truth. We lay down the counterfeit for the real. Why? The 'real' has more value than the counterfeit, doesn't it? We know the counterfeit only 'looks real', but it lacks something - it won't accomplish what is needed in our lives. We need the 'real' if we want to see change be real and lasting. The counterfeit might get us by for a while, but eventually it will be exposed as only partially 'true' by the results it produces within us! Just sayin!

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