Growing up I had a very warped idea of love. I thought that if I loved someone I was giving them the power to control me and with that control they would hurt me. As much as I wanted to love and be loved, I was so afraid that someone would take advantage of me or crush me by leaving. I didn’t want to give over that power.
This wrong view of love led to very unhealthy relationships, college was probably the worst. What I was craving and even thought I was getting from this relationship was love, but it lacked the very things that God defined as love.
What I was giving was very fear-based and wasn’t love. I eventually settled for superficial ways of demonstrating this false idea of love. I was never fulfilled because I wasn’t getting what I truly desired, I was settling for a replica. Consequently, this counterfeit version of love came with a lot of destruction
Settling for counterfeits is not something that is uncommon for many of us. How many times have we settled for counterfeit versions when what our souls longed for was what only God could offer.
How many times have we settled for captivity when what we really wanted was freedom? How many times have we settled for this world when what we really wanted was God?
Genesis 3 says that the serpent was more crafty than any of the other wild animals and the first place that we see a counterfeit is in the fall. Since the beginning the enemy has been offering a replica of God, because that is all that he can offer.
The counterfeit that the enemy offers leads to destruction and death. What we truly desire is to have life and live in the abundance that is only found in God.
The mistake that Adam and Eve made in Genesis 3 is the same mistake that we tend to make. They entertained the thought, and they began to question what God said. The arrogance in the serpent may have looked like confidence to Adam and Eve. So much that they overlooked the fact that he didn’t have the authority to define truth, only God does.
In the beginning we were in relationship with God and something in me genuinely believes that at our core we have this deep yearning to be there again. To get back to our initial place in this world before the chaos.
That comes with doing what Adam and Eve failed to do in the garden, trusting what God says. Trusting that when God defines what is good it is not to take away our freedom but to give us freedom.
Trust that His word is a gift that leads to an abundant life. We have to trust that God isn’t keeping something good from us but protecting us from evil.
Here Are Three Ways to Discern Between The Counterfeit and God’s Truth:
Is it Aligned With Scripture?
In the garden Adam and Eve entertained the lies of the enemy and doubted God’s truth. In the wilderness Jesus had confidence in God’s word and boldly declared truth when the enemy tried to tempt him. We have to have confidence in God and trust that what He says is good. Knowing what God defines as truth helps us to understand what is good and from God.
Read Matthew 4:1-11
2. Test it by the spirit
The enemy will always try to replicate something of God. Satan doesn’t have the authority to create, he can only imitate. When Satan tempted Adam and Eve in the garden he presented them with an offer that looked very good, but it was destructive. We have to make sure it aligns with the truth of God.
2 Corinthians 11:14 But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
3. Spend Time With God
The only way to know God is to spend time with Him. As we get closer to God, the more he will reveal himself to us. As God reveals himself to us the more confident we will become in discerning between God vs the counterfeit.
James 4:8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.”
John 10:10 says that “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”
So when discerning whether or not what you are facing is God or the enemy remember this scripture and ask yourself , is this destructive or richly adding to your life?