“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith….” – 1 Peter 5:8-9a
We’ve often heard that the enemy is cunning and deceiving, hence the scripture warns us to be sober (i.e. clear headed; not drunk) and vigilant (i.e. attentive, alert, on our toes), so that we will not fall prey to any of his devices. For the past two days I’ve been meditating on the above scripture and just how, despite its warning, we still end up getting caught in the enemy’s snares. I keep hearing the words counterfeit anddiscernment. I want to challenge you to be very prayerful in this season and to ask God to increase your discernment concerning the people, doors, assignments, and opportunities in your life right now. There are things that may look and feel good, but they are not God.
A counterfeit is defined as something that is “made in EXACT IMITATION of something valuable or important with the intention to deceive or defraud.” A lot of what we are dealing with in our lives right now are really counterfeits; things sent by the enemy to deceive and to distract us from our destiny. Because counterfeits are made in exact imitation of the real thing, I asked God to show me how to identify the counterfeits in my life. He showed me three main ways:
If you find that you are compromising your integrity, values, or morals to get this “thing” (person, opportunity, relationship, etc), you’re dealing with a counterfeit. God’s blessings will never pull you away from Him or compete with Him. He will never send a blessing that you will have to violate Biblical principles to attain or maintain.
If you find that you are acting completely out of character as you interact with this “thing” (person, opportunity, relationship, etc), you’re dealing with a counterfeit. Are you operating in the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)? Or are your actions diametrically opposed to the Spirit? Does your behavior bear semblance to the characteristics of Love as outlined in 1 Corinthians 13, or is it the complete opposite when you engage or interact with this thing? “Every good and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17). Try the spirit by the Spirit (1 John 4:1).
If you find that you are drained and depleted after every interaction or engagement with this “thing” (person, opportunity, relationship, etc) or that your spirit is more drained/depleted than it is revived and built-up – you’re dealing with a counterfeit. Since Christ gave us abundant life (John 10:10), we know that He would never send us anything that drains us or depletes the life-giving energy He died for us to have. While we know that everything involves hard work, a blessing from God should never burden or solely make withdrawals from us. God already told us in His Word that His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).
I challenge you today to ask God to make you watchful, vigilant, and sober; to remove the scales from your eyes so that you may see clearly the counterfeits that the enemy has sent to distract you and deter you from your destiny. Sometimes what we call “divine connections” are really “demonic distractions”. As Gideon did in Judges 7:4, I challenge you to take every person, relationship, connection, opportunity, door, assignment (etc) to GOD and let HIM test them for you and show you what should continue on with you and what you need to separate yourself from. Your destiny depends on it!
Prayer: Lord, we lay every “gift” in our lives on Your altar and ask You to test their authenticity by the fire of Your spirit. May all the counterfeits and demonic distractions in our lives be consumed by Your power; and may the genuine blessings that have come from you, shine as pure gold. We fix our eyes on You as we wait for the fire to burn out, promising to only move forward with what remains. Amen.