Wednesday, August 9, 2023


 Imagine how frustrating it must be to know that no matter how hard you try or how much you may want to, the best you’ll ever accomplish for all of eternity is to imitate, forge, fake, or otherwise counterfeit something real. Creation itself will forever be out of reach, and speaking things into existence an impossibility. No matter how elevated your opinion of yourself, you are still a created being, and that will never change. Worse still, as a consequence of your rebellion, your judgment is set in stone, and your time is running out.

The world likes painting pictures. It likes establishing narratives, then telling the same lie over and over again until more and more people begin to believe it. Their commitment to the lie is so absolute and unflinching that you have supposed college graduates, people with unimpressive degrees in worthless specialties, insisting that men can have babies just as readily as biological women.

The narrative the world has been peddling for the longest time is that hell’s a fun place, and the devil is the cool kid on the block. On the contrary, hell’s a place the devil himself doesn’t want to go to, and as far as him being the cool kid on the block, he’s just hoping that the adage is true and that misery loves company. It’s why he’s trying so hard to bring as many folks along for the ride as he can. Why would I believe anyone who willfully represents the father of lies? Why would I think they have noble intentions toward my person or those I love?

Seeing through the lies and deception takes a second of thought and introspection. It takes a breath, a moment to change the trajectory of someone’s eternity, and I think this is why most people are overwhelmed, distracted, and kept busy doing much of nothing. If they had a moment to breathe, think, contemplate, and process what they heard, they’d realize how big of a lie it really is. They’d sense the danger in the sugary words and syrupy lines; they’d see the sharp points of the spears lined up to pierce them through if they happened to fall into the pit.  

I’m not denying that the devil is good at what he does. He should be. He’s been at it for millennia. However, even on his best day, he’s still just a confidence man trying to sell knockoffs to sweaty tourists in Hawaiian shirts, thinking they got the deal of a lifetime on a Patek Philippe from the guy with three teeth in his head. At some point, you have to wonder if the tourist just wanted to be taken. Sure enough, the guy’s dental hygiene might not be up to par, but why would anyone, even someone with three teeth, sell you a thirty-thousand-dollar watch for two hundred bucks and a Longhorns cap? You may be a shrewd negotiator, to be sure, but everything has its limits.

I’ve come to realize that even if the watchmen were watchful and the shepherds protective, even if every liar, deceiver, and two-bit huckster claiming to have ridden on the wings of unicorns and taken the judgment throne itself for a spin were to be identified and summarily expelled from within the church, there would be those among us who would go out of their way to seek them out. They’d set up tents and shops and all manner of boutiques like the palm readers of old and have people lining up to get a little something more than humble obedience and perpetual faithfulness.

If they happened to have a fanciful burrito dream, they’d want an interpretation; if they’d skipped the burrito and no dream was forthcoming, they’d go out looking for one, and the peddlers would find ever more fanciful ways of snaring their prey, and bleeding them for every shekel they have and even some they don’t.

That’s not to say that genuine and authentic do not exist. If the enemy took the time to imitate and counterfeit something, be it tongues, prophecy, dreams, visions, healing, or casting out of demons, then the authentic exists, albeit in far smaller quantities than we are given to believe by those who have a financial motive for insisting that you, your grandma, your second cousin, and your one-eyed puppy can all be demon slayers extraordinaire. Just take the course, pay your fees, get your degree, and like everyone else who thinks a piece of paper gives them value, worth, and gravitas, start beating the bushes for demons. If you happen to find one, show them the piece of paper, and that’ll be enough to scare them silly.

Where’s the balance? That’s the question, really. How do we guard our hearts against deception while at the same time not closing ourselves off to the real as well? How can we tell the real from the fake, the truth from the lie, the authentic from the counterfeit?

If you’ve ever tried to sell gold to a professional, whether jewelry or coins, you know that they all have testing kits within reach. Before they make you the offer or consider purchasing what you’re selling, they’ll test the object to ensure it’s real. It’s not that they don’t trust you specifically. As a general rule, they don’t trust anybody, and I’m guessing if their long-lost auntie showed up trying to sell a gold chain, they’d test it just as thoroughly as if a stranger had walked through the door. It’s nothing personal; it’s business. The reason they are so diligent in testing every item they offer to purchase is that if they fail to do so and it turns out to be fake, they’re out a lot of money that they could never hope to recover.

The Bible is your testing kit. It doesn’t matter who approaches you with a new thing, a great thing, the greatest movement in the history of movements to rival the apostles in the book of Acts. Take the time to see if it’s Biblical and if it stands up to Biblical scrutiny, then decide the path going forward. It doesn’t matter how much you may want it to be authentic. If the Bible doesn’t prove it so, move on, for only loss, heartache, and disillusionment are found at the end of this particular rainbow.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

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