We have an HP printer at home. I was looking to replace the printer cartridges, and instead of buying the name brand, I bought a knock off cartridge. I ended up clogging up the printer, so I spent about an hour cleaning the print heads, all because I wanted to save a few bucks. Instead of just going with the ink I knew was legitimate, I bought the counterfeit ink. Everything about it looked real, but it ended up costing me time and money.
Do we have a real or a counterfeit faith? How would we know? Over the weekend, some friends of mine were discussing a spiritual book. A good friend of mine picked it up and said, “Hey, this book seems a little dangerous. There’s some truths in here, but there’s also some things that are not true.” In Genesis 3:1, Satan is talking to Eve, and the text says, “Now, the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say you must not eat from any tree in the garden?'” He ends up presenting her with some ideas of truth but then twisting some of the truth to deceive her into eating from the fruit of the tree. We have to be really careful about what we’re consuming, especially with content related to our faith.
How much time are you spending in God’s word? The way they teach people to spot a counterfeit bill is to put them in front of real bills over and over and over again, so that when they see a counterfeit bill, they recognize it’s not the real thing. Studying God’s word is no substitute for anything else, because the only way that you’re going to know what is true is to know what God’s word says.
I have other books that I read, too. Many of these books are really good, but they’re not God’s word. Sometimes I read things and realize, whether it’s intentional or not, there are some deceptive teachings in these books. The only way to recognize it is to know what God’s word says.
There may be really, really good books out there that work well for you. But you also might get a hold of one that gunks up your printer, gunks up your understanding of God, and you might not even know it because you don’t have the truth filter to put it through. That’s my challenge for us today: can we be in God’s word so that we know we don’t have a counterfeit faith? The only way to know our authentic faith is to be in God’s word and to compare it to all the other things that we read.
The only way you’re going to know is by exposing yourself as much as you can to the truth. We want to use God’s word to be a truth filter for everything we do on a regular basis, so that we know what God’s word says, so that when we experience other potential spiritual truths, we know we have a filter that will help us discern the truth. May we all continue to be filled the God’s Word.