The Imposters

 "And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever." John 14:16

 

Recently, I heard a young woman named Robia Scott talk about her book, Counterfeit Comforters. She called them "imposters" that have gained entry into the very center of our being, and have displaced the Holy Spirit as the source of our comfort, strength and confidence. Imposters that gain a stronghold within us, and convince us that we need them more than we need Him. Imposters that convince us we cannot be without them. Imposters and strongholds share a common trait. They are both built upon a lie. Where have they managed to get you and me to buy into their lie? What imposters have we come to place our trust and well being to? 

When Jesus told His disciples that the time was soon when He would return to the Father, fear and dread were quickly upon them. What would happen to them when His physical presence was removed? His words in John 14:16 were meant to belay that fear. That He was not only sending them "another Comforter," but a better One. Better because He would not only be living with them, but within them. He would bring a comfort, an Advocate, a presence, that they would have never known before. Even so, they continued to fear His leaving. All that would change at Pentecost when His Holy Spirit would come upon them, and fill each of them. They now knew and lived in the fullness of this Comforter. No imposter would ever be able to take His place. And there lies the problem. It is when we lack the fullness of His Spirit and Life that we become easy prey for the imposters who seek to have His place. It is then that we will seek to find what only He can give in the false offers of security and well being by that which is not Him. Behind it all is the enemy of our souls, who has an endless supply of imposters to offer. Lacking the fullness of the One who is Truth, we grab hold of a lie. Many lies.

Imposters can establish their place in our lives through many avenues. They can come in any form and many of them can be defined as "good." We end up putting our hope, trust, and security in them. They can be in people, through relationships, marriage, parenting, friendships. Through occupational endeavors. In the presence of material and financial security. And yes, in ministry for Him. I know, because I allowed such imposters to take His place in my own life. I didn't recognize this until they were lost. We never do.

I once saw myself in terms of who I was, what I did, and what I accomplished. When I was a husband, father, pastor, I received a deep sense of well being and security from that. I saw Him as my Source of course, but had no idea of how much trust I had placed in imposters that were not Him. Counterfeit Comforters. When they were all lost to me, and all at once it seemed, the empty void that I was left crushed the life from me. Yet it was in this place that He began to lay a new, and eternal foundation of Himself. When the imposters were exposed for what they were, He who is the real thing was able to reveal Himself. What I did and the relationships I had did not define me. Neither did what I possessed or had lost. I was not defined by either failure or success. He defined me. He sent me, as He has so many others, another Comforter. And in Him, I can continue to guard my heart against all the imposters that continue to seek entry into my heart and spirit. And trust me, they still come knocking.

So who are your own "imposters?" Who are the counterfeit comforters? There's an old hymn with the wonderful line, "the Comforter has come." He has come. He has been given. Have you received? If you're trusting in imposters and counterfeits today, know that they will be exposed for what they are, and for who they are not. Shakings will come, and only what is of Him, is Him, will remain. No more imposters. No more counterfeits. The Comforter has come....for you.

Blessings, 

Pastor O

 

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