He looks like Jesus, talks like Jesus, but he definitely is not Jesus. He uses Scripture, appears in great beauty and even looks like every good Christian should. Who I speak of is not the Christ of Scripture, but whom I like to call the fraudulent minister. Now, I’m not one to talk very much of the evil One, yet recently I have had an awakening to the truth of God. I’ve discovered that for most of my Christ-centered journey, I have been serving a fraud, a fake, and an imposter. I discovered that I was serving a Christ that was highly conditional, annoyed by my inability to perform, and angry at my struggle for perfection.
In my recent journey I have found many believers who are miserable. They are dissatisfied with life, their spirituality and their continual searching without any finding. They’re praying, fasting and worshiping, yet it’s almost as if they’re ticked at God. I begin to probe their minds and discover their perception of the Father has been skewed. They believe that God is mad at them or doesn’t love them or the most common, God isn’t there. I listen with open eyes, but in my mind I hear scriptures flying through like, He’s slow to anger, quick to love, I will never leave you or forsake you, Even while you were sinners, Christ died for you. When I bring these truths to their attention the common response is, “I know but I just don’t feel …” My friend you have been serving a fake imitation, the evil one.
Remember the beginning? Act I opens with Adam and Eve on the scene in their paradise full of life, love and a continual atmosphere of God. Enter the fraud. He comes with a simple question, “Did God really say that?” Come on it’s too good to be true that your Creator actually cares in the most selfless way possible; you know He had ulterior motives when he created you.
The fraudulent minister’s number one objective is to look, sound and act like Jesus to deceive and confuse what our hearts know to be true about the authentic Christ. In Scripture, the devil is referred to as, “an angel of light”, “a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” “the accuser of the brethren.” His number one goal is to distort our innocent and true perception of the Father. He wants to steal and distract the redemption of our communion with God, our source of life.
I was getting ready one day for work when I heard a soft voice in my heart say, “Joey, you’re far from me.” Far from you? I’m far from God — were the thoughts that raced through my mind. I began to panic; anxiety captured me and I began to pray frantically that God would forgive me. The ironic thing is, the longer I prayed the more I became confused, alienated and fearful. I stopped and turned my ear again to that voice I heard. “Joey, you’re far from me.” This time I reached out and pulled back the mask to discover the angel of light was really the minister of darkness. As I pulled back the deception, my heart was flooded with joy and peace. I recognized for the fist time that the devil does not appear in dark smoke and lightning— he’s slick, sly and very appealing.
The evidence, which comes from the authentic Christ, is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control. If I begin to see other fruits coming out of my relationship with God then I know the fraud is hiding his ugly face behind a beautiful contradiction. Fruits like anger, condemnation, confusion, frustration and shame prove that something has malfunctioned in what is intended to be the most intimate and freeing experience.
I’ve complicated the Christian experience for too long with so many factors like the involvement of my will, the unseen world and the will of God. When Christ said, “My burden is light and my yoke (His religion system) is easy,” he wasn’t kidding. True life lived in Christ is easy. That’s right, I said easy. It is not complicated and drowned in a sea of obligation, denial and feeble attempts to appease God. Christ put it simple when He declared that the entire Old Testament (the law and the prophets) was summed up in the one command: to love God with all your energies. It’s living out of that place that will bring about all the other concerns of our Christian walk; purity, integrity, holiness, discipline, etc.
The simple truth of whether we are living in intimacy with the fraud or the authentic Christ is as simple as life or death. Is your spirituality producing life or death? Do your thoughts and communion with God lead you to freedom or bondage? When a thought crosses my mind and brings about shame and guilt, no matter how close it may sound like the voice of God, I do not follow it. In those moments, I surrender and confess to the Lover of my soul that I am weak and need His voice of truth that leads to liberty. And He quickly comes to dispel the lies and deceptions of the fake.
We serve a good God whose desire is to give us a future, a hope and the desire of our hearts. His mercy is eternal, His kindness is His way to repentance and His love is without condition. His advances towards us will never compare to our attempts to reach Him or please Him or whatever it is we think we can do for Him. As soon as we begin to believe anything different, may God open our eyes that we may see his light exposing the operation of the fraud, the fake, the imposter.