Counterfeit – to make in exact imitation of something valuable or important with the intention to deceive or defraud; to pretended to feel or possess an emotion or quality; sham; a fraudulent imitation of something else; a forgery. From Old French contrefait – to make in opposition. Counterfeit products are fake replicas of a real product. They are cheaper, less quality imitations that may even include toxic elements.
Abram and Sarai received a PROMISE from God that they would bear children in their old age. Up to that time, they had borne no children and had no heir. Abram had intended to use his servant Eliezer as a substitute heir, but God said NO, a son from your own flesh and blood will be your heir. Abram believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:1-6) However, many years passed and what God had promised still had not happened. Sound familiar?
God was too slow and she wasn’t getting any younger… So Sarai, Abram’s wife suggests a surrogate. ‘Let’s start the family through my servant Hagar,’ she told her husband. He agrees to the counterfeit. An 86 year old Abram sleeps with Hagar and she conceives a son, Ishmael. (Gen. 16) This action to fraudulently imitate God’s promise through human means sets in motion jealousy, mistreatment, exile and hostility for Hagar and her son Ishmael for perpetuity. (Gen. 17) God also puts Abram and Sarai and their promise on the shelf for another 13 years, then returns and calls for Abram to “walk before me faithfully and be blameless.” He reiterates His first promise (Gen. 12:1-3) to greatly increase his offspring. Abram, now 99 years old, agrees and enters into an everlasting covenant initiated by God for generations that includes the promise, a name change to Abraham, and the promised land! Sarai is 90 and she will have her PROMISED son Isaac, her name will change to Sarah, and Isaac will continue the legacy of covenant with God.
I have a situation or two…or 5, where my promise from God is taking too long and I’m not getting any younger. In my creative ingenuity, I have looked into and I almost devised a plan to help God along to fulfill HIS PROMISE with a faster and certainly easier way of handling the situation. As I reflected on the course of action I was about to take, something in my spirit didn’t set right and I had to admit…I’m afraid what God said might not work out. I, like Sarai want to see God’s promise, but my faith is not where it should be. The only way I saw it happening was if I help God out a little – surely that would be ok. The set up seems good, and after all, what I’m devising is close to what He said…NO, it’s really a counterfeit. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for saving me from myself by revealing this before I engaged it further. I don’t want any more shelf years!! I will wait for the legitimate, authentic, valuable promise I have from You!!