I love being a princess!
I love all the stuff that goes with the fairy tales too. I love castles, crowns, beautiful gowns, and of course the jewels! But most of all I love having a father for a King!
However, I am often a confused little princess. Sometimes, while I am out here working and serving in the kingdom I get lost or afraid. The kingdom outside the castle grounds can be a scary place at times. And when I get lost or afraid I will sometimes run. I mean RUN! But more often than not, I run to the wrong castle. It looks like My father's refuge, but it is a counterfeit castle! It is one My Father's enemy has set up to fool me. It will take different forms. Sometimes it looks like a friend..even a Christian friend. Sometimes it looks like church...yes, church can be a counterfeit castle. Sometimes it looks like food...you wouldn't think that I would confuse food with my Father's refuge but I do. Sometimes it looks like an old habit...you know the kind...the kind I left when I completely surrendered to God. (I usually recognize this one.) Sometimes, the counterfeit castle will look like my family or even my husband. (Now, that is sneaky!) But all these things, even the good things, like my Christian friends, church, and husband are counterfeit! They are not the refuge My Father the King has for me. The true refuge, the true castle is Him! Anytime I run to anything other than Him, even when it is a gift from Him, I have run to a counterfeit castle.
Matthew 11: 28 "Come to ME all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
Psalm 91: 1-2 "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him will I trust."
Yet, there is other counterfeit or fake things in the kingdom that also trip me up. Sometimes I settle for fake pearls. Here is a story I heard long ago. I wish I knew the author. I would hug her neck hard for the many times this story has ministered to me. I hope God will use it for you too.
There was a little girl who loved her daddy oh, so very much! Every night she would climb in his lap to say goodnight. "I love you daddy!"
"I love you too baby girl! Do you really love me baby?"
"Oh, Yes! Daddy I REALLY love you!"
Then she would kiss him goodnight and run off to bed.
One night after this exchange the daddy stopped her and handed her a white box. Inside was a necklace made of white beads that looked just like real pearls. She loved them! In fact it was hard for her to even take them off to go to bed.
After a week had passed, the little girl climbed into her daddy's arms and began their nightly routine. Only this time, the dad did something strange and frightening. After asking the little girl if she REALLY loved him, he asked her to give him back the pearls. She laughed, kissed him on the cheek and went to bed. But to her surprise he began asking this of her every night...getting more firm each time she refused. Finally, she crawled in his lap and with tears knowing that dreaded question would come, she began again their nightly routine. This time when he asked, she took off those precious beads and weeping handed them to the dad she loved so much. He smiled gave her a big hug.....then handed her a box with a necklace made of REAL PEARLS!
So often I hang onto things that I think are good when God, My Father, wants to give me something so much better.
What about you? Are you running to counterfeit castles, or holding onto fake pearls?
Reach for the REAL THING....JESUS!