Friday, August 15, 2008

Counterfeit Castles and Fake Pearls

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!

22 comments:

Nicole said...

Wow. This post really made me think. It may take a little while for my mind to completely wrap around it. Good stuff! I do know that I want what God wants for me, and don't want to hold on too closely to the things of this world, including the gifts that he has given me.


Love and Hugs,
Nicole

Regina said...

Great timing. . . I just posted today at my blog about protecting your heart and that one way we can do that is to know our enemy. I really like what you had to say about what the enemy will use to trick us. I've never really thought about him using the gifts God has given me (family, friends, church) to distract me from the real thing. . . Jesus. But now that I think about it I think he has tricked me before. Not anymore though. . . I'm wise to his scheme now. Thanks!

P.S. Would you mind if I put a link on my blog to yours?

My ADHD Me said...

This was one of those posts that when you are finished reading it, you just sit back and think.
Very inspiring!

Chatty Kelly said...

I loved your parables! They were awesome. You are a great story teller, and what an inspiring message.

Thanks for sharing.

Runner Mom said...

How awesome! I loved both analogies. I want the real deal--not the counterfeit stuff. But you're right, sometimes it's hard to tell the difference. And all Southern Belles love those pearls! Great reminder of the wonderful treasures that God has stored up for us if only we ask.
Love ya,
Susan

April Roberts said...

Wow, what an amazing post! So many times I have run to a refuge other than God. When something bad happens, I immediately run to my husband or a friend, when I need to run to God. And I definitely have hung onto many things that were fake pearls. I am going to link to this post if that's okay with you!

Love,
April :0)

Angela said...

The counterfeit castles seem like oases in our journeys..just a place to stop, for just a minute, when we're tired..but then we get distracted there, and it takes us lots longer to get to our true destination! Great analogy!

Beverly said...

Yes I am sure I have given in the the fake things dangling in front of me, but I try very hard to see them right off the bat and stop them in their tracks before I head in the wrong direction and God has really helped me to sense when those times are. Thanks for helping us remember to be on the alert.

Joyfulsister said...

Oh the things the enemy tries to trip us up with, he is clever at times dangling in front of us all those counterfeit goodies. That is why it is so important to be on our guard, and know the truth for ourselves. I like this post it really makes one think!!! Thanks Chel
Hugz Lorie

Joyfulsister said...

Oops sorry Pam, I had just finished commenting on Chel's blog and accidently wrote her name..

Silly me!!! Hugz

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

Oh, the master deceiver is so sneaky, isn't he? So glad I found your blog through Truth4thejourney. It's been fun reading through your archives.

Leebird said...

Oh my Pam...thank you for this post! I am so guilty of running to everything and everyone but God when times get tough. Thank you for being used by God as a beautiful sign pointing me to the real deal! Hope your daughter's first days of school go well! Does she go to the school where you work?

Lisa said...

Love this, Pamela.

Keep walking in truth, girlfriend! Keep His Words on your heart and in your mind!

Lisa :)

Truth4thejourney said...

That is a good reminder! Why do we often run to so many other things before running to God?? Something to ponder. :)

LynnSC said...

Wow Pamela... great post.

I find myself running to fake castles many times. Food is one of them. That enemy is slick isn't he?? Using things that are good to trick us into missing what is best.

Thanks so much for sharing both of these stories with us.

Have you ordered your workbook yet?? I received a tracking from UPS saying mine will be here on the 20th. I sure hope I told you about that... if not let me know. I can be forgetful at times.

Thanks, I can't wait to get together!!
Lynn

On Purpose said...

Woo-hoo!! You go girl! This is a totally great message today. I am with you...my human eye can't tell the fake from the real thing sometimes.

Pam thank you for sharing your heart today and allowing God to speak through this and remind us that the ONLY REAL thing is Jesus!

Joy in The Truth (Sharon Sloan) said...

Hi, Pam!

Love your honesty! And quite frankly, I love the pink shoes! :)

Thank you for encouraging us toward Him!

Misty Akridge said...

Great post! sometimes we are hanging on so tightly to our temporal gifts it is hard to let go long enough to recieve what even more amazing gift our Father has in store! thanks for reminding us!

Tina ♥ said...

What a great post! Thank you so much for this!

love, Tina :)

Elizabethd said...

I have just found you, and your post really touched me. Thank you so much.

Edie said...

Wow I love this story! It resonates deeply with me right now. I always seem to be blessed and encouraged whenever I come visit you. Thank you Pamela.

Kimberly said...

Oh, this is just so good! I have been reminded in so many places that this world has nothing for me...nothing of true value. Yet I still try to cling to things that can never truly change me, satisfy me. I need to cling to Him and Him alone!

Wonderful post!!!