To the cat, it appeared to be the real thing. Standing quietly in all its appetizing glory; downy feathers and plump body, the chick was there for the taking.
Now, knowing the nature of cats, I reconstructed the moment by the evidence in front of me. I envisioned him crouching, ears lowered, tail twitching, positioning himself and patiently waiting … waiting until with one great pounce he seized his prey. What he anticipated, however, and what he got were two different things, for under the feathery catch was ~ styrofoam! Not quite the chicken dinner he anticipated.
I came across the tell-tale scene the following morning on the family farm where I had completed a display window in preparation for Spring. As convincing and life-like as everything appeared, the display props were just imitations.
As I set about putting the window back in order, I tried to imagine how confused the feline must have been. I mean, let’s face it; if its shaped like a chick and has feathers like a chick… well it must be a chick, right? I smiled as I gathered plucked feathers and chunks of styrofoam, but in doing so, a spiritual application presented itself. While this was humorous, beyond the store window more serious imitations abound.
In 2 Corinthians, Chapter 11, the apostle Paul wrote:
“I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough …
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” (NIV)
The timeless message of Scripture reminds us that the enemy of God is a cunning counterfeiter; presenting falsehood with convincing appeal. Though the strategy began in a garden, the approach remains the same; redefine the meaning of words so they imitate truth, but rob it of its power.
Today, imitation abounds in redefining life, marriage, family, morality, liberty, speech and eternity because it appeals to the base desire to live life on our terms. Imitation seeks to reinterpret the Bible in a more acceptable world-view version so that God can be seen as a safe, all-tolerant, controllable deity who just wants us to be happy for heaven’s sake. And Jesus? Well, He is redefined as one way to God, rather than the way.
Why do we fall for it? The Bible tells us. “The heart is deceitful above all things”. We have an uncanny ability to gravitate to error, to embrace ideas and philosophies that counter God’s Word. Though it may look good at the time, it ultimately leaves us with nothing of substance.
God offers so much more. 1 John 5:20 encourages us to live life aware. “We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true. And we are in Him who is true ~ even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” (NIV)
How about you? Do you want to discern the counterfeit from the authentic? Then fix your eyes on Jesus. Turn away from godless chatter and opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge and fill your heart with the truth of God’s Word. The closer you walk with Him who is True, the greater your ability will be to recognize imitation for what is is; nothing more than “feathers and styrofoam” that is void of life.