As I was folding laundry and putting it away, I heard in my spirit, Satan's Counterfeit Love. I immediately knew what Holy Spirit was revealing. Right before I heard this, I was pondering in my heart my love for my husband, my love deep enough to cause me to do his laundry weekly, meticulously folding several t-shirts and mating too many socks to count. I even told him his castle would be clean when he came home. Then I looked for his approval. I had trained myself to believe if I couldn't take care of his needs as well as my career or as is the case now, ministry, then he wouldn't stay with me. I believed my value was in my doing.
We are all born with a gift from God, in Romans 12 we see them listed. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, [let us use them]: if prophecy, [let us prophesy] in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, [let us use it] in [our] ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. - Rom 12:6-8 NKJV
I believe that because these are gifts we are born with, given by God at our creation that the characteristics of these gifts contribute much to the way serve and love. However, when we have been raised to love outside of God's character we may be fooled into thinking the way we love and exhibit love is His way, but it may be counterfeit.
The word counterfeit is defined as something made to look like an exact copy of something with the intent to trick people; to imitate with the intent to deceive.
I grew up in a highly dysfunctional family, six kids different parents, some in and out of jail, another in and out of foster care, and one disabled physically. When we grow up in such atmospheres it is easy to get lost in the shuffle; such was the case for me. I was physically, emotionally, sexually, and even spiritually abused. Life was complicated, and I didn't have a voice. I was the second to the youngest, with the youngest being my full blood sister and completely disabled. With only 15 months between us, we spent all our time together while the older siblings were out getting into trouble. I was my sister's co-caretaker from a very young age up until she went home to be with the Lord at 29 years old.
I'm not telling you this to gain pity nor for attention, for many others have journeyed far more challenging roads than did I. My point in sharing this is to lay a foundation of how we can get fooled into believing our way of expressing love is from God.
As a child, we all need to be nurtured, loved, and given physical touch along with words of affirmation. When being raised in a community of abuse, strife, jealousy, violence, addiction and other unhealthy behaviors a child may develop ways to gain affection and attention. For me, it was doing. Caretaking. Cleaning. Good grades. Anything I could do to get my parents and siblings love and even more to get their ear, I would do. I believed if I could be better, do better, or look better I would be accepted. Of course, this is a lie because the reason kids aren't loved in this type of environment or don't feel loved is not their fault. Hurting people and those in addictions hurt others. It's that simple, and children are the casualties.
So how does this show us that Satan counterfeits love? As I said, I had to perform for love. I was trained that way because, in a home that doesn't have the voice of God, Satan's voice is loud. When I was born again in mid life, I used my relationship with my earthly father as a way to relate to God my Abba Father. Therefore, I needed to "do" for Him to accept me. Make sense? Sure it does because a lot of people are like this. It's performance driven love stemming from a root of rejection and protected by a spirit of pride and sometimes manifesting not only in works but also in self-righteousness. It can be a raw and painful awakening when one realizes that they don't believe God loves them, especially if they preach to others that He does.
On of the gifts listed in Romans 12 is a gift of ministry; other versions use serving. Websters defines this word as the office, duties or functions of a subordinate agent of any kind. This person is considered less powerful than others, less important, submissive or controlled. The Latin root of this word is sub- + ordinare which is where we get our word to ordain. Yet the original Greek word that this word ministry was translated from means service, especially of the Christian teacher, relief, and attendance. So the God given gift is a highly esteemed position and yet one that is lowly and humbled as Jesus showed us when He washed His disciple's feet. We can see how man describes ministry or serving versus how Jesus taught us to minister or serve. Man makes this a subservient position whereas God has called us to the lowly positions of humility to express love to a broken world.
Satan twists this gift (as well as all of them) and causes a person to serve because they believe they must do so to be worthy of love, especially God's love. This kind of thinking is a stronghold built out of neglect, negative speaking, and rejection to name a few. This mindset must be broken.
No one can earn God's love. We do good deeds as a result of our gratitude for our salvation. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. - Jas 2:26 We love God because He first loved us and in exchange, we desire to serve Him and treat others accordingly.
The truth I later discovered is my Romans 12 gift from God is prophecy. Besides prophecy being the foretelling of future events, it also means to exhort; to advise; to warn; to caution. Prophecy also serves to incite or stimulate to exertion. A person with this gift is usually black and white. There's no room for compromise, and the person is usually outspoken towards unrighteousness. Imagine having this personality and gifting and trying to be a people pleaser in such a chaotic and harmful environment. It didn't work out too well for me. By the time I was a teenager, I had decided that being good wasn't working and I turned towards rebellion.
A person with a gift of prophecy may see something that is wrong and instinctively wants to fix it, or see a need and want to meet it if there is no one else to do so. In my case, I was expected to act a certain way and that created confusion in my God given gift and the way the Father designed me to love. I loved according to man's training and not God's.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. - Gal 5:22-23
You see, operating in a perfectionist and performance driven mindset is exhausting, and it is an impossible lifestyle to keep up. Eventually one becomes resentful towards those they work so hard to gain approval from; this is how the enemy wins. He pushes us in his agenda to perform until we become mere vessels of self-righteous, religious, self-driven, anxiety ridden wrecks! This kind of love does not come from God because it is motivated out of fear and fear disables love, joy, peace, and so forth.
Fortunately, God is a healer and is acutely aware of the schemes of His adversary, as we should be too.
Paul said in 2 Cor 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. The impressive thing about revelation is if used wisely and filtered through the word of God one will be set free. For you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free! (Jn 8:32)
Now that we know the truth let's pray through this and kick the accusing, lying voice out of our thoughts!
Heavenly Father, today I thank You for the wisdom that has been released to me about the lies of the enemy. I repent for allowing myself to be puppeted by Satan and used as his vessel of unrighteousness. I repent for selfish and vain love. Today I acknowledge that the best and healthiest way to love is through the love of Jesus Christ.
I ask You to heal my brokenness and cause me to love according to the way You created me to. Holy Spirit I ask that You teach me how to break the practices I was taught as a child in the way of love and show me how to love with patience, kindness, self-control, mercy, and the ways that You identify as healthy love. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.