fake it till you make it…
Fake it till you make it.
We’ve all heard it. Many have attempted it.
But when it comes to faith, it isn’t possible. Fake faith is not the answer.
Trust me, I tried and fell flat on my face.
I looked the part on the outside; I did the things that a good Christian is supposed to do. I sang on the worship team, acted in productions, helped plan church services, joined a small group, and invited people to church.
I even fooled myself into thinking I was the real deal.
But on the inside, my heart wasn’t right. And I wasn’t fooling God; who saw my hard heart even though others only saw my facade.
1 Samuel 16:7 says: “People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
This I know to be true.
I read John, chapter 2 this week and it helped me understand my story even more.
Jesus comes to the temple for the passover celebration, and finds that the temple has been turned into a market. In a burst of righteous anger, he makes a whip and drives out the cattle, sheep and doves being sold for sacrifices, and he overturns the money tables and scatters coins all over the floor.
He says to the Pharisees: “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my father’s house into a marketplace.”
What did he see that made him so angry? On the outside, it appeared the Pharisees were doing a good deed: selling sacrifices to people who had traveled from far away and needed an animal they could offer as a sacrifice. The money changers appeared helpful too; exchanging currency for foreigners. But Jesus saw right through them. Their “business” in the temple was hypocrisy: religion used as a front for selfish gain.
They acted like they were trying to be helpful and lead people into obedience to God, but in reality they were just trying to make money. They were faking it. And Jesus saw it. And hated it.
Not all faith is genuine; it’s not always what it appears to be. And then it struck me I was…
Just like the Pharisees.
I looked devoted on the outside, but inside I was filled with pride, self-sufficiency and a love of the recognition that came with being on the stage at church. Aughhh! That is so hard to write. My actions were a false front for a heart that needed humility and repentance. A heart that was seeking human desires.
Psalm 36: “Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts. They have no fear of God at all. In their blind conceit, they cannot see how wicked they really are.”
Blind conceit. Before the affair, I couldn’t see my weak faith. When I was caught in the affair, I wasn’t humble enough to see how wrong I was. I was blinded by conceit.
Just like the Pharisees.
When they got confronted by Jesus, they deflected his accusation and pointed the spotlight back on him by questioning his authority. “What are you doing? If God gave you the authority to do this, show us a miraculous sign to prove it.”
No ownership of their mistake, whatsoever. No repentance. No heart change. The Pharisees were so proud; they acted superior to even Jesus, questioning his authority. To me, this is the ultimate example of conceit.
Just like the Pharisees, I lacked true repentance when my sin was exposed. Even though I was sorry for what I had done and the people I had hurt, in my heart I still blamed God for not rescuing me sooner and justified my actions because of my pain. That attitude reveals the depth of my pride. Only a prideful heart dares to question the Creator of Universe and defy his word.
When I hit rock bottom years later, I was able to see the depth of my depravity for the first time. I had to be completely destroyed in order to become humble enough to repent.
That’s the irony of humility: I lacked humility but I was too proud to see it.
Humility precedes genuine faith. It opens the door for us to be able to acknowledge our sin, yield to correction from God, and disentangle from sin’s stronghold.
James 4:7 “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Come close to God and he will come close to you. Wash your hands sinners; and purify your hearts for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.”
My lack of humility kept me in bondage to sin and blinded me to my fake faith.
But God, who knows all hearts, saw the real me.
John 2 ends with this, “But Jesus didn’t trust them because he knew human nature. No one needed to tell him what mankind was really like.”
There is no faking it with faith.
You can’t fake it and think you will make it.
God can tell the real from the counterfeit. He can see a prideful heart, and he can see a humble heart.
True faith is born in the humility of a savior who died on a cross. It’s not an outward show of religion but a inward desperation of the heart for the saving love of Jesus.
That’s what I was too proud to see for such a long time. Only after hitting rock bottom in total defiance and yet STILL RECEIVING HIS LOVE AND GRACE did I truly appreciate it. I was humbled by it, because I didn’t deserve either.
That’s where my true faith began.
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