Have you ever watched the reality show Pawn Stars? On a regular basis a prized piece of art, firearm, or rare collectible appears in Rick Harrison’s Las Vegas store that gets both staff and viewing audience all excited – until proven to be fake; a counterfeit designed to deceive. Yesterday I watched an episode where an elderly woman brought in her greatest treasure, a 1955 contract signed by Elvis Presley.
Elvis Presley – Priceless or Worthless?
Early estimates for the partially tattered document were in the six-figure range. The handwriting expert was summoned to pronounce a verdict on the contract’s authenticity. The signature was right, the typing that filled in the blanks also indicated that the document was legitimate, and everything was looking good. The document itself was determined to be authentic. The final hurdle was to determine if it was the original and not a copy.
Tears traced paths of despair on the woman’s cheeks as she absorbed the body blow; her Elvis treasure was a copy. This rare document was the insurance policy the lady and her husband kept to be used only in time of great need. This was such a time. Her faith was genuine, but the object of her faith was counterfeit. The confident woman who entered the shop earlier left without hope, the worthless paper clutched in her hand.
Defining Success in a Mustang Challenge
Seeking relationship with wild horses is the newest equine reality event. More horse trainers and wanna-bes are competing for bragging rights as Mustang Challenge champions. The greater goal is to find more homes for these noble animals. During my training career I learned there are two types of wild horses; those who offer themselves in true relationship with a human leader and those who will not make that commitment.
Riding Wild Mustangs
What happens when one tries to capture and ride a half-ton package of terrified bone, sinew, and muscle without wisdom or instruction? Bad things happen. Usually the horse suffers the most. Do I have any sympathy for the inexperienced fool who tries to rope and ride one should he be severely injured? Not much. I would, however, feel desperately sad for the poor mustang.
Horses captured in the lonely places of the western United States are living textbooks of how to successfully be a wild horse. Whether a young horse or an adult, the very fact that they survive in harsh conditions prove they have both the skill and temperament wild horses need to stay alive. A lion is not a house cat, and a wild horse is not a domestic horse. Lions have developed relationships with humans, and wild horses can make reliable mounts. However, not all lions make pets and not all mustangs are suited to be little Jenny’s 4-H project. – Amazing Grays, Amazing Grace, pg 29
Some mustangs make a genuine commitment to relationship and prove to be trustworthy companions for even the inexperienced owner. Other mustangs slowly work through the training process and adapting to their new circumstance, but their commitment is never complete. I share my experiences with both types in Amazing Grays.
Like the counterfeit Presley contract, at the moment of greatest need, something that looked good proved to be worthless. Some wild horses are smart enough to go along to get along when there is no other option, but when the crisis comes will exit stage left if given the opportunity, leaving their rider behind in a dusty heap.
What makes a wild horse successful? Is it a refusal to be totally tamed or is it the ability to commit fully to relationship with man?
Counterfeit Christians Exposed
What appear to be precious treasures are regularly exposed as fakes. The lady from Pawn Stars was devastated when she realized her faith was misplaced. In the case of mustangs a similar error can be life threatening. The same is true with counterfeit Christians.
How does one tell a counterfeit Christian from one who is authentic? How can you know if your own faith rests securely on an immovable foundation?
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
Faith that will never fail removes fear as well as the old things of life. Wild horses who commit to permanent relationship with a human become new creations. Sure, there is evidence of their past, but the past holds no sway. New Creations in Christ are not wild humans on Monday, submissive servants by Thursday, then wild again on Saturday night.
Faith Over Fear
How would the future of the lady and her husband be different if they had verified the Elvis contract before banking on it to save them in a time of need? They had plenty of faith, but the object of their faith was worthless. Now they live in fear.
Without proof of a wild horse’s total commitment, only a fool would trust it with the life of a grandchild.
Authentic new creations in Christ are verifiable. Those who refuse to reject their natural humanity in favor of being reborn in Christ will have nothing to stand on when their day of crisis comes. Counterfeit Christians, like the fake Presley document and an uncommitted wild horse, place their faith in something that cannot save.
Verify the authenticity of your faith today. Tomorrow may be too late.
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