Updated: Jul 13, 2022
The thing about doppelgängers is that they look JUST LIKE that person. Whomever that person is, they are a spitting image of them, almost to the point of complete mistaken identity. It may not even be identical but there are enough similarities to draw the conclusion that leads us to jump right into a conversation with a complete stranger. With this level of look a like it’s almost impossible to tell the difference, that is until the doppelgänger begins to speak; this is the point where we are able to separate the real from the fake. Faith and defeat are similarly on this same difficulty scale to tell apart. See, both faith and defeat (on a natural level) look like lack/absence/minus/without/missing. Defeat is not the end, just as faith is not the end - they both lead us somewhere. Defeat is a frustration due to a prevented success; while faith is the actual substance/solid/evidence when we have hope to obtain that which we don’t yet see. Defeat is what we experience when a time clock that has been set up for us runs out and we’ve got nothing to show for it. Faith is the origin of our experiences before, during and after that same time clock hits it's deadline. So what is the difference between the two? Well, we’ll put it this way; we are going to be surprised by the answer.
Hebrews 11 (the whole chapter, trust us, you'll be glad you did)
This chapter in Hebrews is all about what TRUE FAITH really looks like. From Abel to Enoch to Noah to Abraham to Jacob to Moses every single one of these great faith stories has a common denominator that we can easily miss if we blink too fast. As great as all the human examples were at stepping out in faith, the TRUTH is that each one of them had to relinquish something that they never really had to begin with; they had to give up the control. This means getting out of the way, walking in obedience, trusting God through the hard and the easy times, dying to their own will and ways, and the list would last the length of this blog. The point being that they all gave up their own control/thoughts/ideas/methods in exchange for God’s perfection at work. Sometimes they got a plan, sometimes they had no clue (on purpose), it didn’t matter, they continued to give their lives and their existence back to the One who created it in the first place. We then find that faith is a lot less about us being strong within it or being brave enough to step out into it; faith is all about letting go and allowing God to do what He does. Unstoppable faith is only ever going to be found in people who refuse to stop walking by way of it - even when the situation looks as dire as they come.
2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (TPT)
"We are like common clay jars that carry this glorious treasure within, so that this immeasurable power will be seen as God’s, not ours.Though we experience every kind of pressure, we’re not crushed. At times we don’t know what to do, but quitting is not an option.We are persecuted by others, but God has not forsaken us. We may be knocked down, but not out."
Defeat on the opposite hand is all about our ability (or inability because of the defeat) to get the job done. In order NOT to experience defeat we must do all the right things and perform at our peak and not miss a step so that we can beat the clock/enemy/competitor. The emphasis being on us coming up short in some way that leads to a lack or a defeat. But see, defeat is only viewed with a natural lens. The TRUTH is that God always wins and the defeat always belongs to satan (our enemy). It’s already happened. Anything being seen/said/heard otherwise is a LIE. This is why defeat is such an effective doppelgänger to faith. We know walking into it that faith is not going to be visible/tangible naturally, until it is completed and fulfilled; we continue with this understanding and knowledge throughout the entire faith journey, and then the clock starts running out of time and naturally all that anyone is able to see is lack (should it go that way) and we (the faith warrior) are standing on that ledge KNOWING that there is ground beneath our feet - yet seeing absolutely nothing. The doppelgänger is just waiting to step in as an attempt to convince us (and everyone who sees us) that it’s over and the entire journey we’ve taken has been for nothing but a big fat defeat. Ahh, but that’s the giveaway!
Colossians 2:15 (TPT)
"Then Jesus made a public spectacle of all the powers and principalities of darkness, stripping away from them every weapon and all their spiritual authority and power to accuse us. And by the power of the cross, Jesus led them around as prisoners in a procession of triumph. He was not their prisoner; they were His!"
No matter what activity we are engaged in whether it be sports or a work out or computer coding or online gaming or cooking a big meal or doing homework or finishing a work project - whatever it is - our focus in those seconds/minutes/hours/days/weeks/months/years is required in totality until it comes to an end. Living by faith is no different. So it isn’t just a coincidence that the amount and intensity of distractions peaks at the highest levels in an attempt to pull us from the focus that we need to stay the course and stick to the instructions that our Father God has given to us and helped us to keep at. Now, this isn’t because this is how we win/succeed - news flash - the victory is already ours. Romans 8:37 (NASB) “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” We find that we are distracted by an enemy who has no chance at success himself, so his ONLY MOVE is to convince us that neither do we. Misery truly does love that company after all. But the TRUTH is that we are NOT subjugated to the things that we see in this natural world, in fact the opposite is the TRUTH, the natural world that we see is ALWAYS under the authority of the creator of it all, God our Provider/Comforter/Father/Protector/Supplier/Teacher/Friend/Salvation. This is an important notation to walk away with because as humans that which we are able to see/touch/taste/feel/smell is as ‘real’ as we can get this side of heaven - tangibly speaking of course. But we, the heirs of God Almighty are to live by faith and not by sight (senses). In this understanding, we find that when we choose to live that faith to the hardcore ending, we must ignore that which we see (senses) and only look through our spirit which is connected to His Spirit if we are going to receive that promise which God HAS ALREADY fulfilled the very moment we ask Him for it according to His will.
1 John 5:14-15 (NASB)
“And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.”
So again the doppelgänger of faith reveals itself, as we patiently wait/stand and then stand some more/know that it is complete; and if we aren’t looking with the right set of eyeballs we can very well even begin to see our own defeat. The questions show up, “Where is God?” “Why didn’t He come through?” “How did we miss Him?” In these moments our very core is equally being questioned by not only ourselves but everyone around us. And friends, that is the point. It isn’t that we’ve given up. It isn’t even that we have lost our faith. The mere questioning of our capable, willing, able, generous God has been the point after all. And the doppelgänger has fooled us into believing that we have lost. But that shyster forgot we have Romans 5:5 in our back pocket, “And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” And indeed we remember what Revelation 12:11 says, “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death.” And while we’re at it we realize that when we have given the control of our situations/lives over to God, we aren't the enemy's target any longer - God is - and the only way that the target is hit is, well uh, NEVER. Thanks to Jesus, no matter what, God owns that victory and we (sometimes being dragged by one leg across that finish line) are only partakers of that which has already been accomplished on our behalf. Jesus is after all our most famous example of just how we are to/have already destroyed the power of faith's doppelgänger, as He hung on a cross without ever losing sight of the faith that His Father infused into Him. In fact, the defeat factor was quite the busy bee during the final moments of Jesus on the cross in an attempted coup to overthrow the faith filled hearts of His disciples as they each were being forced to deal with what they were witnessing; the death of the Son of God. It appeared that the doppelgänger got to them and defeated they had become; obviously, the story ended well, but if we are to take away anything from what these mighty men went through it would be that the same Jesus who snatched that victory away from defeat - is the exact same Jesus who is here to do the same for us.
So how then do we accomplish a successful campaign to ignore defeat as it surely grows in confidence the longer we patiently wait for the fulfilled promises to manifest in real life? We think that Paul the Apostle put it quite eloquently in Philippians 4:12-13 (TPT) "I know what it means to lack, and I know what it means to experience overwhelming abundance. For I’m trained in the secret of overcoming all things, whether in fullness or in hunger. And I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty." Somewhere along his journey, Paul learned how to disconnect himself from his circumstances and remain locked in to his eternal state and condition in Christ Jesus. In other words, he learned how to embrace all things; good, bad, hard, ugly and incredible. From the beginning stages of the life of faith in all of it's excitement and fulfillment, to those middle parts of staying the course all the way to the end when the guns are blazing and pointed straight at our hearts; don't ever forget that God (when we give it to Him) has got this and when He starts something, no one (not even us) can stop it.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (TPT)
"So no wonder we don’t give up. For even though our outer person gradually wears out, our inner being is renewed every single day. We view our slight, short-lived troubles in the light of eternity. We see our difficulties as the substance that produces for us an eternal, weighty glory far beyond all comparison, because we don’t focus our attention on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but the unseen realm is eternal."