I am blessed to have four great father figures in my life. One in particular, Mike Jones, pursues God more passionately than anyone else I know. He is retired from business but works full-time at the church as one of our pastors, for free. One of his passions is helping people find their God substitute. Trust me, if you get around him for very long, he will help you find yours.
The definition of a God substitute is: anything in our lives we use to get our value, worth, satisfaction, joy or identity from – that is not God.
We were created in God’s image, and as His children, we should get these things from Him. He is to be these to us. But all too often we allow people and things to prop us up. These are a poor substitute for God.
It started way back in the garden. Adam and Eve sinned. Because God is holy, their sin caused a disconnect with the Lord. The consequences of their sin were; Eve would now know pain in child bearing, and Adam’s work in the field would be cursed. This set up two of the greatest God substitutes of mankind.
We can use anything as a God substitute, a person, a career, a talent, or an achievement. But let’s focus on the two most popular ones.
For men, it is typically their jobs that act as a God substitute. What a man thinks about himself is usually derived from his professional performance. He can have a great family, love God and be compassionate towards people, but if he has been fired from the last three jobs, his value and worth will usually be zero. Yet this is not how God views him.
Women tend to make their husband and family their God substitute. For most women, how their husband and children value them creates their identity and establishes their worth. But, we all know that these women are way more than just mothers and wives. Without them, they would still be as beautiful and brave as they are with them. They still would have value and a God given destiny.
Like I said, we come by it honestly through Adam and Eve. But, as believers in Jesus Christ, we have daily access to the Lord. And if we would identify and release our God substitutes, we would find that God is more than willing to show us our identity and help us see the value each of us has in His eyes. Then we could walk in a confidence we have never known and we could stop torturing all those poor God substitutes that will never live up to being God for us. I love Mike Jones. I have less God substitutes today than when I first met him. Interested in learning more, go to http://www.newcovenantchurch.com/resources/media/sermons/if-we-only-knew.html