Personal Devotions

Substitutes Don’t Fulfill

December 18, 2019

Diet soda? Nope. I’m not a big fan of sugar substitutes in my soda. I’m not a big fan of butter substitutes when I cook either. Somehow when you know how the real cheese cake with all the fat tastes, you can’t be really happy with the diet version with fat substitutes.

Substitute teachers were fun because you didn’t have to work- but you didn’t learn anything either.

God Substitutes

Substitute gods really don’t fulfill either. We don’t have little idol images in our homes today, so we think we don’t have idols.

So what substitutes the time you spend with God in prayer and the Word? An idol can be work or leisure or even ministry. It can be excessive time spent with anything we love to do- sports, reading, hobbies, video games. Substitutes are distractions from what God is calling you to do and be.

When you check your finances and find where your money is being spent you will find what is really important to you. Do you tithe to God before anything else? I have my tithe automatically deducted and sent to the church so this is first.

The problem with substitutes is they seem okay in appearance. They aren’t exactly sins. But substitutes never really satisfy you. Dietary substitutes don’t trick your tongue. Spiritual substitutes leave you weak spiritually.

Time Substitutes

The best way I keep my life in balance from other things substituting for the real presence of God is to be sure to start the day and structure my calendar with the things I know God is telling me to do. I don’t clock into a job- I have to be self-motivated. The day starts with the Word, prayer and journaling. Then comes exercise where I treadmill while I pray. If I start with anything else- before I know it something has substituted for my quiet time and I’m left weak and not ready to conquer my day.


  1. What is taking first place in my schedule?
  2. What am I substituting for genuine fellowship with God?
  3. Where your money is being spent when you check your finances?

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