Why Man Makes Substitute Gods


Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.  Romans 1:22

            Why would I want a substitute for God?  Why would I turn my back on His incredible glory and prefer the graven images of dead things?  I can only speak for myself and offer some reasons that have caused me to run, personally, from God’s presence. 


  • God created me in His image.  I know right from wrong because He gave me a conscience.  I have violated it and have known what it is like to be racked with guilt. I have hated the feeling.
  • God is holy.  When in prayer, I have sensed His purity and have felt the depths of my sin.  I have hated the feeling.
  • God gave the Law and revealed His will.  I have realized that it was impossible to live up to it and every time I did the opposite of what He commanded, I wanted to forget that I ever read it.  I have hated the feeling.


            So, I can understand idolatry.  I’ve committed it so easily.  But longevity with God tells me that there is another way.  I don’t need to be a fool, put my hands over my eyes and pretend that I don’t see Him, hear Him, or sense Him. 

            God invites my worship, my focus, my preoccupation with His glory because He loves me and invites me to receive the very thing that I overlooked for so many years.  Grace.  It was grace that caused Him to hang on a cross so that my sin could be forgiven.  It was grace that caused Him to justify me and declare me ‘pure’.  It is grace that causes His Spirit, every day, to empower my obedience.  If I have any thoughts that cause me to fear drawing closer to God, I can be sure that I believe the lies of the enemy. 

            His glory stuns my soul with wonder, then joy.  All those years, I protected myself from the very thing that would have saved my life.  And that is the lie of idolatry.  “You don’t want God.  He won’t satisfy.  Come and make yourself another god.”  Never again!

I’ve been a fool and worshipped at other altars.  They had no glory. Give me the grace to walk wisely and feast on Your beauty.  Amen  

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