God Substitutes


The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

~Proverbs 9:10, NIV


There are four God substitutes: Approval, Pleasure/Comfort, Power and Control.

~Timothy Keller

I don’t disagree with Keller that often but he’s almost describing the three basic temptation: Popularity [human approval], Desire for Pleasure and comfort and Desire for power. Actually Jesus first temptation in the wilderness was directed toward His physical appetite but the desire for pleasure and power are definitely there. Keller sees these things as God substitutes. Here is the way Keller views it:

[1] Desire for Human Approval {Popularity} and the greatest fear of an approval addict is REJECTION. Proverbs 29:25...’The fear of man will prove to be a snare.”

[2] Desire for Pleasure and Comfort. For the comfort addict, the greatest fear is SUFFERING and sacrifice. Proverbs says, “Whoever loves pleasure will become poor.”

[3] Desire for Power and Prosperity. The greatest fear of a power addict is HUMILIATION. You see this is David’s Psalms: his greatest fear was humiliation.

[4] Desire to Control. The greatest fear of the control freak is UNCERTAINTY, the unpredictability of people. Control freaks have trouble delegating authority and they tend to be manipulative. {If you think I am describing myself, remember this is Keller, not me}.

I see three and four as one thing: the LUST FOR POWER. Matter of fact, I am fully convinced that the lust for power drives greed and the love of money. The obvious reason for gaining power is so we can control others. Michael Bloomberg is a rich Jew but wealth is not his only concern: He just spent 900 million dollars on a failed presidential campaign. This is not a mistake that a miser would make: Bloomberg wants power; he craves it. He would love to have the power to dictate to every Alabamian what they should do and how they should live. He is a pompous elitist who thinks we are a bunch of nit-wits and hay-seeds. Wealth, power and control all go under one heading. The pagan could control their gods but we cannot control Yahweh. As C.S. Lewis repeated says about Aslan, “He is not a tame Lion.” He is in absolute control: we are not.

This is day 29 of the Covid-19 shutdown. The WEB site I’ve been getting info from shut down and I haven’t found a new one. Another busy day so I don’t have much extra. Appreciate the prayers yesterday, the COLS went well.

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