Insanity. Not to make light of those with psychological disorders, but this weekend I went to several grocery stores to get items before the big snow storm. I want the only one there. Many had the same plan. As I too searched for my preferred items – especially my favorite chili mix: Frontera Texas Style Chili Starter – I saw long lines, empty shelves, and lots of people scrambling. Insanity, at least mildly.
And in all of this, we continue to be in a national shortage of certain food items. It’s insane times. Which brings me to my discussion today.
Four Places – I went to four separate places looking for my fav chili mix. Oh, I looked. I was disappointed. The chili mix was not carried, not in stock, or sold out. So I had to get the next best thing … same brand but different flavor. But you know what? The next best thing is not the original. The next best thing may be good, but it isn’t best.
In life, we do this way too often. We accept imitations. We allow compromise, even long for it if it makes life easier. We are not the first generation to do this, it has gone on millennia.
The Bible warns us … even commands us not to accept imitations. The first of the Ten Commandments is to have no other god before the one really God. The next line is to not build idols – for God can not be imitated, not copied, not captured in any man made image.
In Him, we are to find our satisfaction. In Him, we are to be fulfilled. In Him, man only finds his true worth, his purpose, his true joy.
But we accept imitations – we take our worth in our work, we trade satisfaction in entertainment, we think our worth is in our possessions, our pride, and our religious legalism.
So what is the best thing, the primary thing? JI Packer says this …
“What is the best thing in life?JI Packer
… bringing more joy, delight and contentment than anything else? Knowledge of God.”
Don’t accept imitations. Don’t allow substitutes. Not knowledge about God. Not knowledge about God’s creation. Though good, and maybe even noble – the best thing is to know God.
One way to remember the original, to stay focused on what it means to worship the one true God – Packer shares, in Knowing God, six things we need to keep reminding ourselves every day …
- I am a child of God.
- God is my Father.
- Heaven is my home.
- Every day is one day nearer.
- My Savior is my brother.
- Every Christian is my brother too.
Say these, every day, say these.
And today, I will eat an imitation of the chili I really want. But when it comes to God – I will accept no substitute.