Living on Empty

I enjoy sushi. Recently a friend called asking where to eat the best sushi. Without hesitation I described the Godzilla roll at Sake in Black Mountain and the seaweed salad at the sushi and atmosphere at Wasabi in Asheville. Why? IT’S GOOD! We are all, by nature, glory declarers. We declare the glory of great ball players, great musicians, great restaurants and great experiences. We can’t help ourselves.

Again and again Scripture instructs us to declare the glory of God. Why? If we are not declaring God’s glory we are declaring the glory of our functional saviors. Jerry Bridges defines these as “any object of dependence we embrace that isn’t God. They become the sources of our identity, security, and significance because we hold an idolatrous affection for them in our hearts.”

So how can we know if we’re bowing at the altar of our functional saviors? He suggests honestly filling in these blanks:

  • I am preoccupied with ___________________.
  • If only _________________, then I would be happy.
  • I get my sense of significance from _____________.
  • I would protect and preserve ____________________ at any cost.
  • I fear losing ____________________.
  • The thing that gives me the greatest pleasure is _________________.
  • When I lose _________________ I get angry, resentful, frustrated, anxious, or depressed.
  • For me, life depends on ________________.
  • The thing I value more than anything in the world is _____________________.
  • When I daydream, my mind goes to __________________.
  • The best thing I can think of is _________________.
  • That thing that makes me want to get out of the bed in the morning is ____________________.

Evaluate yourself. Ask an important person in your life for their opinion. (Don’t get mad when they’re real with you!) According to Jeremiah the stakes are high!

“My people have changed their glory for that which does not profit. Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the Lord, for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” (Jeremiah 2:11-13)

Functional saviors won’t hold water. Quit living on empty!