Switching Saviors

Article by: Bridgehaven Team

Counselors Reflect on Dangerous Calling by Paul Tripp
A Series to Care for the Care Takers of God’s People

“If you are not attaching your identity to the unshakable love of your Savior, you will ask the things in your life to be your Savior, and it will never happen. (p. 34)


We are worshipers.  And the question is not if we worship but what and who we are worshipping.  Something or someone is always getting our devotion, energy, and attention.  This is not optional.  However, anything that we choose to be our Savior besides Christ will never satisfy and fill us like we expect.  I heard it said that we have a God sized void in our hearts that can only be filled by God.  Ecclesiastes 3:10 says it this way, “God has put eternity in our hearts, yet man cannot figure out what He has done from beginning to end.”  It makes sense that because God is an eternal God and we are made in His image and likeness that we too would have this deep desire to know how things came into being and where it is going.  Yet, the verse tells us we can’t figure that out.  With all our ingenuity, wisdom, and knowledge man cannot lay hold of eternity.  This is because eternity is found in a person and not in a mathematical equation, physics, or philosophy.  Jesus says that He is the “Alpha and Omega” the “beginning and the end.”  Eternal life is found in relationship with God through his Son, Jesus Christ.

Now as Dr. Tripp mentioned, unless we are finding our identity in the true Savior, the one who truly satisfies, the one in whom is true life, whenever we deviate from him and begin trying out other potential saviors, we will be left empty and dissatisfied. The things God gives us to enjoy and are meant to be a blessing to us we position as gods over us.  My pastor often in his sermons talks about the cabod (Hebrew for “weight”) we give to things that we attach our identities.  We ask of those things more than they can offer.  One pastor said it this way, “Idols lie.  They offer us everything and leave us with nothing.”  Idols never make good on their promises.  They cannot.  This is why Dr. Tripp says “it will never happen.”

The reason we elevate good things to God things is because we want to be our own god.  We want our idols to serve us.  We want people and things to be dependent upon us.  We don’t want to have to depend on God and serve him.  However, we deceive ourselves because the thing we think is serving us is actually being served by us.  Jesus says whoever sins is a slave to sin.  We delude ourselves into thinking we have control over the things in our lives we find enjoyment and pleasure in when truthfully, oftentimes those things have made us slaves to it.  And the answer is not self-discipline and moderation; attempting to convince ourselves that our desires and idols don’t rule us but we them.  Instead, the better way is to give your heart, your life, and your passions to God in Christ and those other things will automatically take on less weight.  The more you give yourself to the right thing (God) the less you’ll give yourself to the wrong thing (idols).

If you’re a pastor like me, you struggle with this probably as much if not more than your parishioners.  Whether you veg in front of the television too long in order to relax, playing eighteen holes instead of nine, eating or drinking too much, or giving an inordinate amount of time and energy to your favorite hobby, whatever it is you tend to do in excess thinking that it will refresh you in a way that God can’t, here are some helpful exercises you can do to redirect your heart and focus back to your true Savior, Christ.

  1. Periodically give up for a time that “go to” you use to relax consistently and note how your heart responds.  Check for irritability, complaining, and if you frantically begin looking for something to take its place.  These are signs that your way to relax has become more prominent in your heart to the point of idolatry.
  2. Have a variety of things that you enjoy. Add to and subtract from them.  This way you force your heart not to get tied to one or two things and they have less opportunity to become little gods in your life.  Determine not to give yourself to any one thing too frequently or for too long.
  3. Check your passion for God gauge.  If you’re time in God word seems stale or rudimentary, if your prayers seems hollow or disinterested chances are you’ve given something or someone else your energy and excitement.  Your passion is going somewhere so trace its origin and then re-center your affections.

Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry By Paul David Tripp / Crossway Books & Bibles



535826: Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry By Paul David Tripp / Crossway Books & Bibles