Substitutes are never quite like the real thing. Artificial sweeteners may save calories but - let's face it - Diet Coke doesn't quite taste like "the real thing." The same thing goes for salt and butter substitutes.
Blaise Pascal, the French philosopher and mathematician, wrote that there is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person that can never be filled apart from a personal relationship with God. Many folks today haven't gotten the message. Instead of a personal relationship with God, they've accepted a wide variety of God-substitutes like addictions, travel, wealth, fame, power and self.
Almost all substitutes have side effects of one kind or another, and for those people who settle for God-substitutes, one side effect is that they become indifferent to what is right and what is wrong. Substitutes never quench the spiritual thirst that is deep within your heart. The world of those who settle for God-substitutes is often painted in shades of gray. Their values are obscure, and by and large what they worship is what they can see, taste or feel.
When Jesus and the disciples drew near to a village in Samaria where cool water from a deep well could satisfy their thirst, Jesus asked a woman to draw a drink of water for Him, and in the conversation which took place, He told her that if she would drink of the water He would give to her, she would never thirst again!
Life at its longest is short, and when you come to the end, the one thing you never want to discover is that the god you bought into may have come in the traditional packaging but wasn't the Living One who created our world, nor the one whom you will face when you die.
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. PSALM 34:8