Have you ever needed something, could not find it or obtain it and settled for a substitute?

I have learned a few substitutes living in the jungle.

My husband and I like tossed salads, but iceberg lettuce is unheard of here. One day, we decided to substitute cabbage for lettuce. I chopped the cabbage very fine, and added tomatoes, green onions, cucumbers, grated carrots and tossed it and we enjoyed a great salad. Our three boys, Joshua, Josiah and John also eat salads, because they don’t have to eat lettuce! Another substitute an Indian lady taught me is to use the starch from cassava as starch when ironing clothes.

Did you know that you can cook cucumbers instead of squash? There are many substitutes we could share.

Here are some “non-substitutes” I found in Scripture.

  1. There is no substitute GOD—Isaiah 45:22 says “Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God and there is none else.” (See also Deut. 4:35, I Chron. 17:20, Exodus 34:14, Isaiah 45:5-6, I Kings 8:60, Isaiah 46:9)
  2. There is no substitute WAY—John 14:6 recounts, “Jesus saith unto him, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’” (See also Psalm 18:30)
  3. There is no substitute FRIEND—Proverbs 18:24 testifies, “A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” (See also Proverbs 27:6…I thought of this one, as the Scriptures being our friend, and ‘wounding’ (convicting) us when we need it!)
  4. There is no substitute CREATOR—Isaiah 45:18 declares, “For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited; I am the Lord; and there is none else.” (See also Genesis 1:1, John 1:3)
  5. There is no substitute NAME—Acts 4:12 tells us, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (See also Psalm 135:13)
  6. There is no substitute WATER—In John 4:14, Jesus says, “But whosoever drinketh of this water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
  7. There is no substitute BREAD—See John 6:48-51, especially when Jesus in verse 48 declares, “I am that bread of life.”
  8. There is no substitute ROCK—Deuteronomy 32:4 says “He is our Rock; his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” (See also Deut. 32:31, II Samuel 22:2,3,47, Psalm 18:2, Psalm 31:3, Psalm 92:15)
  9. There is no substitute COMFORTER—II Corinthians 1:3 calls on “the God of all comfort.” (See also John 15:26)


As I was reviewing my notes for this study with my husband, he smiled at me and said to me, “There is no substitute YOU!” (what a sweetheart). To that I would like to put Psalm 139:14 beside it: “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

I would like to encourage you, my fellow sisters to always remember that there is no substitute for YOU! Applying I Timothy 1:12, “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who hath enabled me (and YOU) for that he counted me (and YOU) faithful, putting me (and YOU) into the ministry.” (See also I Thess 5:24, Philippians 1:6)


©2004 Thrive


View the original print magazine where this article was first published.