Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Lord Will Provide, Knock on Wood


We Christians are sometimes a curious bunch.  We claim to put our faith in God yet so many of us are still caught up in superstitions.  How many Christians "knock on wood" to avert Murphy's Law?  How many Christians check their Horoscope or at the very least think it is pertinent to share what Astrological sign their birthday falls under.  Many of us also have lucky charms or have other curious rituals we go through that are somehow meant to give us "luck."   On one hand, we claim God to be God of all but we also seem to take a "just in case" approach by our lives in that we do things to entreat the favor of false gods.  We do not need to look far to see just how wrong those actions are.  Any kind of superstition is a violation of the first commandment.
I [am] the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image--any likeness [of anything] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth [generations] of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.  Exodus 20:2-6 NKJV
These seemingly innocent and silly things we do are really a terrible wrong.  You are putting another god on par or even above the true God.  I hope to show just how wrong it is when practice any kind of superstition. 

First let us address Murphy's Law.  I am sure we are all familiar with the refrain "Whatever can go wrong will go wrong."  The belief is that if we speak confidence regarding any situation, that situation will go wrong.  Murphy's Law is invoked by speaking positively, dooming yourself to the idea that whatever can go wrong will go wrong.  Fortunately, Murphy's Law can be averted simply by knocking on wood.  If no wood is available, then we can still just speak the words "knock on wood."  Who the original "Murphy" was is if no consequence as the idea of Murphy's Law has been around much longer than its name.  The important thing is who Murphy is to us.  If you are knocking on wood to avert Murphy instead of praying to God for a good outcome, you are elevating Murphy above God.  If you believe in some law named Murphy then where does that leave God?  Is even God subject to the all powerful law of Murphy?  Is God helpless to keep things from going wrong once we have invoked Murphy's Law upon ourselves?  I can not believe that any Christian actually believes this, but that is what our actions say whenever we speak the words "knock on wood."  You are praying to Murphy and trying to entreat his favor, and by that you are praying to a false god. 

And what of Astrology?  Is it harmless for a Christian to check their daily horoscope?  I contend it is not harmless at all.  Can we blame our personality on the time of year we were born? Can we give credit to what blessings have in our life because of where the planets are now in relation to when we were born?  Where is God in that?  The answer is nowhere.  You are elevating the creation above the Creator.  It is God who set the universe in motion.  It is God who determined the position of the planets and set the rules by which they orbit around the sun.  It is God who created you and determined when your life would begin.  As Christians, it is the Holy Spirit in us that should determine who we are in Christ.  The only competition for the Holy Spirit is our own rebellion.  We can not just excuse our bad habits on some alignment of the planets.  By adhering to any kind of belief in Astrology, you are elevating the words of liars over the Word of God and you are elevating the creation above the Creator. 

Finally, what about the other various superstitious rituals we get adhere to.  Do you have a "lucky" shirt?  Do you have a "lucky" seat?  Do you have some routine that is supposed to somehow bring "luck" into whatever circumstance you are in.  What exactly is this thing we call "luck?"  Luck is a false god and whatever shirt we wear, seat with sit in, or ritual we perform to requests its favor as it is our prayer and worship to that false god.  Think about it, when you put on that shirt for "luck" who exactly is that gesture for?  When you sit in a seat for "luck" just who is supposed to recognize that act and reward you with your team winning the game?  When you go through whatever ritual you go through to gain favor with "luck", just who is the audience of that routine?  The answer to none of those questions is God.  We can not petition the Lord with a shirt or a seat and we can not worship God with a silly routine.  All of those are worshiping some false god you call luck. 

What all of this represents, more than anything else, is a lack of faith.  Do you have faith in God enough to not knock on wood?  Do you have faith in God enough to know the Holy Spirit can change who you are, no matter what time of year you were born.  Do you have faith in God enough to trust God with your daily circumstances and not checking a horoscope to see what to look out for?  Do you have faith in God enough to not wear your lucky shirt, sit in your lucky chair, perform your lucky rituals, and trust God to just answer your prayers to Him?  Your actions will reveal the true answers to those questions.  If you find yourself knocking on wood or telling someone what sign you are, or if you find yourself altering your day based on your horoscope or if you think that a shirt you are wearing will affect your "luck," then I urge you to let those things go.  Put your faith in something real, put your faith in God.  Do not elevate false ideas, idols, and gods over the true God who can change answer your prayers.  Astrology, luck, or Murphy can not change anything.  They are just figments of our own imaginations at best and entreating demons at the worst.  God is sovereign.  God can change who we are.  God can change circumstances.  God can fill you day with blessings.  And we do not get things things from reading a false prophesy, knocking on wood or anything else, performing a silly ritual, wearing a special shirt, or sitting in a special chair.  We do not even need to kneel, though we can if we want to.  All we need to do to access the one true God is prayer.  So, in the end, we need to ask ourselves a question: Do we have faith enough to pray and trust that God will answer? 
The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.  James 5:16b NKJV

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