ya, go there little stevie

April 25, 2017

Image result for picture of stevie wonder



Very superstitious, writings on the wall,

Very superstitious, ladders bout’ to fall,

Thirteen month old baby, broke the lookin’ glass,

Seven years of bad luck, the good things in your past

When you believe in things that you don’t understand,

Then you suffer,

Superstition ain’t the way

Very superstitious, wash your face and hands,

Rid me of the problems, do all that you can,

Keep me in a daydream, keep me goin’ strong,

You don’t want to save me, sad is my song

When you believe in things you don’t understand,

Then you suffer,

Superstition ain’t the way, yeh, yeh (Stevie Wonder)

I am puzzled by something. As I was visiting with a friend recently, I noticed on her kitchen counter a card with a prayer to some guy named St. Anthony on it. We started chatting about this prayer. My friend had been looking for a missing wallet full of cash for about 2 weeks. As a Christian, she asked Jesus to help her find it. After a few days when nothing happened, a Christian neighbor suggested to her that she pray this special prayer to a “Saint” because he was “good at finding lost things.” So, my friend did. Immediately, she looked in front of her and found the wallet. She told me, “I have never done anything like this before, but it worked.” Or, seemed to work. Maybe coincidence?

That reminded me of a news article I read several years ago describing how burying a statue of someone named Joseph upside down near your “for sale” sign gives you an edge when trying to sell your house. So, people—even professing Christians—began buying “St. Joe” kits and trusting this method to get their houses sold quickly. It seems to work. But, work to do what?

I understand traditions like that. Sometimes we do things without even thinking about why or what impact they have on our faith. But, placing our faith in some ordinary man named Joseph who died hundreds of years ago, believing there is magic associated with his statue or Anthony’s “prayer” has got to lead to trouble somewhere.

I read the Bible and see that all the power in the universe is directly available to each of us through our relationship with Jesus Christ. And, Jesus is more powerful than ANYTHING we can substitute for Him. We are fused together with Him by the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:5) who comes to live inside us (Romans 8:11). We cannot get any closer to God. We have a direct pipeline to our Lord’s ear (Romans 8:26). Nothing and no one (alive or dead) is closer to Him than we are as His child. Why would we go elsewhere?

So, I have been puzzled by this—why some Christians choose to settle for a substitute power source to meet their needs rather than relying on the real thing—Jesus Christ. Could the reason be that some Christians are losing patience or confidence in the one true God to get what they want so they rely instead on the aid of other “powers?” I know my own weaknesses and realize it is not that hard to get caught up in superstitious behavior without realizing it when we try something someone recommends for “quicker action from God.” And, it “seems to work.”

That’s what bugs me—it seems to work. It dawned on that this “seems to work” outcome could be a deception from our enemy. My friend kept that card on her counter after she found the wallet. I bet she’ll use it again because it “seemed to work” to get what she wanted. I know if she had waited on Jesus, she would have found that wallet anyway. Does she believe that now? The one who buried the statue and sold her house quickly will likely use that approach again to get what she wants “from God.” My friend’s Christian neighbor certainly has used her “pray to the saint method”—and recommends it to others!

It dawned on me that Satan, the enemy, could be using our tendency to superstition (and impatience!) to get believers away from a life of dependence on Christ. Could that be why prayers to saints/burying statues “seem to work”? Paul said that Satan can masquerade as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). Could reliance on “prayers to saints” be one way he does this? It certainly makes those Christians depend less on Jesus Christ’s power on their behalf and replace Him with a power substitute.

I am confident that the treasure we have in Jesus Christ is more powerful and valuable than anything I could substitute for Him. He hears my prayers instantly—no intermediary needed. I must choose to trust in His goodness in whatever He chooses to do. That means trust His timing, too. I choose to wait on my God’s timing than be drawn away from Him by any saintly superstition that “seems to work.”




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