The god we serve dictates the manner in which we live our lives, and all serve some form of deity. If it is a god who punishes, we will be on our best behavior constantly, whether that punishment has ever arrived upon us or not, such is the path of superstition. Cross your fingers, do a double take, do not walk under a ladder, it is the perception that if we do a particular thing, we have been the cause of the outcome of the event.
Superstitious individuals have a very difficult time describing the god they serve, they believe that by their actions they have influenced an event, and so in a sense they are the god they speak of, yet by these same actions, or inactions, they are attempting to appease a higher power than themselves. Ardent sports fans will understand this quite well, but sadly so will many who say they believe in God. “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.” (Psalm 118:1) But just in case, well, from there I am sure you can fill in the blank, we all could. If I do this then God will do that, if I don’t, then He will not.
Many tend to treat the Almighty as an invisible force whose actions and reactions are based upon those same two items within our own lives, if you commit an error against Him, you will be punished, and so the best bet is to always be on your best behavior, and just in case make sure to thank your lucky stars and knock on wood. “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Romans 3:20) Superstitious ideologies, religious traditions, man-made and ordained theological notions will avail you absolutely nothing, they are all exactly the same, they attempt and are deceived into believing that their actions can and will influence the mind of Almighty God. What they are attempting to do is influence the Lord, to try to get Him to do what they want, and by performing certain obligations within these religious organizations, they are showing that it is they, not God, who is in control.
Our actions, they will say, are the determining factor for how God will look upon us, as long as we continue to perform the traditions, He will find favor with us, if we deviate in even a small way, we will find His wrath and displeasure with us. All religious organizations, and sadly even many so-called evangelical churches, are based today in superstition, and so are the hearts of many who call Him Lord. We will obey the commandments because we fear the possible consequences if we do not, their God is waiting to punish, not to forgive. Of course along with many of these places forgiveness is also taught, but only as a sub-set of the main tenant, allowing the participant in these ideologies a way out each time, sin is allowed on a frequent basis, for it can easily be forgiven by one within the hierarchy, by one with a more astute knowledge of the Most High and his most unknowable ways.
The ladder of spiritual pride is very easy to climb, in fact, it is almost comparable to an escalator, little effort is needed to place ourselves in the same position, at least in our minds, as the Most High. The line is razor thin between dominance and submission, if one cannot say “I will be like the most High,” (Isaiah 14:14) then one can at least attempt to bring Him down to our level of thinking, to make Him such as we are. “These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.” (Psalm 50:21)
Almighty God reigns on high and we are nothing but dust, (Psalm 103:14) you and I are nothing but a passing vapor, (James 4:14) and we have the audacity to believe that we can influence, even direct, the Creator and Sustainer of all that is. Childish, immature, foolishness does not begin to explain the thinking of such individuals, we cannot even make ourselves taller (Matt. 6:27) and we believe that if we perform a certain function at a certain time in a certain way that we can force Almighty God to bend to our will.
The God I serve knows I am but dust, it is high time that you start to realize this truth. “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” (Psalm 8:4) You have no rights, no privileges, you are alive by His mercies, you are here for His pleasure, (Rev. 4:11) you cannot add one moment of time to your life, you are, whether you want to admit it or not, not in control in any great way of anything or anyone, much less the Most High. It is God alone who reigns, you are allowed, you and I have been blessed with the ability to do only one of two things for the entirety of our short little lives, willingly serve Him in whatever way He chooses, or not to, you have no other choices.
There are vessels of wrath fitted for destruction, (Romans 9:22) and there are those who will spend eternity in the presence of His joy, (Psalm 16:11) saying certain prayers in certain ways, counting beads, lighting candles, listening intently to the sermon, showing up at church every time the doors are open is going to influence Him about as much as wearing the same “lucky” shirt every time your team is on the field, these things will avail you absolutely nothing in His eyes. The law was given on Mt. Sinai, (Lev. 26:46) and we failed to keep it, no man made laws will avail you any better, no traditions can save you, no act performed by any man will ever influence the mind of God, He is no respecter of persons. (Romans 2:11) We are not saved by works, we are not saved by love, we are saved by grace, (Eph. 2:8) and grace needs nothing added to it.