There are a lot of things on social media that annoy me: ads, people who post too much, click-baiting… and did I mention click-baiting? But what makes me angry are the posts that limit God to mere superstition.
Are you with me? Have you ever seen something about “If you love God, repost this in 2 minutes and He will bless you,” or “If you love the devil, keep scrolling. If you love God and aren’t ashamed of it, repost this”? It’s ridiculous! That’s not how God operates at all!
But I’m not superstitious! you may be thinking to yourself. I don’t really believe those posts or maybe, I would never post anything like that! And I mean, I don’t believe in curses or anything! I’m not superstitious!
Well, I don’t believe in blessings from Facebook posts, chain letters, or the power of broken mirrors, black cats or ladders. Even so, I have struggled with superstition at some points in my life, and so have church members I have known, pastors I have known, and missionaries I have known.
Let me explain.
Have you ever felt like if the pastor prayed for something instead of just you, then it was more likely to happen? What about if lots and lots of people prayed for it instead of just a couple? Or has a sin ever felt worse if it was done in church than somewhere else?
It is SO TEMPTING to think that way, and I have had those same thoughts myself. I have heard people say those sorts of things. But the thing is, they’re all lies. Pure, unfounded superstition.
God Better Hears the Prayers of Pastors = FALSE
Galatians 3:28 says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” That could easily say there are pastors and deacons, church members and choir members, but you are all one in Christ Jesus. We are all in equal standing before God because we are all sinners that were saved only through Jesus. He has given us different roles, but no one is ‘more saved’ than anyone else.
Actually, there’s another verse that talks about that. 1 Corinthians 12 talks about how God designed Christians to work together as part of one body. The feet can’t do the job without the fingers and the heart can’t do anything without the stomach. No one part of the body is more important than the others, they just have jobs that look different. The same is true with the roles of Christians, including both pastor and church members.
(Now, it is true that God sometimes does not heed the prayers of those whose lives are riddled with sin that they aren’t willing to give up… [see below])
A Sin is Worse if Committed in Church = FALSE
As for sin, well, you can’t get any worse than rebelling against God, and since sin is either doing something you shouldn’t do or not doing something you should do, then you’re rebelling against God every time, no matter how or where. Proverbs 15:3 says, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place,” so if we’re worried about God seeing us more at church than other places, then that’s just silly.
(Now if you’re worried about being hypocritical or not willing to change despite the messages you’re hearing in church, that’s another story)
God listens more closely to prayers if there are more people praying = FALSE
I don’t know of a single verse that supports this. There are lots of verses that command us to pray (Colossians 4:2 for example), and we know that God answers our prayers when we pray by ourselves (like in James 1:15, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”) We know are supposed to pray together like the early church did (Acts 2:42) and for encouragement (James 5:16).
There is large benefit for US and for those we pray with if we pray together, and the Lord encourages it, but He isn’t too deaf to hear lone voices and His mind isn’t changed by mobs. Prayer is an opportunity for us to “rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep,” (Romans 12:15) and it spreads God’s glory as more and more people are able to see His answers to prayer. Those are the reasons we should be praying together.
It’s so important that we are looking to the Bible to compare everything we hear or think. That’s the only true source of information and it’s how we avoid just making stuff up, like superstitions. Here’s what the Bible has to say it about it all in a nice, quick summary:
- God works all things together for good according to His plan (Romans 8:28)
God loves us and wants to bless us (Matthew 7:11)
- If we need correcting or to grow in some way, God will allow us to go through hard situations (Hebrews 12:5-11)
- God listens to prayer. He does say that our sins can hinder our prayers if we are not trying/willing to correct them (“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear,” Isaiah 59:2), and since we pray because of our standing in Jesus, we have to be saved before God will hear us. Once we have those two squared away, it doesn’t matter who we are or where we are, God hears.
- God doesn’t take orders. We don’t always understand His ways or decisions, but He always listens and does what is best (Isaiah 55:8).
We aren’t in charge of how God works, but God does reveal part of Himself in His Word. That’s why we need to be digging really deep into the Bible to find out what God does say and what He doesn’t say.
What are some verses you use to help yourself combat superstitions about God?
(This post was shared on the linkup Faith Filled Friday)