Faith or Superstition?

Michael Beck

“… I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.” (Acts 17:22)

All religion involves devotion to the doing of something in order to please God and gain His blessing. What is done all depends on the religion one follows. Bowing three times a day in a certain direction, washing one’s self, lighting candles, making the sign of the cross, are required rituals that insure God’s favor. Superstition can also be found in the belief that one must speak positively to attract God’s blessing. One dare not utter a negative word lest He withdraw His hand.

I recently heard one faith preacher tell the story of Zacharias as an example of the consequences of unbelief. When Gabriel told Zacharias he would have a son, he said: “Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.” The angel answered him: “… I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.” (Luke 1:18,19) While Zacharias was indeed struck dumb because of his unbelief, did such unbelief prevent God from performing what He had purposed? The promises to him were “fulfilled in their season.”

Certainly, God wants us to believe all He would say to us. Unbelief wearies Him. (Isa. 7:13) There is much that He would do that He doesn’t because of unbelief. (Mark 6:5,6) But to think that He listens to every word we speak in order to either bless or curse us goes beyond the biblical into the realm of the superstitious.

Religion has many manifestations. The root of so much religious activity is nothing but fear. God help us to cease from our own works and rest in Him. He depends on us less than we think.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.