Lucky Charms

How biblical is your faith? How much is your faith influenced by worldly superstition? How much do you think your understanding of angels, demons, and spiritual warfare is based on Scripture versus based on Hollywood? Or how much do you allow yourself to think that there is power in particular places, signs, or religious symbols? Do you believe there is power in relics?


Throughout Scripture, we see that the spiritual battle that we are to fight has nothing to do with mysterious symbols or artifacts. In the early church, God never commanded that people grab for a lock of a saint’s hair or a drop of their blood. Yes, in Acts, we saw that people were miraculously healed in some amazing ways, even by carried handkerchiefs. But such has never been commanded by God as a normal practice of the church.


In truth, if you look at Scripture, what you will most often see is that people have a tendency to confuse the method God has chosen to use for one particular moment with the God who is the source of that method’s power. People will hear of a miracle done in the name of Jesus, and they will think that “Jesus” is a magic word to drive out the demons. The Judaizers tried to teach that the physical sign of circumcision was required for salvation. The later Gnostics taught that there were secret truths that one had to learn to progress through higher and higher spiritual levels. Later Roman Catholics taught that there was grace present in artifacts blessed by or touched by certain saints until many churches all over Europe claimed to have a thorn from Jesus’ crown or a vile of milk from Mary.


In the Old Testament, there is a great example of what happens when people focus on a symbol instead of the grace of God. During the wilderness wanderings, the people had some trouble with snakes. God commanded Moses to fashion a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then, any person who was bitten by a snake could simply look upon the snake on a pole to find healing. This, of course, would point to the glorious future truth of salvation by God’s grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone as Jesus himself pointed out in John 3:14-15).


But, once the snake problem was over, there were folks who believed that there was secret power in the bronze snake. Instead of simply glorifying God and understanding that the sculpture was a tool that God used to accomplish his will, the people began to deify the snake itself.


Look at this verse speaking of King Hezekiah, a man who reigned several hundred years after the incident with the snake on the pole.


2 Kings 18:4 He removed the high places and broke the pillars and cut down the Asherah. And he broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel had made offerings to it (it was called Nehushtan). 


For hundreds of years, the people of Israel had made offerings to the bronze serpent. They had violated God’s commands never to worship an image. But they superstitiously believed that there was power in the object rather than understanding that the power is in the Lord who commanded the object’s formation.


Friends, this story should teach us how easily people can be led into pure foolishness. WE gravitate toward what seems both spectacular and tangible. It is human nature to want a lucky charm or object of power. But we need to understand that God has always turned people away from such things. There are no such things as genuine lucky charms. There are no items that focus or carry in them the power of God. There are no items to collect to give you special protections or to ward off evil spirits.


And when we let ourselves give into the notion of relics and charms, we, like the people of Israel for hundreds of years after Moses, dishonor the Lord. We are not supposed to find our hope in any object. We cannot channel the power of god through any earthly sign, symbol, or relic. We are to trust in God by his word. We are to obey the commands of the Lord, pray to the Lord, and trust in the Lord. We are not to think we can discover secret codes or magic words that will bring us spiritual victory. Instead, we are to bow ourselves to the Lord, entrust ourselves to his care, and follow him as his word has commanded. Anything extra will dishonor the Lord as our trust is no longer simply in the Savior but will be divided between God and our lucky charms.