BREAKING THE CHAINS OF SUPERSTITION – Part 2
When one little girl was asked what FAITH is, she said, “Well, faith is believing what you know ain’t true” (Vernon Magee). That’s a great definition of SUPERSTITION but not of faith. If the only way to come to God is by faith (Hebrews 11:6), then how would you describe faith? Is it a leap in the dark, an uncertain gamble? If that is what it means to you, then you do not have the faith that the Bible speaks of.
What is the difference between FAITH AND SUPERSTITION? Is one mans faith another mans superstition? Surely that’s ridiculous. Hebrews 11:1 (AMP) distinguishes between faith and superstition – “FAITH is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for, the EVIDENCE of things not seen.” This means that it rests on something TRUE AND CERTAIN, not on an uncertain leap into the unknown.
The New Testament was originally written in Koine Greek and the word for “SUBSTANCE” is “hupostasis”. It is a scientific word but it doesn’t mean hypothesis or theory. It has the opposite meaning. It rests upon FACTS. It is the essential nature of something or the UNDERLYING REALITY of something, the HEART AND SOUL. If your faith does not rest upon the truth of what God has revealed then it is not faith.
“The EVIDENCE of things not seen.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV) says “We live by faith, not by sight.” Although unseen, the evidence spoken of here is the kind of evidence which is accepted in a court of law. Faith is not a leap in the dark. Faith is not a wish. Faith is SUBSTANCE AND EVIDENCE. There is no reason why you can’t believe. God wants your faith to rest upon the truth of the Word of God. What evidence do I have that the Word of God is true? It’s truth evidenced by a CHANGED LIFE.
1. Gwen, blind and unable to walk, has a confident assurance that leads her to pursue truth. That’s FAITH. John, old and troubled, believes in a religious SUPERSTITION that manipulates and cripples him by it’s lies. That’s FEAR. Superstition has it’s basis in FEAR. If I touch wood or wear a good luck charm it’s because I fear that if I don’t I will have something bad happen.
Faith is not based on fear of what MIGHT HAPPEN. Faith expects the best and enables me to endure the worst. It builds it’s perceptions confidently on revealed truth, not on false hope.
2. Superstition with it’s negativity distorts the truth. Faith seeks the truth, like the Bereans in Acts 17:11 (NLT) who “listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.”
3. Superstition amplifies the voice of fear. Faith silences the voice of fear with PURPOSE and destiny, a love for God and others. 1 John 4:18 (NLT) says “such love has no fear, because PERFECT LOVE EXPELS ALL FEAR. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love.”
4. Superstition is fearful of initiating action. Faith dreams big, clarifies your dreams and inspires you to run the race (1 Corinthians 9:24). Whereas superstition stops me from moving forward, faith knows the value of stepping out with confident assurance and trust in God. Superstition refuses to take risks. Faith positions us for opportunities despite the risks. Abraham stepped out in faith when he left the land of Ur without knowing where God would lead him (Genesis 12:1-4).
5. Superstition bullies us and destroys our potential. Faith steadfastly refuses to be intimidated by dream killers. It enables David to fight against Goliath (1 Samuel 17).
6. Superstition limits us to imaginary problems. Faith lives a life that points to the real solutions . 1 Timothy 4:7-8 (NIV) says “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.”
7. Superstition is limiting because it is based upon me. Faith believes that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). It is based on relationship with God, not religious rituals and traditions.
Although it cannot adequately be tested by my senses, my faith is based on a relationship with Christ over many years. My confidence in Him grows rather than diminishes. It takes me deeper into His revealed truth. My changed life is perhaps the only evidence of faith in Him that I can produce and even that is not adequate. My faith is no less real.
Romans 10:17 (NLT) says “…faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.”
John 16:13 (NLT) speaks about God the Holy Spirit as “THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH” who “will guide you into all truth” John 16:8 (NLT) says “… He will convict the world of its sin …” of unbelief. God’s Word invites me to consider looking beyond myself for the answers I need in life?