Sunday, May 17, 2020

Live By Faith, Not Superstition


This week's blog is submitted by Phil Bell, retired pastor, University Baptist Church. He is a stroke survivor, and occasionally writes an article for the local newspaper. He permits us to post them, also. He loves to write, according to his wife, Nancy. I believe writing is probably very good therapy for him.
Street & Steeple for May 1st, 2020

By Phil Bell, retired, pastor University Baptist Church
“Live By Faith, Not Superstition”

I’ll bet not many, if any of you started today by saying, “rabbit, rabbit!” I once was told that if I, the first day of the month, said that before I said anything else would have good luck for the entire month! I do not do that because I am not superstitious nor do I believe there is such a thing as luck! Any and everything which happens does so by either God’s directive or permissive will! 

Eight years ago when I had the massive stroke which left me, among other things, paralyzed on my body’s entire left side, I didn’t believe God had caused it, but that it was a result of Adam’s sin which resulted in mankind’s bodies wearing out, and sickness. One thing of which I’m sure is that God could have prevented it had He chosen to do so! The holy scriptures tell us that God is in control of the entire universe. I may never know why He chose not to stop my stroke, but He certainly does not owe me an explanation! 

As I wrote, I do not believe in superstitions. Thus, I do not quake if a black cat crosses in front of me. In fact, I dislike all cats! I don’t look for four leaf clovers nor fear breaking a mirror and would roll under a ladder if given the opportunity and a reason for doing so. 

Some people would call one thing I do a superstition. I am an avid Cubs and Bears fan! When I’m watching either of them on TV and they are behind, I will turn to watch something else awhile because when I turn back to the game, my team will be ahead! As I wrote, some would call this a superstition, but they are wrong. This is fact! So, what’s the difference between superstition and faith? 

Superstition is believing that something you do or which happens to you will affect your future for good or bad. Of course, one’s actions affect his or her future, but not by some mysterious way. 

Faith is the absolute belief in something not experienced by one’s senses nor which can be proven empirically! As Hebrews 11:1 puts it, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. ”While superstition has no place in one’s life, certainly, faith does. Faith is the only way we are forgiven by God and become His child! I put faith into practice every single day. I trust my Heavenly Father in everything I do! 

As I wrote in my book, “An Actual Step Of Faith,” “ when I was receiving physical therapy and walking with a hemiwalker, I would swing my left leg forward using my abs in a compensatory motion, then, transfer my weight to my left leg, even though I couldn’t feel it on the floor.” Yet, I moved my right leg forward. I did so by faith that my left leg would support me, which it always did! 

That is a verification that faith, though not indicated by our senses, can be relied upon! My point is don’t be superstitious, but instead be a person of faith!

-Phil Bell, retired, pastor, University Baptist Church

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