>Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow. Colossians 2:16-19
Hong Kong is an amazing city. I lived there in the summer of 1984 working with a mission team. I marveled at the architecture and the pace of such a modern, world-class city. I also marveled at little fires I would see burning in the gutters of major thoroughfares each evening. The Chinese would bring food, decorations and various other things as a peace offering to evil spirits. This would insure their peace and prosperity. If they practiced these rituals to appease the spirits, they could live their lives in peace.
What a contrast. Here among these modern buildings were little piles of burnt trash from last night’s sacrifices. High rises often had vacant fourteenth floors, much like our thirteenth floor superstitions. Fourteen was too close to the Chinese word for death. No one wanted an office on the fourteenth floor. Our office was on the fourteenth floor. God is greater than the number fourteen.
The design of most of the buildings in Hong Kong relies on Fung Shui. Doors and windows had to be placed in the correct order and at the correct angles to ward off evil spirits and to allow good energy to flow. Seriously, how could such a modern city be subject to so much hocus pocus?
But, before we judge the Hong Kong Chinese, let’s consider the hocus pocus in our own lives. If good things happen to us, then we must be living right. If bad things happen to us, it must be because we skipped church last Sunday, didn’t offer thanks for our food, spent our tithe on ourselves, or missed reading one of Allen’s devotionals. (If you’re curious, it was the last one.)
Let me debunk this bunk. You can do all of the right things and bad things will still happen. You can do all of the wrong things and actually have good things happen. Some things are subject to cause and effect. If we don’t get enough sleep, we’ll be tired and grouchy in the morning. If we eat too much and don’t exercise, we will get fat. But, we don’t create the cause of every effect in our lives.
All good things are not necessarily a blessing. All bad things are not necessarily a curse. Everything that happens is not necessarily our fault.
How do we get these funny, oddball, superstitious ideas in our heads? Well, according to this verse, we are running around like chickens with our heads cut off. “He has lost connection with the Head.” It’s our connection to Christ, the Head of the Body (Ephesians 4:15-16), that gives us direction and assurance. Honoring superstitions or even rituals and holidays in the Bible don’t bring us “good luck” or blessings. Remaining connected to God Himself is all we need to assure that we are in the right place with God.
How’s your connection with God? What are you saying to Him these days? What is He saying to you?
To subscribe or leave a comment on the galatians419 devotional blog: http://galatians419.blogspot.com/