If I pray today, God will be with me. If I read my bible today, God will protect me. If I take my bible with me in the car, I will really be spiritual and God will really smile on my day! :) I'm sure with just reading these statements, you have no idea where I am going with this. However, I do have a point to make. Yes, prayer and bible reading are great things to be doing and you know that I am a huge proponent of both. However, as always, our motives for doing such must be pure in order for our methods to prove fruitful. Our motives must be ones of seeking God for the sake of knowing Him and for becoming more like Him each day. We must be truly desiring what God wants for us rather than using good things to achieve our own ends.
We are no different really from the Israelites so many years ago back in Samuel's day as we seek the quick fix for success. In 1 Samuel 4, we once again find the children of Israel in a state of panic. They had not been faithful to God, and those nasty Philistines had once again picked a fight with them. Israel was scared and realized that they had a "good luck charm" with which to fight:
1 Samuel 4:3 And when the people had come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, "Why has the Lord defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord from Shiloh to us, that when it comes among us it may save us from the hand of our enemies."
Is anyone else having Raiders of the Lost Ark flashbacks? What were the Israelites trusting in? Superstition? Their hearts were not right. I didn't see that they prayed to God for guidance in this matter. They merely wanted a victory the easiest way they could get one...through the power of God inside the Ark. But God saw through them, didn't He? God allowed the Philistines to defeat them anyway like He did before because their hearts were not pure. As this post is named, God is not a magic charm.
What is my "magic charm"? More bible knowledge without application? More ministry for justification? Do you have a "charm"? Sometimes I wonder if I haven't fallen into this trap while avoiding what God truly wants for me. My obedience in all areas of life. Following God with a pure heart takes work, doesn't it?