Are you feeling “lucky”, punk? Well, are ya?

I received an email today, that made me think about the character of God.
Dear Reid,
I dont know where I got this.  Any idea?  What is your take on it?
Intervention vs. sovereignty
I have always thought of karma as a magnetic attraction of good or evil, luck or bad fortune. A person is said to either have good karma (midas touch? food fortune?) or bad karma (everything he touches turns to crud.) Is this a Christian principle? You mentioned the idea that you reap what you sow. I have always seen this as the principle of reciprocity. If you are kind, you often receive kindness back. If you are mean, you are often treated poorly. I have never thought of this as karma. Because we are in essence creating the response with our own response. 
But having said this, what is Christian, is the sovereignty of God. I understand this to mean that God knows everything. Nothing is a surprise to Him. He is ever present and all knowing. Everything is under His control, death, life, fortune, famine, poverty, war, peace. And as such, we have freedom, but within the boundaries of His sovereignty. The Bible says that all things work together for good for those who know the Lord and are called to His purpose. This means we may not understand why immediately, but we are to trust God is using in it for a purpose. 
Does God cause evil? No way. But He allows evil to act in this world. Does He cause bad things to happen? He certainly can. But what is bad to us may have infinite good in it, if we saw the big picture. We can never know why? We may never know entirely why. But we can trust God’s goodness and mercy. All to say, our life is known to God and many of the outcomes are the result of His big plan. As followers of God, it is our job to be faithful and do our best despite the circumstances. 
I responded like this… 
Good question,
I don’t believe in “luck”. I never have believed in it, as it’s not a biblical principle. God doesn’t work through fortune or karma … it implies that we have something to do with the good will of God. … which in the long run, means that we don’t need the saving work of the death of Christ on the cross. If I’m good enough to make good things happen (even in the smallest ways), then I’m good enough to secure my own salvation with God and  therefore, don’t need his work to make me complete. It’s a slippery slope. “Luck” is not in the bible… anywhere. In fact, anything to do with luck or fortune telling in the bible, is represented as evil and not associated with God. 
There’s a witch in the Old Testament that conjured up spirits of the dead, and king Saul, of all people, worked with her to conjure up dead Samuel’s spirit to find out if Saul would win a war. He got chastised and disciplined by God. In the New Testament, Paul the Apostle ruined a sorcerer’s business once by casting an evil demon out of a little “fortune telling” girl, and Paul was almost murdered for his act. I think it’s funny. In the book of Acts there’s lots of casting out of spirits that are evil fortune telling spirits. I don’t think karma, luck or fortune have anything to do with God’s good plans for us. 
And…. to further the point, I don’t think God punishes us for our sin as a retribution for the evil we’ve done. Like to take this to it’s extreme, and forgive me if this is too personal, but there’s no way that God would have taken Seth from you for something “bad” you or anyone has done. Those are the lies of Satan and he is a punk. I think things happen, good and bad. I think God is a good God and makes good things come from the evil happenings around us, but doesn’t make them happen to us to punish us. God’s character is love, not retribution or punishment. … again, this is why Jesus died on the cross. He took our punishment for our sin. End of story.  
Grace & Peace,

Lead Pastor, Crossroads Greeley

What’s your take on “luck”? Karma? and Fortune? (not excluding fortune cookies… even though they taste good.)

Published by Reid Olson

I was a pastor who still knows a personal connection with God and I like to share thoughts and insights to make God's Kingdom a little more tangibly, while sharing conversations on leadership insights. Now I'm a funeral director, still seeking to share about Jesus.

3 thoughts on “Are you feeling “lucky”, punk? Well, are ya?

    1. Chris, thanks for the question. I still don’t believe casting lots was about “luck”… any more than Jesus telling his disciples to prepare the upper room for passover meal (in Luke 22:7-10) and saying, “Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.” “Where do you want us to prepare for it?” they asked. He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters…”

      or “Luck” wasn’t part of Jesus in Matthew 22:17 saying, “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”

      How “lucky” of Jesus to tell people the future – he must have been a pretty good guesser. (sarcasm)

      I tend to look at the sovereignty of God as trumping any sort of “luck” that humanity can conjure up.

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