There has been a phrase that has seeped into movies, celebrity quotes, and probably the everyday speaking and thinking of the public. It is a phrase that is indicative of a worldview. For example, I read this quote from quarterback Aaron Rodgers about a past experience with the hallucinogenic ayahuasca and his recent MVP performance years:
I don’t think it is a coincidence. I really don’t. I don’t really believe in coincidences at this point. It’s the universe bringing things to happen when they are supposed to happen.Aaron Rodgers quoted by Fox Sports
The “universe” is being credited for many things these days. Just to get this quote straight, our space-time continuum willed Aaron Rodgers to win back-to-back MVPs. So the same said universe moved Rodgers to go to Peru so that he would take a hallucinogenic drug to get his head straight and improve his game?
It may not be a coincidence. There is some legitimate research about positive long-term effects of hallucinogens on such things as depression. Maybe the experience did change his brain chemistry in a positive way that impacted his game. That is not the controversy that I am engaging. I doubt the universe had anything to do with it. In this case, I doubt God had anything to do with it. However, in most cases where I have heard, “The Universe..”, it is clearly there to displace God.
21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.Romans 1:21-25(ESV)
This quote from Romans describes a very old human behavior. Deep down we should recognize that we live in a beautifully complex universe that had a beginning. The Universe was not self-creating, nor is it alive, nor is it imbued with power over the destiny of people. Humans, however, have a natural resistance to God. It is our sinful nature. We have always wanted to give glory to created things rather than our Creator. The scary thing about the passage above is that God will eventually give you up to the consequences. When you let go of the Creator a number of evil things will eventually follow. The final one is damnation.
Now I am not saying that anyone who checks their horoscope or credits the Universe improperly or even goes further down the road toward falsehood is automatically damned. The goal of “giving them up” is not necessarily to abandon them. Rather, it is hoped that eventually the consequences lead a person to examine their thinking and repent.
When something good happens a number of explanations could be true. It could be a coincidence. They do happen. Maybe you even made a good decision. Maybe God is leading you. The Universe doesn’t care, because it can’t care. The alignment of the stars has no effect on your fate. Fortune cookies often don’t even have a fortune as much as a saying in them. Ouija boards and Tarot cards are rubbish at best or tapping the demonic at worst.
Know this. God does see you. He wants you to know Him. But He is not a genie to facilitate your luck. He is your Creator, the only source of forgiveness that can correct your relationship to Him, and your judge.