My eldest brother was a trusting child, believing that his father was the fount of all the knowledge in the natural world. At nine years of age, my brother felt that he had learned just about anything he needed to know by following my father around the house and yard. He knew how to change a bicycle tire. He understood why putty in window panes should stay put in the windows and why the putty shouldn’t be used as an alternative to “Play-doh.” He knew how to set up a tent, how to find kindling, and he was familiar with the basics of camp cuisine. He knew a carburetor from a spark plug and could hand his father a Phillips screwdriver at the blink of an eye. Yes, my brother was of the firm opinion that there wasn’t anything else he needed to know. He knew his father walked a good six miles each way to and from school, uphill both ways. Why, he even knew why thunder made a big boom in the middle of the night. It was just the clouds roughhousing up in the sky, bumping into each other. His father said so and so it was the truth.
Armed with such a wealth of knowledge, my brother entered third grade and met his nemesis. His teacher was sadly deceived in believing she had something to add to his vast wealth of knowledge. My brother humoured her for the first two months of the school year. She wasn’t too bad, even though she didn’t know as much as he did. One day in science class, he discerned a grave error in her lecture and quickly raised his hand. “You’re wrong!” He pontificated. “Dead wrong. Thunder doesn’t happen because of positive and negative ions.” Not bothering to contain his disdain, he continued. “Anyone who knows anything knows the truth.” He went on to inform the class. “It’s just clouds wrestling in the sky, bumping each other.” Beaming with good nature, he paused, waiting for his teacher’s profession of unending gratitude for setting the record straight. Her rejection of his truth took him aback. It was true! He believed it with all his heart, and this woman was trying to tell him different. After a lengthy attempt to persuade her of the truth, my brother found himself in the principal’s office. Only after my sheepish father sided with the teacher did my brother become open to the true science of thunder.
Followers of Christ often hold misconceptions about God’s character and our worth in His kingdom. Some of these delusions are formed by what we have heard from others; others are created through false conclusions we reached through our personal experiences.
Perhaps we were told by a Sunday School teacher that God was examining our every move, keeping a list of all the bad things we did so He could punish us at some later date. Perhaps we were told that God wasn’t interested in listening to kids; He had more important things to do.
Maybe our earthly father took advantage of our innocence and wounded our hearts through abuse and neglect, and we came to the conclusion our Heavenly Father was not to be trusted. Perhaps through illness and tragedy, we formed a belief that God allowed terrible things to happen to us because we were somehow flawed.
Misbelief might be defined as a misinformed conclusion you have made about yourself, your circumstances or the world around you that has not been based through the filter of God’s word, unchanging character and loving nature.
Our loving Creator is well aware of every misbelief we hold. He knows every distorted conclusion we have reached concerning His character, and He is determined, through His love and heart revelation, to bring us into the truth that will lead us into lasting freedom.
When God gently attempts to bring correction to these false beliefs, many of us argue our point with our Creator by placing more weight on our misguided conclusions than on His eternal truth. However, God never gives up!
He knows that when we embrace the truth of His great love for us, and who we are in Him, we will find freedom. When we humble ourselves and acknowledge that His ways are higher than ours; we discover misbeliefs that lay buried in the depths of our hearts.
Take some time this week alone with the Lord and away from distraction. Lay down your right to be right. Give Him permission to search your heart and to bring to the surface lies that you firmly believe that are indeed the truth. Ask the Lord to open your eyes and ears to His truth. Be open when new ways of looking at things come across your path. Resist being resistant to other’s perceptions of God’s character.
Some examples you might want to consider:
If people talk of an intimate relationship with God and even dare to call Him Papa or Father, and you feel that is disrespectful, ask the Lord to show you HIS heart on the subject. Ask yourself this question, “Is there something in my past that would prefer to keep God at a safe distance?” Do a word study, perhaps buy a book on the Father Heart of God.
On the other hand, perhaps you feel distant from God these days. That closeness just isn’t as tangible anymore. Have you made some choices that go against His word? Is there a compromise in your life? Have you made deliberate decisions that are contrary to His heart? Perhaps you struggle with the notion that your loving heavenly Father would not only disapprove of your lifestyle choices but that these choices have placed a barrier between you and intimacy with Him.
For further study on the subject of “misbelief”, I highly recommend the book “Telling Yourself The Truth” by William Backus and Marie Chapian. Bethany House Publications.
All Bible verses, unless otherwise attributed, are from the English Standard Version (ESV).
Until Next Week
©2017 Katherine Walden
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