My eldest brother was a trusting child, believing our 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 our father around the house and yard. He knew how to change a bicycle tire. He knew how to set up a tent, and 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 our father a Phillips screwdriver in 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 it so and so it was the truth. Unfortunately, all did not go well for my brother when he challenged his teacher as she explained what actually caused thunder! It was a painful lesson.
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 conclusions we reached through personal experiences.
Perhaps a Sunday School teacher told us 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 an adult hushed us up when we asked an innocent theological question to which they didn’t have an answer. We might have walked away with the perception that God wasn’t interested in listening to kids; He had more important things to do.
Maybe earthly fathers 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.
Can you believe something is true about God even though it goes against His Word? Yes! Our heart’s perceptions can block us from receiving His truth – and His love.
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 on 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. 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!
Our Heavenly Father 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.
Give God permission to search your heart and to bring to the surface any lies that you firmly believe are true based on your past experiences. Ask the Lord to open your eyes and ears to His truth.
If people talk of an intimate relationship with God, and you find such talk to be 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?”
Perhaps you feel distant from God these days. That closeness isn’t as tangible as it once was. Have you made some choices that go against His Word? Is there compromise in your life? Have you made decisions that are contrary to His heart? Perhaps you struggle with the notion that your loving heavenly Father has placed a barrier between you and Him. Nothing could be more contrary to His truth. God is always reaching out and ready to embrace us when we turn back to 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.
Until Next Week
©2023 Katherine Walden
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