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What does it mean to have a 'misguided faith'? Hebrews 11 has always been considered the "faith" chapter. In Hebrews 11:1 we learn that "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." But that is not how the world defines faith. We hear all sorts of ways the word "faith" is bandied around. Many will say that they have faith that the bridge they cross each day won't fall or that a sinkhole won't open to swallow their house. Even to have what some call "blind" faith which in my opinion is an oxymoron. My dictionary gives this meaning to "blind faith": belief without true understanding, perception or discrimination (discernment). But according to Hebrews 11:1, faith is not some ethereal concept, it has "substance" as an "evidence" of things not seen. Many people consider Abraham's actions (Gen. 22:1-19 & Hebrews 11:8-10 & 17) to be blind faith. But that is not true. Read vs.18 and you will find that Abraham obviously reasoned that since GOD had promised "in Isaac your seed shall" that He would be able to raise Isaac up from the dead. Faith that is based on GOD's Word, on His promises, is not blind, nor is it "misguided." I suspect that a faith that is "misguided" isn't faith at all, but a confidence in the systems of the world, the ideologies of a broken civilization or convictions that have been embraced out of spiritual pride & resistance to His Word. It is certainly misguided to put what one might think to be "faith" in money, in houses and land, even in gold, all of which are the things the world strives to have. Jesus said, "do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth," "but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven," "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matt. 6:19-21) Just as important, we read in Hebrews 11:6 that without faith it is impossible to please GOD. While the world struggles with their "misguided" and "blind" faith, believers in Christ Jesus must turn to His Word for faith, as it says in Romans 10:17, "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of GOD." Faith comes only from His Word, not best seller books and most certainly not movies about biblical figures. Only His Word, when incorporated into the life of a Christian produces faith. Interestingly, at least 16 times in the N.T. we can read that those have "ears" should "hear." Most everyone I know has a pair of ears, but some of those same people refuse to hear. They may even sit in Bible believing and preaching churches every Sunday, but like the young man who sat next to me this past Sunday, who spent nearly all of his time reading and responding to text's on his iPhone. His focus was not on the Word of GOD. His faith storehouse is likely empty. When, as the teacher of the women's group on Sunday mornings, I always opened with a prayer that included these words: LORD GOD of all things seen and unseen, we humbly ask for Your Holy Spirit to open our ears to Your Word this morning. As Your Word promises in John 14:26, we ask that our Helper, Your Holy Spirit will teach us all things and bring to our remembrance all things that You have said. And to this day, I pray that for myself and all believers in Christ Jesus. When we seek His knowledge and understanding, when we allow Him to open our ears to receive His Truth and store it up in our faith "storehouse," we are not misguided. No matter what the world may say!
I will assume that "faith" here refers to religious faith. In this case, the misguided person is led to believe falsely that he was obeying God and is a member of the body of Christ when in fact he had joined a cult or church organization that does not glorify Christ and does not the teach the truths of the Bible. There are millions of people today who are trapped in cultic movements but who mistakenly believe that they are on the right spiritual path. These people need to be rescued from such cults but this is no easy task (Jude 1:17-24). They need the grace of God to open their inner eyes to the spiritual truths of God's word so that they can walk away from such movements. Some of the powerful cults today control millions of followers who are truly misguided and lost in false teaching. Jesus declares in Matthew 18:6 "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea." He also lamented in Matthew 23:15 "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves." God will judge very harshly any teacher who misleads innocent people into cultic movements or who knowingly misleads their congregation to believe what is not taught in the Bible. So how do we avoid a situation of mistaken or misguided faith? The quickest test to identifying a cult is to examine its doctrines or set of beliefs against what is taught in the Bible and to observe the moral conduct of its leaders. The first place to start is the articles of faith, if any. However, the most powerful tool of defense against cultic intrusions is to stay close to God's word and to discover the tools of discernment of truth (1 John 4:1-7). Scripture is the only cannon or standard for our faith and practice and is the only source of instruction in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 teaches that "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." Any other religious literature or "prophetic" teachings must be carefully examined and must stand or fall under the scale of scripture. Psalm 119:105 declares "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." There are no two ways about this; it is either that God's word rules our lives or we are misguided.
In my opinion, faith is trusting in God and knowing that His Word is true. If we believe something to be true, whether it is or not, it is misguided faith. If we believe that reading our astrology, or going to fortune tellers to tell us our future is going to make our lives better, that is misguided faith. God is our only source and the only One who can meet our needs.
What is a misguided faith? Faith as said in Heb 11:1-5, "is a substance of things hoped for and also the evidence of things not seen". If we can briefly flash back on what God told us;"Call to me and I'll answer you, and will tell you about great and hidden things that... Jer 33:1-13". It is only a guided faith i.e a sounding faith will hold on to even remember to call upon God or wait for His response. Faith is a precious material or substance that must be guided and also an evidence that we must not take lightly with our ignorance or indulgence. To God be the Glory. Amen.
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