As a full time Christian counselor, I hear lots of perspectives from people on how they view God, His character and motives. What follows is a list of the most common misconceptions people have voiced to me when they come in for counseling. Some of you might read this and view one or more of these as truths and not wrong thinking at all, but that’s what makes this list interesting!
- Sickness and strongholds are “thorns in the flesh”. Paul uses this term in the 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 passage in reference to the Lord telling him that the source of the torment, which is unclear, would not be removed because God’s grace was enough and His power was being manifest in Paul’s weakness. We believe there are so many other scriptures that indicate that this is not a reference to a sickness or emotional affliction. Jesus came to set us free from these, healed all who came to him for healing and is not the one putting them on us!
- God will set them free or heal them when He is ready. The bible took up our infirmities and our diseases to the cross and by his stripes we were healed (1 Peter 2:24). Our healing (and power over demons) was taken care of in the spirit realm so it is up to us to appropriate it and see it manifest in the natural. As John Wimber heard the Lord tell him one time, “Don’t ever beg me for healing again, John. The problem is not on my end.”
- Afflictions are God’s payback for past sin. It saddens me to hear people who believe that God is still mad at them and punishing them in this way. There can be consequences to our sin (broken relationships, incarceration, injury and more) but even at that God promises to bring good out of it (Romans *:28) and still wants to see us healed and delivered!
- They are not doing enough to keep God happy. I think that many Christians have an overbearing “sin consciousness” mentality rather than who they are in Christ. My experience is that people are well aware of their own sin and where they may fall short in pleasing God. We are certainly to turn away from sin and walk in obedience but it is not so God will love and accept us. I contend that most Christians would benefit immensely from a revelation of “righteousness consciousness”. We are now sons and daughters of the King, the righteous of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21) and we are pleasing to Him and well-loved and we need to dwell on that!
- “I’m going to heaven because I believe in Jesus”. I always try to assess people’s spiritual state. Understanding that God alone knows a person’s standing before Him, it amazes me the number of people walking in conscious sin and rebellion who believe their eternal destiny is secure because at one (or more) times they mouthed a prayer ostensibly believing in Christ. Mental assent is not enough; evenSatan and the entire demonic realm believe in Jesus.
What do you think of this list? What are some other misconceptions people have? Are there some items above that you believe are not misconceptions at all?