Those of us who wrestle with Faith wrestle with a fear of our inability to commit. Knowing and integrating principles are two very different things. The fear of losing what we consider precious to us alone breeds our inability to commit. Commitment is permanent. It binds an agreement made long after the spirit of which it was made is gone. “What happens if God is wrong and maybe I might not like what He thinks is good for me?” Being Uncommitted is safer. The repercussion of broken promises can be avoided.
Commitment can also be confused by irresponsible pledges and it might not be as clear as people make it out to be. Take Jephthah, an illegitimate son of Gilead in the book of Judges who is driven out of his birthplace by his half-brothers because of this fact. He becomes a leader in a town named Tob is chosen to lead a fight against the Ammonites and wins because of a vow he made with God (See vow here-> “whatever comes out from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites shall be the Lord’s and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.”)
When he returned home the first to greet him was his only child, 👀, a daughter! Even though in those times daughters didn't hold much value, she was extremely valuable to him because he lost children before her. The weight of his irresponsible pledge must have been recognized instantly upon his return home. "I have opened my mouth unto the Lord, and I cannot go back" were the first words that came from his mouth after he tore his clothes in despair.
His wanting to prove to his brothers he possessed value beyond what they deemed worthless drove him to move from a place of feeding others expectations. He carried out his commitment to sacrifice his daughter as a burnt offering. God knew Jephthah had integrity and would carry out his commitment regardless of it being misguided or not. For me, God was harsh. Yet, what happens when we are so focused on the pain in our lives and overlook how far we progressed?
Jephthah was driven out yet, became a leader. He lost many children but was still able to have one. Focusing on avenging his wrongs made him lose sight of what was going right. His lack of faith allowed him to overlook a loved one would greet him upon his return. God responds to our prayers. Being misguided doesn't stop God from moving in our lives. On the contrary, our wayward disposition may be the very thing He uses to emphasize the strength of having faith for if you can win a battle with misguided belief what happens when you’re clear & concise.