Summary: How we view the spiritual reality around us has a lot to do with whether we can see God in action or not.
Our Assumptions Create Our Spiritual Reality
In our Scripture this morning we see an incident where we find this truth: My spiritual worldview, will interpret how I see spiritual things.
My spiritual worldview, will interpret how I see spiritual things.
Today we read about the same spiritual encounter, aman being healed, interpreted in different ways. We look at this encounter and we see different views:Some people saying the gods have come to earth, others saying God has worked through humans, still others – run them out of town, they are imposters.
Is one view better than another view?
Perhaps all the views equal and valid? Perhaps it is all a matter of culture all that matters is the man was healed. Maybe we can see the views on a scale: Primitive …to …..Civilized.
What we see here is an example of how a Spiritual Worldview shapes how we see the world.
Each of us has basic assumptions about spiritual things and how spiritual things work. When we have a spiritual encounter, these assumptions will guide us to our conclusions in the matter. We may not even realize we have these assumptions. Usually they work in our daily lives without us even realizing it
Our Assumptions About Spiritual Things will guide what we see in spiritual matters. If I don’t expect God to miraculously heal someone, when God does heal someone – I am very suspicious about it, not accepting, maybe it was……
When we read the Bible, we see great faith, we see mpossible things happen - God intervening - People being healed. We think wow, why are things so different today? Because they are not. God did many great things, there were many people of great faith, and thousands were murdered for their faith, including most of the Disciples. God acted boldly. God was also waited
What we see in our Scripture today is Paul and Barnabas exhibiting a Biblical worldview. In this biblical worldview there is a powerful faith. There is an expectation of the involvement of God. There is a deep spiritual power in their lives.
Let’s look at the spiritual world views in our Scripture today and see how they shape what we see - spiritually.
Our Expectations Create Our Spiritual Reality
Paul speaks out boldly. Verse 9. “stand up on your feet” He assumes it is possible, why else would he say this? Paul has an expectation that God will work in this man’s life, his expectation is that God will work.
How does Paul know this man will be healed? What are the possibilities? Faith – He’s an apostle. Intuition – just a gut feeling. Guess – take a chance – the lottery. Great expectations – because he has expectations, God honors him. Well, No. Paul is exhibiting spiritual discernment. The Holy Spirit has spoken to him, and Paul knows. Is this unusual for a Christian – no. Is this something that could happen today – yes, of course.
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
God operates the same way he always did, we just may not perceive it.
What I am saying is this: We are missing out on the depth of spiritual things; on the power of the Holy Spirit; on the life God intends for us
because our worldview doesn’t give enough room for God to work in.
Side Note: We are not, not creating God or an impression of God. God is who he is. We don’t make God. People who might say this believe in Progressive Theology. It is a study of how we create our understanding of God. PT would say – we saw God as vengeful. Now we see him as loving - we saw God as thou shall not - Now we see God as more…permissive. Our understanding is progressing…..What PT is really saying…Not only are we creating a worldview of God, we are in fact creating who God is. It has a mythical sense, this whole idea is very cultural. We manage God into our view as culture advances so does our view of God. This is the opposite of a Biblical Understanding of who God is and it is full of baloney.
Biblical – God is who he is. God reveals himself to us, through Scripture
and through Insights from the Holy Spirit. The always will be consistent with each other, they will not ever contradict.
Seminary Class. We were studying destruction in the OT. Very interesting stuff. SOme students would say - obviously this part is not from God – some man added this to the bible. My god would not act this way. My response was - It is quite apparent your god is not the Lord God we find in the Bible. God didn;’t match their cultural worldview, so they denied him, and created their own view of who God should be - but in the end they will find a God who lack any power and a God who is outside of reality.