Read Colossians 2:18-19
18 Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels,saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud,19 and they are not connected to Christ,the head of the body. For he holds the whole body together with its joints and ligaments,and it grows as God nourishes it. (NLT)
Some Christians seem to have special experiences of God,private revelations given to them. Those who don’t share such experiences may be tempted to dismiss them as fantasy or boasting. This is dangerous. Just because you don’t have such an experience doesn’t invalidate others’ experiences.
And yet there is a danger to such private experiences. Paul warns against those who seem to have an elitist sort of faith which focuses on severe self-denial and angel worship with accompanying visions. This isn’t a blanket condemnation of experience and visions (Paul elsewhere says he has had them too). But he warns against making these the standard by which we judge others. He warns against being puffed up by them as if they make us more spiritual,God’s special favourites.
If we do have special visionary experiences we need to be careful not to boast of them or build our faith on them. Paul points out that our faith is built on the solid rock of Jesus not our private revelations. And we also need to be careful not to impose our experiences on others as if they are the norm. God is to be free to work in different people in different ways.
We dare not dismiss visionary experiences. We dare not demand them either.
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