Acts 13 – Are You Following Counterfeit Ideas Instead of the One True God? with Natali Banuelos (Gateway Central Austin)

In Acts 13 Paul and Barnabas are set aside for what we now call the first missionary journey. The church in Antioch prayed for them and sent them out to tell others about Jesus. More importantly this journey is a testament of what God was doing in the early church through the Holy Spirit. 

In Acts 13:16 Paul meets a man in Cyprus that wants to hear more of the good news of salvation, yet there is a false prophet spreading lies and saying he is the truth. In this dynamic moment and with an almost cinematic showdown, Paul rebukes him and says he is full of deceit and lies. The sorcerer is blinded and one of the political leaders is amazed and believes in Jesus!

This sorcerer was a counterfeit god, what do I mean by that. I mean that he was trying to be the real thing when all along he was a cheap imitation. 

I wonder what in our lives do we  replace with God’s truth and spirit? It probably isn’t a sorcerer, but is it a job we put before God? Is it lies we believe about ourselves? Is it an addiction, relationship? 

God wants to speak into your heart and call out those lies and replace them with the truth and joy of the Holy Spirit much like we see happens in the rest of Acts 13.

Paul and Barnabas go to the next city called Pisidian Antioch. As they often do, they first go to the synagogue where Paul recounts God’s work in and through the history of Israel culminating in the death and resurrection of Jesus as the fulfillment of all that God has been doing for the world so that Jews and Gentiles can find forgiveness and a relationship with God through Jesus.

We can have that kind of vibrant and real relationship! We don’t have to settle for what’s fake and counterfeit.

When reading this passage what stood out to you?

How do you sense God may want you to apply what you discovered?

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