Acts 17:6 When they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city officials, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here too.”
How important for the Christian to awake every morning with right revelation of the world, all of its ways strangely inverted to the truth of God.
Here’s a fact few know. Because of the concave shape of a person’s lens, the light from every image is directed toward the bottom of the retina and the bottom of the image is directed toward the top of the retina. The light actually crosses, inverting the image on the retina. Yep. Everything you see is captured by the retina upside down.
So why do you see things right side up? Because the brain actually inverts your perception so the physical world makes sense. Special inversion glasses can actually invert the image before it reaches the lens, so the lens then re-inverts it projecting it on the retina right side up. Ahh! As it should be, yes? Strangely though, people then see everything upside down! For about three days that is. Then the brain does its handiwork and flips your inverted world right side up again so it makes sense to you. If you’re wondering what happens when the person takes those inversion glasses off days later, you probably guessed it. Everything flips upside down. Dizzy yet?
Here’s the point. If you look at something upside down long enough, it’ll begin to appear right side up. What are you focused on? What pictures does the world cast that are beginning to appear normal or right in your sight? Sexual sin is cast in a normal light by Hollywood. Faithlessness and dishonesty are normalized by many people with power or fame. Political leaders buy into and convince others that redistribution of someone’s wealth to someone less wealthy is just. Pro-choice advocates propagate that life begins at birth. The intellectual elite casts evolutionary theory as fact. Anyone who looks long enough at what the world has to offer is at risk of viewing right side up what God regards upside down.
This is exactly what had happened to the Pharisees in this passage and those who saw things their way. They had taken their eyes off of God and through a haughty, worldly scope had come to view life without the Messiah, without redemption, without salvation as right side up. They had looked at it through their own lenses for so long that upside down appeared as a corrected image. So, when Paul and the others were preaching the truth, a world as it should be, they were accused of “turning the world upside down.”
Are you one of the accused? Or are you living upside down with the rest of the upside down world? Romans 12:2 warns us, “Be not conformed to this world but transformed by the renewing of your mind.” In 2 Corinthians 4:18, Paul writes “Look not at the temporal but the eternal.” James 4:4 reminds us that friendship with the world is to be at enmity with God. God paints quite the picture of contrast between heaven and earth.
What worldliness has become normalized to our senses because we’ve gazed on it for so long? Is our attention on a deviating and drifting culture such that its godless images have begun to appear right side up to us? How important for the Christian to awake every morning with right revelation of the world, all of its ways strangely inverted to the truth of God and to realize every day is a mission in partnership with the One who made it all to turn as many poor souls right side up as possible.
Radical salvation through faith and right revelation through biblical truth – It’s like taking those crazy glasses off. Everything worldly flips upside down… just as it really is.