Meta. We sometimes find within ourselves states of consciousness that have been inherited from the human side of parentage; for example, the belief in inefficiency. This belief symbolizes the man who is "impotent in his feet, a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked." The inefficiency is described as in the "feet," the feet being typical of the understanding. The region in which the disciples are represented as preaching is the wild, uncultured Lycaonia, which means wolfland. The people were nature worshipers, passionate and emotional. When Paul healed the lame man by gazing at him steadily and telling him to stand upright on his feet, the people at once cried out that the gods had come down to earth in the form of men. Barnabas they called Jupiter, and Paul they called Mercury. They proceeded to prepare a sacrifice of oxen in honor of these two men.
In the subconscious region of our own nature we find these inherited conditions holding in abeyance some natural function; these, when released by the word of Truth, liberate waves of emotion, which are not always wise or stable. The emotions are not to be depended on. They pour out a flood of praise and adoration one moment, and a whirlwind of censure the next. When they are not trained and established in divine understanding they are moved by every passing thought. The Lycaonians wanted to offer sacrifices to Paul and Barnabas as gods from heaven, but when the jealous Jews made charges against Paul and Barnabas the Lycaonians turned right about; they stoned Paul into insensibility and dragged his body out of the city.
The lesson is: Watch your emotional nature. Do not esteem as miraculous, nor as of the gods, the great uplifts that come to you in moments of spiritual illumination. You are simply developing the inherent powers of your own being. Cultivate stability and poise of soul. Do not be blown about by every wind of doctrine, but quietly and dispassionately weigh in the balance of your own higher understanding every wave of thought that sweeps through your soul. Do not attribute the powers of your own spirit to some outside Godlike source. "Why do ye these things ? We also are men of like passions with you, and bring you good tidings, that ye should turn from these vain things unto a living God."
The "multitude . . . saying in the speech of Lycaonia" means that all the undisciplined, unredeemed, and unconverted thoughts of the consciousness believed that something had been accomplished outside of natural law, and desired to make gods of the personalities through which the work was done. When this thought presents itself, one should declare the Truth of Being. Give all credit to the divine life and intelligence manifest in heaven and earth through the divine-natural law.