“Peter said to her, ‘How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.’ At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband.”
– Acts 5:9,10
To wrap up our discussion about Ananias, Sapphira, and the early church, I want to point out something that becomes clear when we look at the Book of Acts. From the start, Christians were the victims of all kinds of persecution. The more the Holy Spirit worked through believers, the more the Pharisees and the Roman world tried to shut them down. Although it was unpleasant for His children, God allowed persecution to continue; He would not, however, permit deception to take root, which is why He made an example of Ananias and Sapphira.
You see, the Lord won’t always protect a body of believers from violence, but He will protect them from the deep-rooted power of dishonesty. This is why we, as His followers, should be committed to not partaking in deception of any kind. We should strive to be honest, and when we make mistakes, we should fess up and ask for grace and mercy. Even a seemingly insignificant manipulative or dishonest tactic used to gain power in a church, family, or anywhere else can cause incredible harm to the generations that follow.
Thankfully, the flip side of deception is integrity, and freedom is found in that marvelous virtue! I promise you, friend, that it will be scary, but learning to live openly and honestly has the power to break chains that have bound you. Secrecy is a product of pride that is motivated by fear, but living in transparency, although it may trigger pain in the short-term, ultimately brings liberty. Become a warrior for the Truth and watch as strongholds break in His Name!
Jesus, I pray that your Holy Spirit will work through me to break chains of deception and replace them with the freedom of truth.
What chains have been forged in your life, in your family, or in your church by dishonesty? Will you take a stand for truth?