“Then Peter said, ‘Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.’ When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened.”
– Acts 5:3-5
Why did God strike down Ananias and Sapphira? While we learned yesterday that they were probably not Christians, why did they have to die? To find our answer, it’s important to remember that the Church is the bride of Christ. Which of you, if you husband or wife was in grave danger, would not do everything in your power to protect them? Such was the case with the Lord’s response as He guarded His Church against the influence of these two deceivers. You see, it wasn’t just that they were greedy, these two were full of deception. Their entire purpose was to ensure their own wealth while also earning the reputation of being benevolent and Godly. In fact, when I read the passage, I believe they saw a big pot of money and that the sale of their property was a ploy to gain control over all the wealth and influence of this community. If God had not protected His people from them, they might have covertly and quietly destroyed the amazing work that the Holy Spirit was doing in their midst!
Friend, there’s something about lying and deception that destroys intimacy, eradicates trust, and creates confusion. This is why God must protect His people from falsehood, which is always the work of Satan. If the kingdom of darkness is built on deception, then the Kingdom of Heaven is built on truth, and honesty can and should always be the hallmark of Christ’s people. Above all else, vow to be a seeker and speaker of truth and watch as the Holy Spirit uses your candor to build up and bless those around you!
I pray that you would rid my life of deception, Jesus, and give me the courage to be a person of total truth.
What does the story of Ananias and Sapphira teach you about God’s heart for honesty?