God is serious about not sweeping our sins under the rug.
Friday, August 6, 2021
By Bailey Steffen, Journey Kids Programming Coordinator
“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 from 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 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
In this passage, Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, lied to the church about how much they gave in their offering. As a result of this great sin against God and the church, both were struck dead. I find it interesting that Peter says that Ananias was ‘filled’ with Satan, and that he ‘lied to the Holy Spirit.’ Normally we think of the Holy Spirit filling us, but it’s almost like Ananias in this instance had so blinded himself to how severe his sin was that he gave Satan an open door to his inner self. As a result, he blocked out the Holy Spirit’s voice and convinced himself he could get away with his crimes, attempting to doop God in the process! This passage shows me just how serious God is about not sweeping our sins under the rug.
I can think of many times I’ve lied to myself, the church, and even God in an attempt to appear more righteous than I am in reality. God is so merciful to not strike me dead like he did Ananias and Sapphira! Reading this passage has made me see that I need to be more honest in the way I interact with the church and in prayer. God honors an honest heart, and when I bring my sins into the light there is no longer any place for darkness to sneak in.
“Lord, help me to be more honest with you and your people. Holy Spirit, protect me from the Devil sneaking into my life in ways I might not see. Please bring brothers and sisters into my life who I can confess even the darkest sins to, and help me to contribute to your vision of an authentic church. I’m sorry for the times I’ve lied to you – even the times I don’t know about. I thank you for your mercy toward me, for accepting me warts and all by the power of Jesus. Amen.”
Now You Try
Read Acts 5:17-42
Get to a place where you can focus and read the daily Scripture passage several times. Take time to read and allow God to speak to you. Write down the one or two verses that stick out. Even consider rewriting the verse(s) in your own words.
Make a basic observation about the scripture you just read. What stood out? Was something repeated? What is the author trying to communicate? What does the Scripture passage teach you about God? What does it teach you about humanity?
Ask, “What does this verse(s) mean for my life?” How might this verse affect your heart — how you feel? How does this verse challenge your thinking? How does it affect your will, asking, “What changes do I need to make in my life as a result of this passage of Scripture?”
Write out a prayer to God. Scripture is God speaking to you, take this moment to speak back. Take a moment to say, “Thank you,” confess to Him what needs to change, or ask for something that is on your heart.