Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit?” — Acts 5:3
In this verse, this man named Ananias has done something wrong and is being called out for it. He has lied to God and at some point had allowed Satan to “fill his heart.” What do you think he lied about? What vile thing does a Satan filled heart do?
If I didn’t know the context of this verse, I would probably say, “Ananias must have killed someone and is lying about it!” Or maybe, “Ananias must be cheating on his wife and is trying to cover it all up!” I would say it must have been something awful. God absolutely laid the smack down on Abel for answering God’s question of “Where is thy brother Abel?” with “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Surely Ananias must have done something similar.
Ananias sold a piece of property so he could give to the church. In Acts 2:45 it says that the true believers in Christ “sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.” The problem is that Ananias told the Apostles that he was giving it all, but the truth was that he was only giving part. He said, “I’m giving all,” but he was really only giving some.
I evaluate my life at 3:48 a.m. this morning. I have claimed to be a follower of Jesus Christ for the past 24 years. I deserve nothing less than the instant death that Ananias received. I have done the same thing. I have sung the song “I surrender all,” knowing I have only surrendered some. During every decade of my life, I can think of things that I held on to that I would not give to God.
Even now, I am convicted about my speech. “Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building up the one in need and bringing grace to those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29) The truth is, I have been allowing some things to flow out of my mouth that ought not be spoken over these past few months. I have been talking in ways that don’t bring grace or build up others. Sometimes it might be in a joking matter, other times it might just be me taking an underhanded shot at other people in ministry. Honestly, up until now I guess I haven’t thought it was that big of a deal. But, the more I think about it, I’m sure Ananias honestly thought what he did was no big deal. I wonder if I could be allowing Satan to fill my own heart.
I guess the Lord lets me live to fight another day because I am at least honest in my assessment of following Him. I really believe if God had asked me “Where is thy brother, Abel?” I would have said, “I killed him! I’m sorry.” I think if I had been Ananias, I would have said, “Hey, I sold some property, here is 30% of the money to give to those in need. Pray for me that I might become like those other guys who can give it all.” I do recognize how poor in spirit I truly am. I also recognize just how much I have fallen in love with God. I want to have as much of Him as I can stand. Even right now as I type this, He is all over me. My heart is so full.
Thank you, Lord for saving me. Thank you, Lord that it isn’t my goodness you are attracted to. Grant me a heart that truly desires to live for you, and you alone. Grant me a heart that will always be honest when evaluating where I am with you. Help me to speak as only you would speak. Help me to be Holy, as you are Holy.