Then Peter said, “Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself. The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us but to God!” Acts 5:3-4 (NLT)
I can’t figure out why Ananias and Sapphira decided to lie about their contribution to the church coffers. It was a time of great joy, sharing and love among the new believers. Did they feel like they didn’t belong? Did they think that by contributing money to the joint effort of the community, it would please God and the other apostles? Did they really think that no one would know? And it was planned, not an accident of accounting.
Peter was direct. God was swift. The offending parties met judgment. Fear seized the whole church.
God doesn’t like half-hearted attempts to please Him. I like the verse that says He doesn’t like things lukewarm and I don’t either. I want my coffee hot and my water with ice.
If you choose to serve God, offer Him your very best. He wants our gifts because we love him, not for what we can get. And withholding something for yourself only makes Him angry, i.e. Ananias and Sapphira, because He knows all.
We live in a world of the wishy-washy. You can believe anything you want to and so can I. Just don’t tell me I’m wrong. Supreme Court decisions are made on the stuff of this tenant.
But God is not double-minded, wishy-washy, lukewarm, or half-hearted. And neither should we be.
The reason for the very poor decision by Ananias and Sapphira? Satan. He is always behind poor choices. But He that is in us is greater. The Holy Spirt is just a whisper away. Lean on Him. Listen with your heart to the One who will give you the truth.