Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.
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. Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.
Where do we get the idea that we can trick God? God is not, nor has He ever been, fallible. Yet, ever since Eve ate the fruit and Cain murdered Abel, people have been trying (and failing) to trick God…
Trying to trick God consistently costs people their reputations, their careers, their marriages, their relationships and their lives. Why do they keep trying?
Why do I keep trying? Why do I justify impure thoughts with “I’m human so God understands?” Why do I rationalize selfish thoughts and choices with “God knows the pressure I’m under so He’ll understand just this one time?” Why do I trick myself into believing my motives are pure when the Spirit is screaming at me that I am lying?
I know it’s impossible to deceive the Divine, but somehow I haven’t quite figured it out yet. Ananias, I feel your pain because I consistently make your mistake. And God catches me every time.
My prayer is for transparent integrity before the Holy Spirit. And I’m praying that you’re with me.