You Just Can't Lie To God
But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife's knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him. — Acts 5:1-6
So a couple of days back in the devotional, we talked about Barnabas, who brought a gift to God. I would encourage you to go back and check out that devotional. It will give some context to this one. But the contrast here between what Barnabas did in Acts 4 and what Ananias and Sapphira do in Acts 5 is undeniable. Both parties sold a property. Both parties gave the proceeds to the church. But notice the differences. Barnabas brought a total gift. But Ananias and Sapphira brought a partial gift. Barnabas brought a gift to expose sin in his life. But Ananias and Sapphira brought a gift to conceal sin in their life. Barnabas brought a gift to seek approval from God. But Ananias and Sapphira brought a gift to seek approval from people. Barnabas brought a gift to lower himself. But Ananias and Sapphira brought a gift to elevate themselves. Barnabas brought a gift to tell the truth about himself to God. But Ananias and Sapphira brought a gift to tell a lie about themselves to God. The contrast between these two parties is incredible.
And the lesson we learn is this — you cannot lie to God. This was a hard-learned lesson for Ananias and Sapphira. And I think the first church got the message.
Yet every person alive has done what these two did here. We have acted in a way incongruent with our true motivation to put on a show for other people. And it all begins with a tiny lie we tell ourselves. Here is the lie — "No one's gonna know!" I promise you have said this to yourself. Everyone has. It is the first call of deception. And if we choose to believe it, it then becomes self-deception. And once we embrace this self-deception, the Father of Lies — Satan himself — is elated because it results in the act of deception that rejects truth. But the problem is this — even though we have chosen to believe that "no one is gonna know," someone always knows. And that someone who knows is God. Our God knows all things, and he is the Father of Truth who rejects deception.
So today, bring an offering to God. Bring that thing you've been hiding and concealing for years. Leave it at God's feet. He already knows what it is. But he wants to know that you know and that you are ready to stop hiding it from Him. Offer this to God and be free from the bondage of deception and self-deception. Discover freedom in this life before your days are done.
ASK THIS: What offering do you need to bring to God today?
DO THIS: Give God that thing that you've told no other person about. Confess it out loud to God. Literally out loud.
PRAY THIS: God, free me from the slavery of my self-deception. Hear my confession!
PLAY THIS: The Devil Is A Liar — We Are Messengers.
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