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? (Acts 5:1-3 ESV)
During this time, the church was just starting and the people were selling their properties to pool together money and redistribute it to everyone. The idea was that they would share with each other so there wouldn’t be a poor or needy person amongst them. Everyone agreed to do this except for one couple.
Ananias and Sapphira tried to keep an advantage by holding back some of the proceeds from their property sale. But the Holy Spirit revealed their deception to Peter, and consequently, they both died. They were confronted and the Lord used them as an example to show the seriousness of their sin.
We cannot fool God when we say that we are completely devoted to him and yet hold on to something that he tells us to let go. We must not resist his instruction because there are unforeseen consequences that only he can see. The Lord often tests our faith to see what we would do next with the baggage we are carrying. We will let it go, or will we continue to haul it around on our journey?
Let’s not linger too long in darkness and carry its weight with us. Otherwise, we might get stuck with preventable consequences. I am learning that we have more peace by walking in full obedience. Perhaps this it what the Lord means by living a blameless life? Our time and energy are not wasted on a cover up, and can instead be put to good service under the Lord.