Taking one of the rib bones of man, God created woman and presented her to man as his helper. It does not mean that man is superior to a woman because she was assigned the duties of helping the man. World deems helpers in a lower profile despite deriving help from time to time from higher authorities. God is not lower than believers, yet, He is their helper.
Adam did not rebuke Eve when she offered him the forbidden fruit, and ate it without giving a second thought. Here Sapphira was aware of what her husband was doing, and she did not stop him. God created spouses to encourage each other in building God-fearing families. On the contrary, spouses are helping each other in disobeying the word of God. Women like to see their husbands at par with the heroes of this world and hesitate to see them as a person humbling themselves before God. Michal was embarrassed when she saw her husband, King David, dancing before the Lord.
David said to Michal, “It was before the LORD, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the LORD. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.” And Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.
2 Samuel 6:21-23
What Went Wrong?
Ananias and Sapphira were a loving couple, doing things together, and they wanted to do something for the church as they saw others doing the same. Luke’s narration about the gathering of believers goes like this.
No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people.Acts 5:13
It is very clear from this statement that no one else, other than the ones led by the Spirit of God, dared to join the disciples. Based on this statement, Ananias and Sapphira might have been brought in through the Spirit of God who led the others to join the disciples but the couple who were included in the church by the Spirit of God, were eluded by the devil.
When they were mere learners of the Word of God, devil diverted their attention towards a man called Barnabas (Acts 4:36), who sold his land and laid down the proceeds at the feet of the disciples. This act of Barnabas, a Levi by birth, earned fame and became the talk of the church. Without reasoning the action of the Levi, the couple decided to follow in his footsteps to become famous like him.
In our day-to-day activities with our local church, do we compete with someone? Without understanding their commitment and relationship with God, do we ever force ourselves and our family members to imitate their attitudes? If we continue to do such things, we may face dire consequences like Ananias and Sapphira.
Their decision to give a portion of the money they got out of the land was perfect. The problem cropped up when they lied to Peter that they were giving the entire proceeds to the church. They did not realize that they were lying to God. We hide many things, like pride, anger, hatred, and the favouritism of our hearts, and we speak sugar-quoted words. This behaviour has become our habit, and in due course of time, unknowingly, we start lying to the Holy Spirit, who dwells in us. God looks at our heart and not our outward words and actions.
Sinning Against the Holy Spirit
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?Acts 5:3
The blunder they did was that they lied to the Holy Spirit. Disciples did not ask them to sell and give the money to them. They did this willfully because someone else had done it and came into the limelight. They did not know the reason for their contribution but what they desired, was appreciation for their contribution. The couple did not come to the church together to give the money, but one after the other. As Ananias went early, Sapphira might have expected her husband to be the centre of attraction, and she did not realize the things that were happening at the church. Ananias and Sapphira did not have the time to even respond but immediately fell in front of the congregation. Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events (Acts 5:11).
For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.Luke 8:17
This couple is the perfect example of the above verse as they invited death with their tongues. We would have used our tongues in this way, yet it is His grace that we were spared. God expects us to speak our heart because it is the source of our salvation. God sent His only Son as an atonement for our sins. Jesus came to this world leaving all His glory, lived among the sinners, took their sins on Him, and died on the cross. He went through the valley of death on our behalf and conquered it once for all. The scripture, again and again, asks us to believe this in our heart and speak this through our mouths.
But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,”that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.Romans 10:8-10
A True Submission
We need to bring our beliefs and disbeliefs out from the bottom of our hearts. Keeping them hidden and faking a different persona might fool our fellow believers but there is no fooling God’s Spirit. Jesus tells us that if we believe in His death and resurrection, we will have the assurance of forgiveness, salvation, healing and deliverance. How long are we making ourselves fools by lying to the Holy Spirit that we believe in Him when we do not receive the outcome. The outcome of our faith is joy, peace, healing and deliverance. If we do not have these, then blaming God is our foolishness. Instead, we should reveal to God our disbelieves and ask Him to give us faith. Are we submitting our doubts to God or coming to Him acting as if we do not have any doubts? We have to speak the truth to the truthful God.
During a storm, the disciples revealed their disbelief through their frightened hearts and hasty words and then Jesus calmed down the roaring sea. The disciples who met Jesus on the way to Emmaus told Jesus that they had lost their faith in Him. But Jesus helped them regain their hope and at once they felt the Holy Fire in their hearts. The father of an evil possessed boy asked God to help his disbelief and God answered his prayer.
Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”Mark 9:24
Let us not be like the above couple who laid down their wealth at the feet of the disciples to gain fame but be true to our Lord and come to Him with the intention of serving Him rather than being served.