“But Peter said, ‘Annanias, 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 5:4 (ESV)
A lot of countries claim that they are democratic societies. But upon closer inspection some prove themsleves to be anything but. While the governments of these countries might point out that they have the word “democratic” in the country’s name, have a constitution that guarantees the rights and freedoms of the people, and that they even hold elections, the experiences of the popuation under them show that these are all meaningless. The constitution is thrown out the window at the government’s convenience, the elections are tampered with to solidify the government’s hold, and the “democratic” tag is void of any truth. No matter what the rhetoric or propaganda of oppressive governments may claim, they cannot hide the truth from the rest of the world for it will alaways emerge to the surface and expose their deeds.
Annanias thought that he could convince the world of his piety by selling his land claiming to have given it all to God while keeping some of the proceeds for himself. Yet his intentions could not be hidden from God, nor from Peter who knew that something was amiss. Indeed, Peter knew immediately the moment Annanias laid the money at the apostle’s feet. It was the Holy Spirit who revealed to him Annanias’true intentions. Annanias paid the consequences of his deception with his life and he became an example to all showing that no subterfuge can escape the eyes of God. We are truly fools if we think we are capable of bending the truth and getting away with it. Though it may seem convinient at the time, we will reap the consequences of our lies and they will shame us as the truth is brought to light for God is a God of truth. Is it not better then to be honest in the first place? When we have allowed Christ to enter our lives and have submitted ourselves to the work of His Spirit, He will train us to uphold the truth in both our speech and intentions. He will give us the strength to tell the truth even when it is painful so that the consequences of dishonesty will not enslave us to an enduring misery, allowing us to live in the freedom that comes from living in integrity by the power of God.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.