No Place for Deceit
"Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common." (Acts 4:32)
"But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?" (Acts 5:3)
When believers are walking in the light together and truly loving one another, there is a wonderful display of God's grace and everyone is blessed. There is nothing more powerful then a community of unity that has a solid foundation of truth and love motivating all their actions. "O how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity...For there the LORD commanded the blessing - life forevermore" (Ps. 133:1,3).
However, there are many things taking place in our world that is not exactly how they appear. Sometimes, the things on the inside do not always match what is happening on the outside. There is falsehood in the hearts of many no matter how good they may appear. Wherever there is deceit, there is a disconnect between the words that are spoken and the work that is being done in true reality within someone's heart.
The Lord sees all things and sees all things as they really are. We read in Hebrews 4:13, that "there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."
The Lord takes deceit very seriously, especially when it comes to the unity of the Spirit among God's people and that which would oppose His glory. So when Ananias and his wife Sapphira pretended to give all the profit of the land that they sold to the Apostles, God struck them both down dead individually one at a time.
Peter received a word of knowledge from the Lord that this was false worship, since what was spiritually being portrayed by Ananias and his wife was not fully honest but an act of deceit. It is interesting that God used Peter to expose the sin of this couple, since he himself had once received forgiveness and was restored by the Lord after being deceitful in denying the Lord three times on the night before the crucifixion.
When Adam and Eve had sinned against God in the Garden, they tried to hide their sin from God by covering themselves with fig leaves...but God saw right through them but was willing to cover their sin with a sacrificial offering.
God later spoke through Moses and said, "be sure your sin will find you out" (Num 32:23). This was the case shortly after the battle of Jericho when the children of Israel had already entered into the Promise Land, they lost their next battle due to the sin that was discovered in the camp. Their defeat was the result of one man, Achan, who stole from the spoil after God had told them not to and this judgment required him to be put to death, just like Ananias and Sapphira.
These acts of defiance and deception are reminders to us of how holy and pure our God truly is! Let us not confuse God's grace with God's acceptance of sin. Every deceitful way is always seen and known by God even though the Lord may not be striking down every person who lies on the earth today. Let us be clear of this: "God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows that He will also reap..." (Gal. 6:7).
The Lord is still willing to restore those who are truly desiring to follow Him and walk in His ways but we must not allow any deceit to grow in our lives. The Lord desires "truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part [He] will make me to know wisdom" (Psalm 51:6). God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5).
May we learn today that the life of His Church must always be lived out in honest truth and sincere love since God will judge every hidden thing that remains in darkness and has not been brought to the light.
"ACTS IN ACTION" CHALLENGE POINT:
Don’t pretend to be more spiritual than you are.
Close the door of any place of deceit in your life.
Purge your heart and home from all lying deception.