“But there was a certain man named Ananias who, with his wife, Sapphira, sold some property. He brought part of the money to the apostles, claiming it was the full amount. With his wife’s consent, he kept the rest. Then Peter said, “Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself. The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us but to God!” As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the floor and died. Everyone who heard about it was terrified.”
Acts of the Apostles 5:1-5 NLT

The devil is always trying to figure out how he can get in to stop a move of God. God can bless a community with a powerful move and then all of a sudden it could experience inertia because something has come against it or someone lied!

In the early church God was moving miraculously. People were being healed the poor were being provided for so much so that the writer of Acts said, “There were no needy people in the community.” Everyone sold property and brought the money and laid it at the Apostle’s feet.

Then we read about this husband and wife who let the devil in this move of God.

Here’s how they let the devil in.

They sold a piece of property but instead of giving all of the proceeds to the apostles, like everybody else, for ministry they kept some for themselves pretending like they were all in.

  1. They had premeditated disobedience. They knew everybody else in the community was making a generous sacrifice but they agreed to hold back. Every week we are supposed to make up in our mind what we are going to give God so that when we get to church we will not have to give grudgingly or reluctantly because God loves a cheerful giver. People make up their minds way before they get to church. But when we are disobedient to what the Holy Spirit is telling us to give we let the devil in.
  2. The Bible says that the husband came up with the idea and the wife consented. You let the devil in when you agree with somebody to hold back on what belongs to God. “We are not going to do all that! They asking too much!” The moment we come into agreement with people who hold back we let the devil come in.
  3. They gave their gift like they gave it all. They lied to Peter not realizing they were lying to God. When we think we are pulling one over on our spiritual leaders we are really disrespecting God, not the leader. Peter asked Ananias, “Why did you let Satan fill your heart? You didn’t lie to us; You lied to God and now you’re about to die!”
  4. Lying to God can lead to an unnecessary death. Even his wife had a chance to tell the truth about what they gave, but she held to her lie and she died too! What is it that you’ve been holding back from God pretending you were all in? It might be money. What amount did God tell you to give and you held back? It might be your time. Did you really spend enough time on the work you did for God or did you just do enough to say you did something? What about your talent? Is this your best work? Or have you mastered your gift so well that it looks like you gave your all but you are only scratching the surface of your potential? 

Why should God keep people in place who are holding back on what’s needed for the movement of his kingdom agenda? All these people are sacrificing around you and you’re holding back. Have you given your all or have you lied to the Holy Spirit and let the devil come in? You still have time to make it right.

Dear God,

There is more that I could do for you. The favor you have over my life is incredible. Make me so sensitive to the Holy Spirit so that I will not hold back what you want me to release to help other people. I know that when I give the best of what I have that you will do the rest. Bless the movement that you have breathed life into. Don’t let me do anything to stop it. I’m not holding back anything. Whatever you say to release I will release so that this movement can live and not die!

I’m not going back, I’m moving ahead
Here to declare to You my past is over in You
All things are made new, surrendered my life to Christ
I’m moving, moving forward!

In Jesus’ Name!