But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 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? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God. Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him. Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter answered her, Tell me whether you sold the land for so much? She said, Yes, for so much. Then Peter said to her, How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out. Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband. So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things. - Acts 5:1-11
Ananias and Sapphira had big trouble. First, they didn't give God the full amount that they had received from selling their land. But on top of that, they lied about it and said that they had. We see how harshly God dealt with their disobedience and dishonesty.
But as I read their story, I have to ask myself one question: Am I giving God 100%? Did I give God my full effort yesterday? Am I offering Him 100% of my talents today? Am I spending all of my time in His service to glorify His name? Do I give money when God instructs me to?
Sadly, I have to answer "no" to many of those questions. If I didn't, I would be no better than Ananias and Sapphira--disobeying and then lying about it. To be honest, I struggle with giving God my all. Some days I just feel too tired to put forth the effort while other days I'm too focused on my own wants and needs to heed what God wants. Thankfully, God has been more patient with me than He was with Ananias and Sapphira.
What about you? Are you giving God 100%? Can God count on you no matter what? Are you doing everything you can to please God and bring glory to His name?
If you, too, are honest, I think you'll agree with me that we can do much better. How about we start today with the following prayer:
Dear Lord, In this busy life, it's so easy to get sidetracked by our own demands and desires. The flesh truly is weak, and so often we fall victim to its desperate pleas for rest or distraction. But, Lord, You deserve so much more than my half-hearted effort. Please help me today to focus my thoughts on You so that everything I do will be for Your honor and glory. Please give me the strength, motivation and discipline to accomplish the things You've called me to do. And above all, help me to be in tune with You so that I will know Your desire for my life. I long to serve You today. I want to give You my all and hold nothing back, but I know I can't do it alone. Help me, Lord. Amen