An Awesome Study of God’s Word!

Act 5:1  “But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, 
Act 5:2  And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 
Act 5:3  But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 
Act 5:4  Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. 
Act 5:5  And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.”

If you are born again, Spirit-filled, the Holy Spirit will reveal God’s Word to you in ways unimaginable. Just recently, in studying Acts 5, the Holy Spirit blessed me with some incredible teaching. No man taught this to me. The Holy Spirit, as promised in the Bible, did the teaching.
I had studied these scriptures a number of times before, and the Lord had already shown me the lesson in not holding anything back from the Lord. God’s Creation belongs to Him, and I have no right to hold back bits and pieces of me or anything He has given me from my Creator. 

But this time around, the Holy Spirit showed me much more about these scriptures. First, I saw that  Peter pointed out to Ananias that Satan had “filled” his heart. The evil came into Ananias’ heart. The same can happen to us. If we do not guard our hearts as the Bible teaches us to do, protecting our minds from what Satan sends our way, then we have an open door for sin. 

Pro 4:23  “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

What comes into our hearts goes out of our mouths and into our lives. Therefore, we MUST guard our hearts. Ananias did not guard his heart. He allowed Satan to fill it up with garbage.

Next, the Lord pointed out to me the word “conceived” in verse 4. Peter said that Ananias conceived what Satan put into his heart. The Lord reminded me of the exact same word in the book of James.

Jas 1:13  Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 
Jas 1:14  But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 
Jas 1:15  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 

In these scriptures, the Lord reveals how sin works. Man is tempted. Man is lured away by his lust.  Then lust conceives! It produces sin. Sin ends in death.

So what about Ananias? First he allowed his heart to be filled with what Satan sent his way. Then he allowed sin to be conceived. Then what? 

He died! Sin does not always lead to physical death, but it always leads to death on some level. Sometimes emotional. Sometimes spiritual. And, yes, ultimately it can lead to physical death. In fact, without faith in Jesus Christ and the gifts of confession and forgiveness, it will lead to death.

To me, one of the most powerful truths in the scriptures about Ananias is also in verse 4. The sin is not against man; the sin is against God. So often, I have felt bad about how I have hurt someone or something through my sin. But true conviction shows me that the sin is actually against my beloved Lord! 

It amazes me how just a bit of time in the Lord’s Word led by the Holy Spirit teaches me so very much. This is not just a Bible lesson; it is a life lesson.

I am journeying through a season of my life in which the Lord has impressed upon me He wants entire access to my mind. I have been undergoing the renewing of my mind through study of His Word for some time now, but I have not been adequately applying the Word to my life. He wants me to learn how to guard my heart, to think right, to speak right, and to live right. 

The first mistake Ananias made was to allow Satan to plant wrong thoughts into his mind. I have done that my whole life! The second mistake Ananias made was to allow those thoughts to conceive sin. I know all about that! Ananias could have repented, but instead he lied. I have also tried to continue in sin that I know to walk free from. Just like Adam in the Garden of Eden, he tried to cover up his sin from God who knows everything. Today, I do know God sees and knows everything about me. Thank God!

When Ananias died, what happened to those around him? They fell into fear. In fact, if you read the rest of Acts 5 you will find that his wife did the very same thing he did.

Do we fall into fear and reverence of the Lord and learn how to guard our hearts, to watch our thoughts and mouths, and to learn to live the way God calls us? Or, do we fall into the fear that our sin will be discovered? 

May we all learn lessons from these scriptures, and from the abundant teaching He has given me to share with my fellow sheep.

Please do not hold back yourselves from the Lord. Please do not hold yourselves back from His Word. Please do not hold yourselves back from the renewing of your minds. 

Please walk by faith with me as I learn to live the way we have been called to live – following Jesus in the ways of the Lord. 
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