Read Acts 5:1-11
As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the floor and died. Everyone who heard about it was terrified. (Acts 5:5 NLT)
This morning I was looking for something different. It has been a heavy couple of weeks and I was hoping that my morning reading would just be something light and encouraging… but it wasn’t. Instead it was this strange story from Acts 5 where Ananias and Sapphira died because they conspired against the Holy Spirit. They presented themselves as ones who had freely handed everything over to God when in truth they hadn’t… and it cost them their lives.
As I said, the last few weeks have been heavy. There are so many exciting things on the horizon, but there have been some significant hurdles in the path. We are moving to a new city and I am starting a job that I am more than excited about… but we have to sell a house and break the news to friends. Compound that with the tragic stories that have dominated the news and dominated our hearts over the past few days. My heart has been weary for sure.
So, this morning my daily scripture reading plan would certainly have some timely words of encouragement to get me started in the right direction this morning, right?! No, it is a story of two people falling dead for lying to and conspiring against the Holy Spirit. They sold some land and chose to hoard the profits for themselves. Then they lied to Peter and others about it and the Spirit struck them dead. Good morning!
I won’t pretend to fully understand this story, and yes I was hoping for something different this morning. That being said, I think this was exactly the text I needed to read this morning. They hoarded what they had… they held it back from the Spirit and they died. I have been hoarding all that has been weighing on me over the past few weeks, trying to carry the load myself. I’ve been keeping it to myself and not entrusting it to the Spirit… and I haven’t felt very alive. No, don’t wrap me up in a sheet and carry me out to be buried. I’m not dead yet, but I certainly haven’t been living either.
Jesus, all that has happened and all that needs to happen is beyond my control. I have been hoarding these things… trying to carry this weight that I was never intended to carry. Today I offer these things and everything else to you. I need you to do the heavy lifting because I cannot. Do not wrap me up in a sheet and bury me. Today I want to live.