Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.
Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”
When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.
A heart that is open to God and all he is doing in the world is a trusting heart. What we see in this story from the early days of the church is a man who wanted to be a part of God’s work, but just couldn’t bring himself to fully trust God. How often do we do this? We want to trust God; we want to give everything; we want to fully participate. But something in us causes us to hold back—fear, insecurity, distraction, selfishness, greed—and we miss out on all God wants to do in and through us. Our love is diminished, the image of God within us is squelched, and the invitational life is silenced.
Reflect on a time something you said or did diminished your ability to love a family member, friend, or neighbor well. Examine whether there was a lack of trust in God’s love, provision, or presence underlying whatever you identified. What was it?
What parts of your life are you holding back from God, unwilling to trust his love and grace? What are you afraid of?
Imagine sitting down with Jesus and sharing the part of your life with him that to date you have held back. How do you imagine him responding? What would one step be to going ahead with that conversation and trusting him to respond with love?
God, help me to trust you more. Forgive me for holding back and being afraid to let you reign in every area of my life and corner of my heart. Keep me focused on you and let me remember your faithfulness and trustworthiness. Prevent me from distraction and fear so that your love flows through me. Amen.