“For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means “Son of Encouragement”). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus. He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles. 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.” – Acts 4:36-5:2 (NLT)
I don’t mean to start this off by sounding too critical of the movie industry, but it may end up going that way. At the time of this writing, the “Oscars” have been given out to those who allegedly deserve them, and I still can’t help wonder why that statuette resembles the golden idol that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had people bow down to. And the funnier thing is with our current political unrest, some of those folks who received what I will now call their “Nebbie” took to podium and gave those with ears that wanna hear their slant on how we need to run our current president out of office on a rail.
So, I guess the Bible is true when we read… “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear” (2 Tim 4:3). C’est la guerre. But all this award giving out to people who now believe themselves conveyers of a New Age Truth has got me thinking of a time period when a good case of bad recognition had a high cost to it. Maybe you know their story as well. You’ll find it in The Book of Acts…the tale of Ananias and Sapphira.
Two words come to mind when I look at this tragic story, ambition and adulation. I don’t think being ambitious is a bad thing, on the contrary, without a healthy ambition one may decide that it is just easier if someone else pave the way to a better da,y but that second word, adulation, that word can get us into all kinds of trouble and carries with it a deceiving hook.
Now, to have received the kind of praise that Barnabas may have received may have been flattering, but Barnabas was different as we will find out in the rest of the reading of The Book of Acts. He allowed himself to be filled with The Holy Spirit and the rest is history. I would say that his ambition to please Jesus Christ paid off in the good recognition he receives for the missionary work he does with Paul, but Ananias and Sapphira…that doesn’t go so well.
And why was that? Bet you’re saying because they were lying to the Holy Spirit, aren’t you? Well, you would be right, but we should go a little deeper than that. Ananias and Sapphira had an ambition, but it was to be somebody in the church. They had an ambition to have rank, position, and a name. And even though they were both saved, once their ambition bubbled up, Satan came along and deceived them and that deception brought them to physical death. It allowed the easement of dishonesty to slide past their lips and brought them to a quick death. Now let us not be deceived either, just because God isn’t doing the physical deaths that parallel with the kind of ambition that this husband and wife had, doesn’t mean we escape it. On the contrary, if our only ambition in serving the Lord is to gain a rank, position, or name for ourselves, we will suffer a spiritual death that we won’t see coming.
However, “If you see a Christian brother or sister sinning in a way that does not lead to death, you should pray, and God will give that person life. But there is a sin that leads to death, and I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it.” (1 John 5:16)
Secularland loves to pass out the adulation to each other for stuff their ambition drives them to be…in front of each other. In their deception, they think themselves more highly than they should and it leads them to say some things that aren’t in their wheelhouse of expertise. For us who walk in the light, we need to be reminded almost daily that apart from Him you can do no good thing and hopefully it will keep us from getting on podium and saying things that aren’t in our wheelhouse of expertise. Go back and read the story of Ananias and Sapphira then realize that the only motivating force that should drive our ambition should be Jesus Christ and that the only thing you get for your effort in doing so is to be recognized as a child of God. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Daily Quote: “The Holy Spirit used Luke to record the case of Ananias and Sapphira to point out to us that although the church life may be wonderful, we still need to be careful concerning ambition.” — Witness Lee
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
“The light of the righteous rejoices, But the lamp of the wicked will be put out.” – Proverbs 13:9