Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Slain In The Spirit

"And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last" (Acts 5:5)

Ananias and his wife were Slain In the Spirit.

No..really, they were.

However, this "Pentecostal" phenomena probably won't gain much popularity among our many of our chaos-matic brothers and sisters today. There was no barking, laughing, gyrating, or rolling. Just falling to the ground...dead.

Ananias and Sapphira were dispatched by the Spirit for pretending to give all the money they pledged to the apostles from the sale of their property. They allowed for others to think they did more than they had done; that they were more righteous than they were; that they "sold it all" for Jesus. Ironically, they go down in church history as hypocrites and spiritual spend-thrifts. In the attempt to fool men, they foolishly sin against God, and are forever remembered as fools.

I can't help but to see myself in these two. I can't help but to think of my tendency to make people think that I follow Jesus with more intensity than I do; to allow them to suspect that my depravity does not run deep in my most noble actions; to allow folks to think that my deeds are not propped up by the pure righteousness of God in Christ; to fool men and women into thinking that I am sold out, have "sold it all," have given it all to and for the glory of God, when I have "kept back" plenty. So much of my religion is a sham needing to be Slain In/By the Spirit.
Spirit, would you slay those parts of my heart that refuse to believe what the gospel says about my righteousness and yours? Would you slay the desire to be pleasing to others at the price of pleasing you?
Ananias and his wife should have slew their own pride and simply given the little they wanted to give. Yet, they attempted to garner respect and admiration from their peers at the price of grieving the Holy Spirit.

Sad...and common.

With the last bit of dirt placed over their bodies, and with the news God's startling chastisement spreading, the fear of the Lord waxed and the fame of this couple waned.

Slain In the Spirit.