In Acts 5, we are given the account of Ananias and Sapphira, a husband and wife who came to Peter with a part of the money they had made selling a piece of property, claiming to be giving all of the selling price. For their lie, they were both struck down dead. Not for keeping part of the money, but for lying about giving all they had to God. While some folks like to use this as a motivation to keep one's tithes in line, I see a big spiritual parallel.
How often do we feel spiritually struck dead? Our prayers seem to go unanswered, our study is unmotivated and uninspiring, and worship feels empty? If we are honest with ourselves and God, aren't these typically the times when we are not being honest about how much of ourselves we are handing over to God? Aren't these those times in life when our prayer time keeps getting pushed off, or is spent with less than 100% focus, our minds wandering to the day's events and needs, when fellowship with man and God is put off for other activities, maybe good, Christian activities, but other activities nevertheless?
God wants all of us, and he wants us to be honest with ourselves and Him when we fall short of that goal. Honesty paves the way for correction. Why is Alcoholics Anonymous effective? One of the reasons is that honesty of introducing oneself as an addict, facing that issue, and dealing with it. When we are lying about giving all to God, we can't be effective because we aren't facing our issues, whether those issues are poverty or prosperity, failure or success. What is it that we are holding back? The most common issue today is simply time and focus, I think. We multitask so hard that just stopping to focus on one thing for a significant amount of time has become difficult. The distractions that surround us fill our minds and our hands and we find ourselves squeezing God into our lives instead of making Him the foundation. The result is a whole lot of struck down believers.
The irony of posting this a day late does not escape me, and I'd like to say that it's on purpose, but sadly I can only say that the topic only inspired me to make sure that it did get done, instead of motivating me to get it typed up on time. So I'll just leave you with the request to step back from life for a minute, and put the question to yourself, as I will be trying to do, am I really laying all I have down in front of God, or am I holding back and being struck down for it?