The Trail of Temptation
“. . . why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit . . . ?” Acts 5:3
Greed verses generosity. That’s the battle every believer finds themselves facing. It’s persistent, unrelenting, and always upon us. We see it here in the story of Ananias and Sapphira. They were both willing and generous people, but they acted on mixed motives of generosity and greed.
Ananias at first had good intentions to hand the whole sum of money over to the apostles, but once the money was in his hand, he was tempted to hold back a portion of it for him and his wife. They brought a certain amount, but gave it as if it were the whole amount. They had not lied with their lives, worse, they had acted a lie. Herein lies the battle.
We are in a spiritual conflict between two worlds of invisible influences. The heart of a believer is like a city located on the borderland between two kingdoms at war. It is in constant danger of being captured by whichever proves to be strongest in the Christian’s life. But, we are not victims.
Every believer has the power to choose which kingdom will dominate the loyalty of their heart. We are each personally accountable for which master we serve. Resistance of greed and stinginess is still possible. We don’t have to give in to the enemy’s lies, but we do. The temptation takes over subtly and gradually.
Sin in any area of our life works in a successive pattern. If we are unaware, we will be led from one degree to another into defeat. Notice how Ananias’ defeat began as a “thought,” then he “talked” with his wife about it. Then they “carried” it out. The trail of temptation is always “thought,” “speech,” “action.”
The lesson here is we must not give place to the lies of the enemy, or listen to the tempter’s whispers. Think of the times you’ve fallen. It all began with a thought. It became a plan, then followed by a careless action. The outcome depends on the first step of resisting the thought.
Where do you need to resist the lies of the enemy?