14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
20 Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”
24 Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.”
25 After they had further proclaimed the word of the Lord and testified about Jesus, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.
The heart or mindset behind verse 18-19 is what we have seen happen in the church across America. Man sees the miraculous things the Spirit can do and then desires to have the ability/partnership. It may be out of a pure heart, it may be out of ill motive. Regardless, we try to apply human wisdom on how to attain it. Here we see Simon refer to money… logically so since that is the MAIN thing we use to trade for services/items. However, it’s shot down. Therefore, no church today would pretend giving money would purchase Spiritual gifts right (#NO). Unfortunately we have an entire televangelism ministry that boasts sowing money and reaping power from the Spirit. Exactly what Simon was told is impossible.
SO maybe our churches aren’t in that fallacy… What do we do now? What is our similar mistake? Well, we’ve traded one form of currency for another. We think that our ability to be good is what we will trade for the POWER the Spirit pours out on saints. We think that we can trade good deeds, abstaining from sin, treating people correctly, going to church, etc. for an ability to evangelize or experience the Spirit in our own lives. We offer trades when we are sick or hurting: “God I will ____ if you will ____.” God is not a genie. He cannot be bought or controlled. We pray out of a formative action in OURSELVES. We petition to form trust in ourselves. However, day in and day out we as a church try to trade and buy gifts from the Spirit. God desires a heart that loves and cherishes people, not a transaction for repairs in our life.
Let us respond as Simon did “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.” Lord, change me so that I will not fall into this trap.
Let us respond as Simon did “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.” Lord, change me so that I will not fall into this trap. God help us not desire to simply purchase things or trade actions for blessings. Instead let me act as an ambassador and simply seek Your direction daily.
Honestly, I just want you to love on someone today! 🙂 Lots of people are lonely. Reach out to someone and tell them you miss them. When the Spirit prompts your heart to think of someone TEXT THEM or CALL THEM. I know this is unrelated to the study, but people are lonely and longing for fellowship.