…and then this — sitting here at the Coffee Club, I take this words to heart, I yield my will afresh…thank you for this post, Husband
Post by the Husband
“For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.” (Acts 8:23)
When Simon the magician converted to Christianity – he saw that the Holy Spirit’s power could be passed on from one person to another by the laying on of hands. He got excited, and then told Peter that he wanted to pay to get the Holy Spirit.
This was so offensive to God that Peter immediately rebuked him and told him to repent from his sin. Simon still had completely worldly ideas and a godless framework of thinking about how to interact with God.
He wanted to BUY God’s power.
Why is that so offensive to God? Well, why is buying anything in particular offensive to anyone?
Reflecting on this idea – I thought that although society generally accepts the idea of buying and selling things, animals, plants, fruits and even services, there are certain things that are not considered “for sale”.
No matter where you are in the world, buying and selling people is generally unacceptable. Why is that? Well, there used to be a system of selling and buying slaves – like in biblical times. Now, however, we understand that people should have rights – individuals should have their own freedom to make decisions on where they live, what they do and who they want to work for.
If humans shouldn’t be bought and sold, how much less could God’s spirit be bought!? He has his own will. Furthermore, even if Simon just wanted the “power” – God’s power cannot be separated from his character and being. The Holy Spirit is not a force, He’s a person. Persons cannot be bought and sold as they have their own will and have value beyond any dollar value you could come up with.
Essentially putting a dollar figure on someone is saying that this person is worth X amount of labour/effort/investment. God places infinite value on each and everyone of us, how much more valuable is the Holy Spirit!
In human terms, I’m confident that I could never buy Donald trump’s influence, that is, with money. Why? Because he’s a billionaire. He doesn’t care about my measly savings. God, who is infinitely more rich than a million Donald Trumps, couldn’t care less how much money you have – he owns the universe – including your few dollars. Plus he can create things – out of thin air!
Hence we cannot influence God’s will by our dollars. Dollars represent our work and our efforts to produce. God doesn’t need anything from us. He’s self-sufficient. He’ll survive perfectly well without you or me chipping in.
We also cannot buy love from someone. Tragically in the world, there is a dark industry where intimacy is sold like a commodity, but this is not love. You cannot buy affection and love from someone. That must come from them.
Simon, the ex-sorcerer could not “buy” the power of the Spirit. His very question exposed his worldly thinking.
In his world – perhaps he could use money and influence to deal with evil spirits and to manipulate people. Simon probably had a lot of power and control.
In the Kingdom of God however, we are not to control God or control other people by manipulation and bribery. We are not to control anything apart from having self-control!
We are called to lay down our lives as living sacrifices – not use other people for our advantage. Sacrifices are dead to their own desires and dreams.
We may think that Simon the ex-sorcerer is eccentric and nothing like us.
However, don’t we also try to use our earthly powers and influences to try to get Heavenly things done? Don’t we also resort to using our worldly ways to try to achieve heavenly results?
Don’t I try to earn God’s affection by doing things? Don’t I try to “buy” the power of the Spirit in my life through good works? Don’t we try to influence people in the flesh to try to achieve ministry goals?
We can’t buy the Holy Spirit – we can only SURRENDER to Him
“Lord, help me not to bring my worldly mindset into the things of the Spirit. Indeed Your Spirit has His own agenda. He’s the One that should be guiding me – not the other way round. I yield to the power of God in my life to do whatever You want me to do – not just the things that I want You to do.”