At the end of Acts 4, the great encourager Barnabas has given the proceeds from a sale of land to the Apostles to help the needy. Evidently, others are inspired by Barnabas’ generosity and pledge to do the same. Among them are a husband and wife named Ananias and Sapphira. With his wife’s full knowledge, Ananias withholds some of the proceeds and only presents some of the gain to the Apostles. (He must have given the impression that the portion he presented is the entire amount.) When Peter becomes aware of this, he asks why Satan has filled Ananias’ heart to lie to the Holy Spirit. Both Ananias and Sapphira are struck dead for their sins.

Had Ananias allowed the Holy Spirit to have full reign in his life, he would’ve never imagined coming up with that scheme. But instead he allows Satan to gain a foothold in his heart. That’s why Peter says that Ananias’ sin is against the Holy Spirit.

There is a short verse in the New Testament that aims to prevent us from committing the same sin as Ananias, 1 Thessalonians 5:19: “Do not quench the Spirit.” The Holy Spirit could be described as a fire that’s burning in us. He wants to influence our thoughts and actions as we submit to God’s Word. But if we douse the flames, our hearts become cold and resistant to righteousness. We’ll end up like the Prodigal Son — lost, confused, and spiritually destitute. And Satan will rejoice.

Satan can enter your heart as well, but only if you let him. Adam and Eve did not resist Satan. Judas did not resist Satan. But Jesus resisted Satan in the wilderness; “Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to Him” (Matthew 4:11). James says, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (4:7). Paul tells the Ephesians to “put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11).

We should not grieve the Holy Spirit or work against His objectives. When we do, we sin, and our souls are tarnished.

Today, I will…stop cutting corners spiritually. I will speak honestly, act nobly, and shine the light of Jesus wherever I go, thereby curbing Satan’s influence.