A sorcerer in Samaria heard Philip proclaiming the news about Jesus, and he became saved…but he had not yet received the Holy Spirit…
Then when he saw others receiving the Holy Spirit, he offered the apostles money for the right to have it.
His heart just wasn’t fully ALL IN for Jesus, was it?
Before we shake our fingers at him, though, we would do good to take a hard look at our own motivations. Did we become believers because it was something expected of us from our believing parents? Or did we become believers for ourselves? Did we accept Jesus because we wanted something from him, or because we wanted to be near him?
Have you ever experienced the Presence of the Lord?
Several years ago I went to an overnight women’s retreat. There was a tiny chapel at this retreat; I remember it had beautiful stained glass windows all around. Inside was a narrow aisle with three or four rows of pews on either side. When I stepped through the doors of that chapel, I KNEW that I was in a holy place. The Presence of the Lord shook me to the core. Without thinking, my heart responded, and I began to alternately cry and offer praise and thanksgiving. The women who were with me experienced this same miracle. I remember I went to the retreat wondering whether I knew for SURE that my faith was real and that I was really saved. I left the retreat knowing without a doubt that I belonged to the Lord. It was a rare privilege to experience such majesty…
Words just can’t express the wonder I felt within that chapel. I don’t even know how long we sat there, each of us to our own pew, tears falling silently from our eyes. Time seemed to blur together.
But those few moments were enough to make me think I know what led that man to offer to pay money for something so divine. It was an experience like no other I’ve ever had. The first time I held my daughter in my arms came in a close second…but this moment was special. I treasure it in my heart. I would gladly sell everything I have just to have another moment in that peace.
The beauty, though, is that I don’t have to sell anything. Looking back now, I see that God used that moment to strengthen my faith and assure me of His reality and of my place within that reality. When in the presence of the Holy Spirit like that, there is nothing to do but worship….and just as the rocks cry out in worship, so did my heart on its own accord. Because I am His.
A certainty that is worth more than all the gold in the world…but is not for sale, because it was freely given to us out of love and sacrifice.