When I was looking at the story of Simon, it made me think about what’s in my heart. In my church, I have a very visible position when I teach. And so it’s very easy to desire honor and praise from people.
That’s what Simon wanted.
Before he became a Christian, he was famous among the Samaritans. He had won their accolades as “the Great Power of God.” Everyone paid attention to him because of all the powers he displayed.
And then Phillip came performing signs and miracles, and people were coming to know Christ. Simon himself made a profession of faith.
But when Peter and John came, Simon saw them laying hands on people and the Holy Spirit falling upon those people in power. And so he offered Peter and John money, saying,
Give me this power also so that anyone I lay hands on may receive the Holy Spirit. (19)
But Peter rebuked him, saying,
May your silver be destroyed with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this matter, because your heart is not right before God. Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, your heart’s intent may be forgiven. For I see you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by wickedness. (20-23)
“Your heart is not right. It’s poisoned by bitterness and bound by wickedness. Therefore, you have no part or share in this matter.”
Some people when they do “ministry” suffer from the same problem. Their hearts are not right. Their hearts are poisoned by bitterness. Bitterness when people more skilled than they arrive in the church. Bitterness when their position and “glory” is taken away by another. Hearts bound by wickedness, solely centered on self, instead of God and his kingdom.
And Peter says of such people, “You have no part or share in our ministry.”
So I have to ask myself, what is in my heart? Where is my focus? On my own personal glory, success, and praise? Or on God and his kingdom?
How about you? Where is your heart? Are you truly serving God? Or yourself?