Here is what God is saying to me through this chapter: In verses 18-21, Simon the magician tries to purchase the power of the Holy Spirit from Peter. Simon sees that the Apostles give new believers the Spirit by laying their hands on them in prayer. Simon wants this power as well; he wants to be able to give people the Holy Spirit by laying his hands on them. He made lots of money with his magic and it’s clear he wants to sell the Holy Spirit to those who want it. He wanted a good thing (the power of God) for the wrong reasons (to get rich). He wanted the power of God’s Spirit not to build God’s kingdom but to build his own by filling his pockets with cash. Peter rebukes Simon with “your heart is not right before God” (v. 21).
Here is what I will do today because of what God is saying to me: I can’t help but think of the many preachers out there today who try to market the power of God to people. These guys travel all over the world promising people the power of God if the price is right. While I have never sold the good news for money, there are times when I’m tempted to use the power of God for the wrong reasons, selfish reasons. Today, while I’m serving God, I will invite the Spirit to confront me with the question “Len, why are you doing what you’re doing? Are you using the power I give you to build your kingdom or Mine?”