We are not strange with the "gift of God" or the "gift of the Spirit". Apostle Paul when the Holy Spirit inspired him also discussed about the gift of the Spirit. The Church is not lacking in the understanding of the fruit of the Spirit as contained in the book of Galatians 5; neither is the Church ignorant about the gift of the Spirit as contained in the book of 1 Corinthians 12. However, whether the body of Christ is right on the assumption of how to obtain or earn the gift of God, is a matter that is subject to close observation or scrutiny.
But Peter said to him, 'May your silver perish with you, because you THOUGHT you could OBTAIN the gift of God with money! You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God.'
I believe that the story in the book of Acts that we read is a known or familiar one, but the inspiration of the Lord is new per time. I have been to some churches or local assemblies of believers; and I have watched my TV programmers of Churches. One thing that is common to many not all of them; is the announcement of the spiritual leader on the need for the viewers or congregation to give a seed of faith for the transference of anointing from them to the people. While this appears harmless, it is very dangerous and slippery for any minister or ministry that indulges in it.
I was reading a book written by Brother Gbile Akanni (Tapping God's Resources for Life and Ministry), and he mentioned instances where Evangelists collect offerings from sinners at their crusades. Men and women who have not been guided or aided to give their hearts to God, are been persuaded to support the crusades. The question is, can such a people, whose hearts have not been made right by the Holy Spirit; become gracious givers to the work of the Lord.
Apostle Peter faced what many Missionaries and Evangelists face on a daily basis - the temptation to receive offerings from unprepared, unrepentant, unproductive and unprofitable hearts. Do you know that God does not collect offerings from people as it were; but from hearts? Do you know that a poor man with a rich heart can out-give a rich man with a poor heart?
So many men of God have left their assignment of raising men for the work or project of raising money. I remember sometime ago, when Dr. David Oyedepo said that God instructed him not to RAISE money, but men. He explained how the men that are raised will be able to raise the needed money. But the emphasis in many quarters today is the need to raise money for this project and that project - usually at the expense of the preparation of the heart of God's people.
The Scripture says, "while men look at outward appearances, God looks at the heart"; I therefore believe that the primary calling of every man of God, apart from being with the Lord continually, is to help the hearts of men.....preparing a people unto the Lord with a prepared heart to serve God, live for God and give to God.
Simon got attracted to the gift of God to the extent that he was willing to give the man of God any amount of money to OBTAIN it. The question is, "if the gift of God can be bought, why then will it be called GIFT?" I believe that the main feature of everything that is called gift is that it is given freely - once you have to pay anything to OBTAIN anything; then,much things should no longer be called gifts.
Therefore, we must know that you and I can not pay anything to "obtain" the gift of faith, neither can we pay anything to get the gift of the word of wisdom, knowledge and the working of miracles. In actual sense, God's gifts are released to individuals or groups at the will of God for the present purpose of God that must be done. Usually, the gifts of God are not for your fun, but for your effective functioning. God gives you and I gifts, even when we do not know Him or ask for it....He does all things for His own pleasure.
So, do not think that you can buy divine gift of grace, and do not think that you are too small or ignorant to enjoy God's free gifts to the children of men. The question then is, "How much do you pay daily or per second for the gift of oxygen?" If you cannot give me an answer to that, you must not think yourself out of God's gift. He gives His gift to men at His will and for His own good purpose on the earth. So, whatever gift or gifts He has endowed you with by His Spirit, enjoy the privilege and deploy or release it daily as a solution to the problems of your marriage, family, neighbourhood, community, city, country and generation.
In trust God for His faithfulness in His endowments on your life.....make Him happy with the way you use them daily. God bless your heart richly!