Receiving Only From God
To this John replied, "A man can receive only what is given him from heaven" (John 3:27).
"God never gave you that property," said my friend who had entered my life at a time of great turmoil. These were hard words at the time. I was separated in my marriage, and my financial resources were drying up on all fronts. It was like rowing a boat with five big holes in it, not knowing which one to try to plug. My business, my personal finances, my marriage, all seemed to be drying up at the same time. My friend had made an observation about some land we had purchased years before. His point was that I had acquired something that God had never given me. In other words, it was not a Spirit-directed purchase that was blessed by God. It was not a byproduct of God's blessing; it was a source of sweat and toil born out of the wrong motives of the heart.
When John's disciples came to him and asked if he was the Messiah, he responded that he was not and that one could only be what God had given him to be. He was a forerunner to the Messiah, and he was fulfilling a call God had given him. We cannot acquire and become anything that God has not given us. God gave John that anointing. We must ask whether we are trying to be or trying to acquire anything God has not given us. When we seek to acquire anything that God has not given us, we can expect God to respond to us like any good father would to a child. He will remove that which the child is not supposed to have.
David understood this principle. When he was preparing to furnish the temple, he told God in his prayer, "Everything comes from You, and we have given You only what comes from Your hand" (1 Chron. 29:14b).
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