John replied, “A man can receive nothing [he can claim nothing at all] unless it has been granted to him from heaven [for there is no other source than the sovereign will of God]. John 3:27 AMP
So often I read the first 21 verses of John and focus on those, but the last 15 verses have just as strong message for me. John’s disciples were complaining because people were now going to Jesus to be baptized. They were concerned that someone was taking their place. I can imagine what they must have been thinking when someone had taken over their ministry after all the work they had put into it. John’s answer is so good for us to remember. He puts it all in perspective. That ALL we have is from God. From our possessions, our talents and callings, our finances, even relationships; they are all given to us by God. And they are His to give or to take. The dilemma, the tension is what will I do with what He has given me? Will I try to use it for my own gain? Will I cling to what I should let go of? Will I have the courage to pursue what He has placed in front of me or will I shrink back? Or will I realize that all He has given me are gifts from Him to bless me so I can bless Him and others?
As a follower of Christ, I am continually reminded that all I have is from God. Not for my gain but for His gain. That fights against my natural thoughts and nature. Because like John’s disciples, I often mistakenly think that what I have been given is mine. And anyone who threatens what’s “mine”…well they just shouldn’t. But I have to step back and remember that as a son of God, His thoughts and plans for me are so much higher and better than I can imagine. And when He gives me something and then takes it away, it isn’t because God has forsaken me or is punishing me. So I can either choose to continue to look back and fight to hang on to it or let it go and look forward to the next better thing God has for me. “I will never leave you forsake you” is His promise to me. And I will choose to believe that and follow Him into whatever NEW thing He wants to take me.
God, today let me see things as You do. Let me see what NEW thing You have waiting for me to do for You. Help me to let go of the things I need to so I can move forward to those new things. And thank you for all you have given me. Let me use it to fulfill Your purposes and not mine today.
Written by Pastor Gavin Hassell, Murrysville Campus