Receiving Only What God Can Give
"A man can receive only what is given him from heaven" (John 3:27).
John the Baptist was in the business of bringing sinners to the place of repentance by baptizing them and teaching them about the coming Messiah. Over time, he had developed quite a customer base of disciples. Yet when the promised Messiah showed up-the fulfillment of John's business plan—true to form, his coworkers (or disciples) went to John to complain that the one he had testified about was stealing all of his customers. "Rabbi," they said, "that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan . . . well, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him" (John 3:26). John's response showed clearly he understood his purpose and role in life in the above verse.
John understood that we receive by understanding our purpose and what God desires us to receive in light of our purpose. We need not worry about what others receive, only if we are receiving what God wants us to receive. Many of us try to receive things God never intended us to receive or be someone God never intended us to be.
A story is told about F. B. Meyer, the great Bible teacher and pastor who lived a century ago. He was pastoring a church when he began to notice that attendance was dropping. This continued until he finally asked some members of his congregation one Sunday morning why they thought this was happening. A member suggested, "It is because of the new church down the road. The young preacher has everyone talking and many are going to hear him speak." The young preacher's name was Charles Spurgeon.
Meyer, rather than seeking to discourage this development, exhorted his entire congregation to join him and go participate in seeing this "move of God," as he described it to them. "If this be happening, then God must be at work." Meyer, like John the Baptist, understood the principle of receiving from God and was not threatened by the new competition in town. Instead, he joined it.
Do you model a Kingdom mindset? Do you rejoice when others succeed? Are you receiving only what God desires you to receive?