Do you ever find yourself seeing what other people have materially or spiritually and wonder when it is your turn? It’s easy to look at people who have more than you and wonder what’s taking so long for you to have what they’ve got, or wonder why everyone else gets everything they want. Real maturity comes when you discover that everything you have has been given to you from heaven. With real maturity comes real freedom too.
Such was the case of John the Baptist. No one would disagree that John was someonespecial to God. We may not want his life with the crazy diet and unsightly clothes,but his popularity would be tempting. Even kings knew his name. Multitudes ofpeople would travel far from their homes to hear him talk about God and sin andrepentance. Then they would wait in long lines for John to baptize them. Finally,eating all those locusts and dealing with his uncut hair was paying off; he wasgetting a little respect. What would come next?
What came next for John was Jesus. After he baptized Jesus, the crowds startedfollowing Him and John’s group thinned out. What should he do now? Oneof John’s followers brought him the report to John that everyone had begunfollowing Jesus. Perhaps this man was a little concerned about John’s reputationand wanted him to do something to change the way things were going. John’sanswer was so beautiful. He said, A man can receive only what is given himfrom heaven (John 2:27). How did John have such wisdom? He didn’tsay it reluctantly, I’m just down on God’s list of prioritiesnow, I’ll have to face the facts. He said it with confidence. He saidit with utter trust in the fact that what might look to others like God was notusing him anymore was not a lack of appreciation for his gifts to God on hispart.
John knew that the draw to the wilderness was not him, but the Holy Spirit. Heknew that his purpose was to reveal to the world that Messiah had come. He foundout that his cousin Jesus was the Messiah when the Holy Spirit revealed thisto Him. It’s what John knew in the center of his being that gave him thewisdom not to panic when things didn’t look like they were going his wayanymore.
What a freeing way to live. Do you live that way? Do you live with a sense thatwhat you have received has been given to you from God? Do you believe that inHis wisdom He has chosen certain experiences for you to receive and given certainexperiences to others? Do you receive your life as a gift from God? My opportunityto encourage you is given to me from heaven. I like receiving what God picksout for me better than making my own list of gifts I want from him. It certainlyleads to freedom.