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 by-product 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).
In Os Hillman's devotion above, he spoke of John's annointing. God had equipped John for one specific purpose....to prepare the way for the Master.
God has gifted each believer for specific tasks He wants them to accomplish. He gives each of us at least one spiritual gift as well as other talents and abilities. He did not give us these for our own pleasure or so that we could draw attention to ourselves. He gave them to us so that we could use them for His glory!
He did not gift us all the same. Your gift may be totally different from mine. That is ok. A friend of mine in Bible study laughs when I speak of journaling, because that is the LAST thing she would ever do! I love to entertain, my daughter...not so much! I am comfortable speaking or teaching in front of a crowd. My husband panics at the thought! He is good with his hands, I am totally inept in that department.
Within our church's women's ministry there are a large number of circles...groups that have different functions. There is a hospital circle...women who visit those in the hospital and encourage and comfort them. There is a manna circle...women who prepare meals for those who are ill or in need. There is a God and Country circle who keep us abreast of ways we can take a stand within our country, pray for our leaders, and encourage others to vote. There is a writing circle...women encouraging other women in their writing abilities as they seek to share Christ through that medium. There are numerous others as well.
If one cannot find a place to plug in and use her gift there, she is just not looking! I see a lot of that within the church. Plentiful opportunities to "plug in" and get busy, but too many who are only pew sitters.
It does not matter your age or even your physical abilities. God has a job for you to do. He has specifically equipped you for that job. The jobs may change over time as your abilities change or the opportunities change. But God expects each of us to be on the job nonetheless.
What has God given you to do? What abilities, gifts, and talents has he equipped you with? Take stock today and then begin to find a way that you can utilize those gifts and abilities for the Lord. Don't get caught up trying to do someone else's job. Your job is specific to you. God wants to use you right where you are. Get busy!
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