Given Or Taken

John 3:27 reminds us that, we “can receive only what is given to us from heaven”.

This reminds me that if it comes from God, it will remain to meet its intended purpose. However, if we take what is not from God, it will never truly satisfy, or accomplish all we may have hoped for.

For example, how often have we pursued something to no avail, or even if we obtained what we thought we most desired, it proved to be short-lived and perhaps even detrimental?

I can think about chasing goals and dreams that were purely motivated by selfish ambition and gain – and they never satisfied.

However, anything that was pursued in faith, God ordained, and used for greater purposes beyond merely myself, always served to refresh, revitalize, and renew my Spirit – even during the struggles.

I’m reminded of the mana God sent to the Israelites when they were hungry. He told them to collect only what they needed for the day, and as long as they did, all was good, but if they tried to collect and hoard extra supply, it rotted.

I don’t want to live my life collecting and hoarding things that rot and decay. Yet, how often we get tempted to pursue what we think is nourishing and wise, only to find it leads to rot. Perhaps buying more than we can afford, sooner than we can afford it, and then facing mountains of debt as a consequence. Or pursing a career, but sacrificing our health and our homes for the pursuit of “advancement”.

May we be wiser than this and trust God with our reputations, “our way”, our families, our careers, and follow His lead, trusting in His timing and make the most of every opportunity for His glory.

For me, I’m pretty sure, His plan is much better than anything I could come up with, or ever imagine.

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