John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven.”
Are we inconsistent thinkers? I think we often are. We declare the Bible to be completely inerrant. We know it to be the word of God. Yet, when we see what the Bible claims to be true of us, we both acknowledge it and ignore it.
John the Baptist, speaking in the passage above, makes a very clear declaration of who we are and how we grow to success. He makes it plain that we can do nothing, accomplish nothing, receive nothing that is not given to us from God above. John is clear that his fame, his ministry success, his accomplishments all came from God. This is why John could so easily accept that he would diminish in the light of the coming of the Son of God.
But what about us? Do we see that we are without hope on our own? Do we realize that we can accomplish nothing apart from the gifts of God? Do we recognize that we can shape nothing for success on our own? Do we acknowledge that anything good we have, anything worthwhile we do, all things that are good come to us from God?
For me, these words of john the Baptist help me to remember that I am nothing on my own. I cannot succeed on my own. I cannot accomplish anything of worth without the power of God. While I could be tempted to think that I can train, learn, and work my way to life success, this is a falsehood. I cannot succeed apart from that success being granted me by my God. I need him in everything, not just the big things. And anytime I fail to remember that I totally need the Lord to accomplish anything, I lie to myself, I make a dreadful mistake, and I think in a way completely inconsistent with the Bible.