John 3:30 “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
The entire Christian life is encapsulated in John’s declaration.
Self will always stand in the way of the Holy Spirit’s desire to accomplish the Father’s will in our life. Whether it be pride, selfishness, worry, or fear, all will hinder the work God desires to do in our life.
All things that stand in line before God is misplaced worship. For us to rightly place God first in our life, we must decrease, as John states.
Colossians 2:23 “Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.”
John’s call upon his life was there even before he was born.
Luke 1:15-17 “For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
We, too, have a call on our life for works that God set up for us before we were ever born.
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
To try to accomplish those works in our own strength, we will all fail at some point. But, when you and I submit to the Holy Spirit’s leading for those works to be done, we can witness God not only IN us, but His working THROUGH us.
Whatever gifts and talents we’ve been given, they were given for a purpose: to glorify God. We tend to gravitate toward those who are like us. We hang around those with which we feel comfortable. To grow to be what God wants, we must first allow God to reside in first place for every area of our life.
We tend to relegate God to Sunday or church and leave Him out of our jobs, friends, and even our homes.
We justify our behavior and become self-satisfied with a comfort level we have created for ourselves. Our hearts are stirred enough; satisfied we are close to God. In this Laodicean age, we, the church, have grown lukewarm.
We mistake God’s longsuffering with us for acceptance of our sin. We KNOW the truth yet fail to act on it.
John saw his life and embraced his calling. He set the principle of humility. God first in everything for himself. Which is why we must follow suit.
“Would Jesus be satisfied with my work ethic?”
“If Christ were to enter MY home, would all there welcome Him with open arms?”
“If I were called to be accountable for the gifts and talents I’ve been given, could I face the reckoning with confidence or fear?”
These and many other questions need to be asked personally, regularly, and with stark honesty and transparency.
For us to decrease, I must be able to be taught. I must be able to be corrected. I must be willing to admit my failures and learn from them. It is only when we remove as much self as possible that Christ can enter and increase in our lives.
Suppose the church today would set aside the political, the social, the financial, and all the issues of the day and entirely place its heart and trust in the Holy Spirit’s leadership. In that case, we could see a great movement of Christlike members bringing the Light into every aspect of their lives.
If submitting your life to Him seem a daunting task, just ask God to reveal what the next step should be. Though we may want to see farther down the road than we can reach, our focus must be what is doable today. That way, for us to decrease is a daily task, not a switch we flip, or a ‘one-and-done’ mentality.
Waking up and daily submitting ourselves to the Spirit’s leading, we begin to see what God has in store for us. One day, we will stand before our Lord and Savior and be able to cast crowns before His throne in praise for what He did through us.
It will be our way of saying “Thank you” for the glorious salvation that made it all happen.