He must increase, but I must decrease.John chapter 3, verse 30; from the King James Version (KJV)
Increasing and Decreasing are two diametrically opposed–call them ideas or concepts. No, scratch that first sentence! Increasing and Decreasing are two exactly opposite realities! Think about interest rates; they are either increasing or decreasing. The Dow-Jones Industrial Industrial Average is either increasing or decreasing at the end of each business day. Or gas prices! They are either increasing or decreasing–sometimes in the same day! To say they are diametrically opposed means they have nothing in common. Right? Of course I am. So what does this have to do with The Kingdom Life?
Thanks for asking this question–because it’s what I want to write about today! This morning passage hit me hard–I mean really hard this early morning. You see, I was struggling again with some of my stuff. Yes, Virginia, us pastors have struggles. It wasn’t some new stuff. The painful (to me) truth was that it was some old stuff. And true to my tendency–I was just talking it out. Not to myself, but to my best friend sitting beside me in the early morning darkness on the front porch.
And I wondered out loud, “Why am I still struggling with this old stuff?” I didn’t try to excuse myself. There was no excuse and never will be. So I began to expostulate some ways I could finally put this old stuff to bed and never have to deal with it again. And The Spirit just set there quietly as I tried to figure out what I could do! Oh, I had some good ideas of what I could do–at least they seemed good to me. And usually The Spirit allows me the freedom to keep on thinking about my ideas for the better life.
But this morning was different. He interrupted me; how rude of Him! All He said was John the Baptist. I replied (in typical fashion), “Huh?????” Unfortunately for me, I have been known to be confused at times when The Spirit speaks. Not very often, but this morning was one of those mornings. Since I couldn’t figure out what The Spirit was trying to teach me, I chose to give the floor to The Spirit! (Wise choice on my part!) I listened as He said, “Remember how John described the relationship between him and his cousin, Jesus? Look it up!”
So I Googled it and the first thing that popped up was John chapter 3, verse 30! And it happened! I can’t call it an Epiphany because it’s something I already knew. But the lightbulb definitely came on! I need to decrease so that Jesus can increase! I need a whole lot less of me–and a whole lot more Jesus! And the only way that can happen is for me to surrender my stuff–and let Jesus fill me with His glory! This life I live isn’t about me–it’s all about Jesus! Life cannot be about what I want or can or cannot do. Life is all about what Jesus IS doing in me. My stuff–it’s gotta’ decrease–because it’s the only way His Glory, and thus His strength, can increase in me. Then I can put aside my old stuff!
And what about you, dear reader? Are you willing to decrease so that Jesus may increase in you? Love God with all your heart. Love others the way Jesus loves you. And make sure all the glory goes to Him!