Are You Decreasing?

John 3:30 (ESV)
“He must increase, but I must decrease.”

With these words, John the Baptist recognized that his ministry was coming to a close, and that his mission had been accomplished. He had laid the groundwork for the ministry of Jesus, and knew his role was now to fade into the background.

John the Baptist sets an amazing precedent for us this very day: we must also decrease. But what does that mean?

It means we must let go the desire to rule our lives according to our will. It means to fully surrender every aspect of our fleshly existence to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and not just a couple of areas to serve as an appeasement. It means to get rid of the idols of this worldly existence that take precedence over our hearts.

In Matthew 6:21, Jesus made a simple but profound statement that convicts all of humanity: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Search the Scriptures and recognize the innumerable verses about the importance of the heart. I will not list the verses here, but encourage you to do your own study on this topic.

You will find that it is the heart where all good and evil originate. And as long as our focus remains on our own will, rest assured our evil ways will continue to abound. Those entrapped by the things of the flesh do not naturally seek the spiritual things of God (1 Corinthians 2:14), so for us to place God first in our lives means we MUST make an intentional choice to change the ownership of our hearts.

We decrease when we become faithful in daily Bible study and reflection. We decrease when we go to the Lord in prayer on behalf of others, and when we seek His will for our lives. We should not ask to become stronger in our times of struggle, but rather to become weaker in our own nature so that we can become stronger in His.

We cannot decrease from a prideful condition. Look back to John the Baptist. He certainly had his own disciples, but he did not let his pride dictate his path; he stayed true to his purpose and in doing so fulfilled God’s purpose for his life.

And that’s the lesson for us. Our pride must fall if we are ever to decrease. Only with a humble and contrite heart can God work in us and through us to fulfill His purpose for our lives.

Let us all resolve to decrease so He can increase in us.