He Must Increase, I Must Decrease

January 25, 2022

He Must Increase, I Must Decrease

John 3:30

He must increase, but I [must] decrease

               These were the words of John the Baptist as his disciples questioned him about this other man, Jesus, and why everyone was going over to Him.  John understood his life’s purpose and that all that God had given him and all that he had become was to point the way to Christ.  He was a forerunner sent before to prepare men’s hearts to receive Christ and the salvation only He could bring.  Our purpose is very much the same today.  Our lives are not about us being glorified and put upon a pedestal, it is about bringing Jesus before men that they may see all that He is and all that He has provided.  Sometimes Christians miss this.  They get caught up in what the Lord can do through them and instead of really building His Kingdom, they end up building their own.  We must guard against the glory men may want to bestow on us when they see Christ working through us especially in love and the demonstration of miraculous works.  There are signs that Jesus said would follow His disciples, but in whatever the Lord chooses to bring forth through our lives, we must be careful to give the praise and the glory back to Him. 

Isaiah 48: 9-12 tells this about what He thinks of His glory, “For my name’s sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off.  Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. For mine own sake, [even] for mine own sake, will I do [it]: for how should [my name] be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.  Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I [am] he; I [am] the first, I also [am] the last.”  When we deserved God’s anger and judgement He did not cast us off, but He is refining us through the furnace of affliction.  If we aren’t trained up in humility and brokenness, understanding the true grace and goodness of God, we will pollute His name.  In fact, we are seeing the Lord’s name being polluted in Christendom today.  Much of why the world rejects Christ and Christianity is not because of who Christ is, but because of who we are.  We proclaim His name, but we don’t proclaim His nature.  Because we do not truly live to His glory, we rob from Him the glory and praise due to His name by our selfishness, greed, and worldliness.  Is the world really seeing anything in us different than what they see in themselves?  I believe Christianity spread like wildfire in the early years of Christianity, even in the midst of great persecution, because people saw the glory of God.  It was not because these Christians glorified themselves, but it was because they allowed Christ to be glorified through them.   They truly learned what it meant that He must increase and they must decrease.  Aren’t most of us still caught up in our increase, in our success, our name and our fame?  Who is really being glorified in and through our lives, Christ, or ourselves?   Galatians 5:26 warns us, “Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” God has called us out to be a people for His possession and for the praise of His name.  Where is our focus in life; is it on us or on Him? 

               The greatest honor the Lord could bestow on us is the privilege of allowing Him to be glorified through us.  When He is glorified through us then men no longer see us, they Christ in His glory and splendor.  They just see a vessel that is the facilitator of His majestic glory and wonder.   This is the desire and purpose of God, to be glorified in His saints.  2 Thessalonians 1:10 tells us that with the Lord’s coming He will be glorified in us, “When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.”  The Lord may well grace our lives with some miraculous things, but we must never presumptuously take the glory from that to ourselves.  There is only one who is worthy of all the glory and all the honor and all the praise and we are simply the lamps that allows His glory to shine forth.  We are privileged to be the instruments of His praise and His glory.  We must decrease and He must increase, so that in all things we point the way to Jesus and defer all praise and glory to His worthy Name.  As we decrease in this life and the things of this world, He will increase within us and His kingdom will come in us.  His will, will be done in us as it is in heaven.  Let us not pollute or diminish that light by allowing ourselves to have the preeminence of all that belongs only to Him.



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