The pastor was stressing to us a great essential for our walk of faith. Jesus must increase in us as we press forward, and we must decrease. A few years back I wrote about this:
“When I was younger I so wanted to be a muscular six-foot-two hunk. I dreamed of having straight hair, being Hollywood handsome and popular in every quarter. I’m forty-three now and I’ve come up a half a foot short. I’m almost ready to admit I’m done growing. I’m not quite a hunk, more like a blob. I can flex just enough muscles to stand upright. I have curly hair with a wild will of its own. I’m three thousand miles from Hollywood and even further away from popularity. My outward man is much less than I wanted. Far more troublesome – my inward man is much more than I want.”
I recognized back then what I am even more certain of now: There is too much of me left in my inner man: far too much me and far too little Jesus. I also wrote this:
“In the third chapter of John’s gospel we read about the disciples of John the Baptist complaining that Jesus was stealing the Baptist’s thunder and influence. John the Baptist tells his followers, concerning Jesus, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” The Baptist was referring to his ministry, but I see a foundational principle at work in his words for all of us. Our inward man is to relinquish all to Jesus. We’re to decrease and become less and less. Jesus is to increase and become more and more.”
Is this what we are seeing in our lives? Or are we still wrestling with way too much us, not near enough Him? I imagine most would admit, maybe even frustratingly so, that yes the wrestling match is on. Hopefully, the good news is we are aware of the need to relinquish all to Him, and that we are determined to experience His increase and our decrease.
For many of us, committing scripture to memory is really a challenge. Well, here is a verse that is only seven words, and yet contains the whole of the Christian life. Surely we can recall it many times throughout each day and in doing so begin to really live in the reality of “He must increase, but I must decrease.”