By Marni Montanez
New King James Version (NKJV)
30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
We give our lives to God willingly and completely. Our spirit is reborn in that moment; however, with our soul it takes a little longer. This is the process of full surrender to God. As we deal with wounds created by others and ourselves, we experience freedom that comes with healing. God is able to clean and nourish the parts of us hidden in darkness. Each piece that is healed is submitted to God allowing His light to shine deep into that area. In essence, He expands within our being causing our old self to fade in the presence of His glory. This is a lifelong journey of pain and reward. It is a constant movement forward, but of many temptations to retreat back into our flesh. Whether it be in ministry or in our daily lives, as we reach for more of God, we are moving away from who we once were and in doing this our self importance turns into God - importance.
This is a voluntary desire on our part. As John the Baptist's ministry was coming to an end, the ministry of Jesus was beginning to take shape. Jesus was being sent out into the world to minister His message of salvation through His name. John was born as a forerunner, to pave the way for Jesus. He did all that God planned for him to do and now it was time for his ministry and himself to dissolve into the backdrop while Jesus took center stage.
This is the same for us. We are the ones who must relinquish control and present ourselves as empty vessels to be used by a powerful God. He is able to fill us up and pour us out upon whomever or whatever He wishes. Years ago I had a pastor named James Ryle who said something that I have never forgotten. He said, “Lord do in me anything You need to do, so You can do through me everything you want to do”. God is waiting for us to have the desire to pray this way and mean it. He does not take from us; He waits for each heart to gravitate toward His love and mercy.
Those who choose God, choose the best for their lives.
Challenge: Pray that God increases in your life. In doing so you will automatically decrease.
The purpose of this series is to encourage people to live as loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God: Jesus tells us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) God tells us through Micah (6:8), "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God." And we know from Revelation 21:4 that there will be no more mourning, or crying, or pain, or death. Thus, Christian living requires us to set the standards of these conditions here on earth for our fellow human beings, and for the other animals, as a witness to the rest of the world. To do otherwise is not Christian.