LEGACYouth: Increasing our Decrease



Going off the ‘D’ statement, we find four components in motion:
  • Increase my love for your supremacy (God’s power/authority)
  • Increase my trust in your wise purposes (includes God’s perfect timing)
  • Decrease my personal influence 
  • Increase my joyful faith
However, before we can break these ingredients down,  we must first define “decrease”...

Decrease: Dying to self in a way that allows God’s kingdom¹ to come into greater view.

With that said, we can better understand how this "D" applies in John 3, where our two mortal protagonists, Nicodemus and John the Baptist, are coming to terms with their “decrease”.

For Nicodemus, Jesus is challenging him to see the kingdom of God as separate from any earthly kingdom and to know Christ as the only way to that kingdom; however, for John, Jesus is essentially inspiring him to do what he had been doing (i.e. to make a way for him baptizing in his name )... a different way

This leads me to an important realization: though seasons may change, though the ‘how to’ of our calling may alter, our identity, our ‘who we are’, never does. 

We this contrast clearly in John 3. For John, there was a time when he was the CBO (Commanding Baptizer Officer), the "go-to" for people to get spiritually purified; however, because John remained in the Spirit, because he recognized Christ as infinitely greater than he, when the time came for him to 'decrease', he was able to do so joyfully in a way that literally pointed people to Jesus. 

This leads me to a second important takeaway: it’s impossible to point people to Jesus if we’re not filled with the Spirit. 

Why? ‘Cause if we’re not filled with the Spirit, then we can’t preview heaven or demonstrate what a relationship with God looks like.

But Cam! I still don’t get how ‘stepping back’ can be good things? It just doesn’t make any sense!

In the flesh, yes! Yet, when we go back to our earlier definition of ‘decrease’, dying to self in a way that allows God’s kingdom to come into greater view, and consider its truth in light of our original design (i.e. we are who we were divinely created to be), we can see how his is the Spirit-filled prescription to seeing how Jesus sees ‘decrease’.



Bottom line: When we talk about increasing in decrease,  we're talking about dying to what we think is best by trusting God who knows what's best. Granted, there will be times we struggle to understand God's purposes; however, if we're truly committed to Christ increasing (i.e. the Spirit-filled life), then we'll better see the way this is to happen regardless of our circumstances. 

Footnotes

1) As mentioned on Sunday, though there’s no biblical definition of the kingdom of God, we’re given bountiful evidence as to what it’s like (i.e. a place where goodness, joy, and peace abound, a place where we’re filled with the Spirit and remain in the Spirit
2) John not only accepted Jesus as the new head of his role, but he went the next step in pointing people in his direction
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Photo creds: Pinterest
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.

Comments