“He must increase, but I must decrease.”- John 3:30 ESV
This is one of my favorite scriptures in the Bible. It is a few, powerful words, spoken by a humble friend and servant of Jesus.
John the Baptist was different than most in appearance and habits. But he was also somewhat different from many other Christ followers, then and now. John knew Jesus was the Messiah. John the Baptist also realized he had been anointed by God to tell others about Jesus. He was to tell others to follow Jesus, not him. In order to do that, John had to decrease; he had to humble himself as a servant, telling others to follow someone else rather than his own ministry. That was the only way to accomplish the work he had been called to do. The presence and identity (The Light) of Jesus had to increase. John had to decrease. This is why John said He must increase, I must decrease.
Boldness to Serve
The same is true for Christ followers and ministry leaders today. He calls us to be messengers of the Good News. But the struggle to share the message of Jesus Christ is real. The enemy is always trying to shift our focus. Not everyone is going to celebrate what we are called by God to do. Like John the Baptist, we may be ridiculed and slandered. And that is okay. Our suffering is nothing compared to how Jesus suffered for us. As John demonstrated, we must humble ourselves and pray to stay grounded and not caught up in worldly teasers.
“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began” – 2 Timothy 1:7-9
Wherever God has called you and me to serve, He has a specific responsibility for each of us. He never promised it would be easy. There will be naysayers, imitators, and the ones who will try to discredit us and our purpose. But God did promise He would equip us with what we need to get the job done and He would be with us every step of the way.
It’s Not About Us
Like John the Baptist, we must remember it is about Jesus. We must trust Him. And, we must be bold in love toward others, and in our service for Him; asking the Holy Spirit to guide us each moment of the day so that all we do, honors and glorifies God. The presence and identity (The Light) of Jesus must increase. He must increase, I must decrease.
It’s not about us.