Several years ago, a friend explained to me his desire to increase God in his life and to decrease himself. My friend quoted John 3:30 (ESV) “He must increase, but I must decrease.” I posted this verse on this blog, mentioning my friend, in November 2015.
Recently, while attending a men’s bible study, one of the men, more than once, mentioned how he found the devotionals from Oswald Chambers helpful. I began reading the Chambers devotionals daily, myself. John 3:30 was quoted in the Oswald Changers devotional, “Decreasing for His Purpose” earlier this week. This devotional rekindles in me the need to remind myself many times every day to be increasing God and decreasing myself, in particular when I find myself in a mindset that the good I do is from my own doing, rather than from God. The good I think I am doing, hurtful, rather than helpful for myself and others.
If you become a necessity to someone else’s life, you are out of God’s will. As a servant, your primary responsibility is to be a “friend of the bridegroom” (John 3:29). When you see a person who is close to grasping the claims of Jesus Christ, you know that your influence has been used in the right direction. And when you begin to see that person in the middle of a difficult and painful struggle, don’t try to prevent it, but pray that his difficulty will grow even ten times stronger, until no power on earth or in hell could hold him away from Jesus Christ. Over and over again, we try to be amateur providences in someone’s life. We are indeed amateurs, coming in and actually preventing God’s will and saying, “This person should not have to experience this difficulty.” Instead of being friends of the Bridegroom, our sympathy gets in the way. One day that person will say to us, “You are a thief; you stole my desire to follow Jesus, and because of you I lost sight of Him.”
Beware of rejoicing with someone over the wrong thing, but always look to rejoice over the right thing. “…the friend of the bridegroom…rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:29-30). This was spoken with joy, not with sadness— at last they were to see the Bridegroom! And John said this was his joy. It represents a stepping aside, an absolute removal of the servant, never to be thought of again.
Listen intently with your entire being until you hear the Bridegroom’s voice in the life of another person. And never give any thought to what devastation, difficulties, or sickness it will bring. Just rejoice with godly excitement that His voice has been heard. You may often have to watch Jesus Christ wreck a life before He saves it (see Matthew 10:34).
Here is a link to this devotional about “Decreasing for His Purpose,” or to subscribe to the Oswald Chambers daily devotional.
WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS
It is perilously possible to make our conceptions of God like molten lead poured into a specially designed mold, and when it is cold and hard we fling it at the heads of the religious people who don’t agree with us.