I am hoping I can articulate this well. It is sometimes difficult to put into words what has occurred in me through God. Over a year ago I was singing a song that had the words, “more of You and less of me”. As I was singing, all of a sudden I heard the Lord quite clearly ask me why I would want less of me. I answered with a question back, isn’t this supposed to be what I want, less of me and to be more like You??? I felt His smile and maybe a hint of a giggle and another question, didn’t I create you? Well of course You did, I answered. Then I heard, I never asked for less of you. This is when I could no longer sing those words to that song anymore.
I think many of us Christ followers feel as though God wants to see us suffer or bend over backwards to please Him so He will love us. We still see God with the wrong lenses and He is asking us to repent (turn and see Him for Who He truly is). When we see God incorrectly we can misread or misunderstand scripture. That is why John the Baptist and Jesus Himself said, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3:2 and 4:17). They were letting the Jewish people know things are going to change and the way you thought the kingdom of heaven worked needed to be changed. Like a 180 degree turn.
Where in scripture does it say I must decrease, so He can increase? The only place I found this is in John chapter 3:22-36:
“After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He was spending time with them and baptizing. John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there; and people were coming and were being baptized- for John had not yet been thrown into prison. Therefore there arose a discussion on the part of John’s disciples with a Jew about purification. And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified, behold, He is baptizing and all are coming to Him.” John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven. You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent ahead of Him.’ He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full. He must increase, but I must decrease. “He who comes from above is above all, he who is of the earth is from the earth and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. What He has seen and heard, of that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony. He who has received His testimony has set his seal to this, that God is true. For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”” NASB
I have learned it is best to read scripture in context; understanding who it was written to; whether or not law or grace is being talked about; and seeing God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit for Who they truly are. If we look at the above scripture reference we can see that John’s disciples are saying that Jesus is also now baptizing, almost like it is a competition. John’s reply is to prove Who Jesus is and who he, John, is. He uses the Old Testament to show the prophecies are coming true right in front of them (Isaiah 53 and John also uses similar language in John 1) and he himself is only from the earth, a man that is also in need of what has been sent from heaven. He then prophecies about himself, knowing that he is the one prophecied about in Malachi 4:5, the Elijah that comes before the Christ. Stating all of this to his disciples he then states the prophecy that he must decrease so that Jesus can increase. This means that it isn’t a competition on who will baptize more, it is the very plan of God that Jesus’ ministry starts and John’s will conclude.
This idea I believe, because before I have understood it to mean, that we are sinners and we must help God to purge ourselves of sinful thoughts, actions, etc. So that there is more room for holy Jesus in us. This is just wrong thinking and not believing that when Jeus said on the Cross, It is finished!, He really meant it. 2 Corinthians 5:17 is very clear that once we believe in Jesus we are a NEW CREATION IN CHRIST. So, what are we going to believe: Believers are still sinners or that we are a new creation in Christ? Sin does not make you a sinner….we were ALL born into sin through Adam’s choice, according to Paul in Romans 5. Jesus paid that price and gifted grace and righteousness for ALL that believe in Him; thus we become new creations, IN HIM. Does sin make us sinners, no. It was through one transgression/disobedience that condemned ALL MEN and made them all sinners (women too) and ONE ACT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS/OBEDIENCE now opens justification, righteousness as a gift and grace to all who believe in Jesus. No longer sinners but new creations. Do we still sin, yes. Have we been fully forgiven for that sin, yes. Our drawers are empty in heaven. The records have been washed with the Blood of Jesus, clean white and pure for ALL time. All of the sin of the world was put upon the perfect sacrifice, Jesus. I have accessed my empty drawer through faith (believing) in Christ Jesus.
See righteousness is a gift that Jesus gives to ALL that believe in Who He is. That has been established 2000 years ago on the Cross and He invites ALL to BELIEVE. There is absolutely no need for YOU, as a believer, to be less to get more of Him, EVER. As you believe in Who He is you receive ALL of His BENEFITS. He doesn’t dole Himself out to His Bride but gives all of Himself to her. It doesn’t make a good marriage if one partner leaves part of themselves out of the equation. Although that happens with us here on earth. But Jesus NEVER EVER leaves any part of Himself out of the equation. With Him it is ALL or Nothing- and that decision, of all or nothing, is fully in our hands. Jesus has already given us His all, gave us Himself, ALL of Himself. It is up to us to make a decision to receive or simply believe Him.
He actually loves exactly how He created you. As we rest in Him, focus on Him, proclaim who we are in Him we naturally, by abiding in Him go from glory to glory and we bear the fruit of the Spirit-love, joy, peace, kindness, gentleness, patience, and self control (Galatians 5:22-24). Are we perfect, NO. Can we do this in our own, NO, this equals self-righteousness. But we do go from glory to glory. It is amazing and completely God’s plan. So, be who He created you to be, unique and totally you.