The Awe of Intimacy with Christ
“He must increase, but I must decrease.”
This statement made by John the Baptist contains a very potent and convicting lesson for all who seek to follow Christ.
I believe in John’s story we witness possibly the finest human example of humility. He was born and anointed for a specific purpose. He could accept this because he knew well that this life is only temporary. He was called by God, but importantly, he also had not made a god of himself. People followed and adored him, but he did not take the position that was not his to take. The people observed greatness bending to make way for the Greatest.
John knew that there was one coming who was greater than himself, and his identity was so profoundly implanted in his love and anticipation for the Messiah, that he gladly sought no other pursuits which might further elevate him.
He could have had much by way of earthly power and possession, but he knew his sole purpose was to point to Jesus. An interesting point to note is that he had his own disciples. They themselves were concerned about John’s loss of stature, as more and more people began to follow Jesus, but he was not jealous. His speech continuously elevated Christ and affirmed Him in the eyes of the people who had trusted him. He was loyal to the point of death.
I cannot even articulate how incredible his act of selflessness would have been. We need to learn from this. Our purpose is to point people to Christ. We were born to do this. We need to decrease so that He might increase.
It can be difficult for us at times to see others excel. Sometimes we may even try to pursue callings that are not our own, simply because they appear to reap greater rewards or affirmation. Be content as John was content. He had a job to do and he committed his whole self to it and to seeing it through. If we live a life with the mindset that everything we do is for an audience of One – the Father who loves us unconditionally – and that there is nothing that we can do to alter His perspective of us, then how can we ever be unsatisfied with our lot?
Can we say with true conviction that ‘Christ is enough for us’? The truth is; of course He is, but do we live lives that reflect that? Receive a new perspective. If we can live selflessly as John the Baptist did, see the trivialities fall away. They are like smoke and will dissipate. They are nothing in comparison to the greatness of Jesus Christ. Point to Him. Point to Him always.
- Who do you live for? Whose plans and ambitions do you carry? What would your life look like if you were in complete submission to Christ, giving over everything to Him?
- What do you need to do so that you may decrease?
- How loyal are you to the cause of Christ?
- Read Job 38:2-18. What are you willing to let go of? God may move your plans unexpectedly. Are you ok with this? Can you put your trust in the God who has brought you this far? Can you let go of your own agendas?