John 3:22-30 Decreasing to Increase
The Lord always provides. He knows how to knock us down - to our knees. In doing so, I decrease and he increases. It is not a matter of God being a bully. It is a matter of me being stubborn. I simply refuse to change. I do not like being told how I should live my life; what I should do. It pains me to live a richer life. I prefer to live a life of ceremonial washings: to look clean on the outside but not on the inside; to smile rather than to seek peace. We all know what this world demands: perfection. And we all know the brutal truth: I cannot give it.
And yet, “The Lord takes delight in his people” (Ps 149:4a). The Lord loves us more than we love him because he loves the underdog – just as we love him. He loves those who have lost a loved one. He loves those whose love has been rejected. He loves the meek and humble of heart. He loves the powerful that become weak for his sake. The Lord truly takes delight in his people.
Can there be such a people? Yes. Those who allow the Lord to bend and twist us, and fashion us in the image and likeness of his Son – without falling apart – are the apple of his eye. In fact, the finest fruit hang from the tree to maturity without falling to the ground. They are ready to be harvested not by the wind or rain, or stormy weather, but by the hand of the Master. They hang on to dear life in order to be picked by Him and consumed for his delight.
I decrease for Him and for Him alone. I bend; I twist myself around His Will and His alone. In doing so, this joy of mine is made complete. He must increase; I must decrease. The order of things is restored. My life belongs to Him. All things belong to Him. I use them with love and care. I use them for only one purpose, one goal: Thy Will Be Done!
Decreasing is hard to do. So is giving and forgiving. But decreasing for the Lord means to love more – to give more and to forgive more. Decreasing means to burn the candle at both ends of the stick. To be a light that radiates in the darkness. To be a light in the image and likeness of the One who is the Light of the world.
The Lord is the first to decrease – to become man; to come from Heaven to earth and to become one with his creation. The Lord asks of us what he did for us. He asks us to come down, to become small, and to be like a child. To allow ourselves to be a grain of wheat, a mustard seed, that dies so as to bear fruit, much fruit that will last an eternity.