John 3:30 "He must increase, but I must decrease." NAU “As he grows greater, I must grow less.” NEB
For some years now it has been clear to me that the only way SELF can truly decrease, is by the INCREASE of CHRIST. Yes, I know this is contrary to the way may preach, or teach. Let me share what the Spirit dropped in my heart one day concerning this verse. “It is the increase of LIFE that overcomes the DEAD old man!”
Christ is LIFE! He is our LIFE! Negative self reduction, or self crucifixion - as if you can really crucify yourself, is only DEAD WORKS! Seek not to decrease SELF, for it has more than the cats proverbial "nine lives." It just will not work, and if it did, then YOU would get the glory, and thus prove you failed yet again. This reminds me of the contest to find the most humble person in the world. When the contest ended, one man was chosen as the most humble person on earth. He was awarded a badge of honor, and as one does, he put it on for al to see. Upon doing this he was immediately stripped of his title. Why? His wearing the badge was considered an act of pride.
Most have heard the question about a half-full glass of water. If you say it is half empty, it is considered a negative viewpoint. If you say it is half full, that is considered the positive viewpoint of the an optimist. However, we are not speaking of being half empty, or full, but of FULLNESS. The question being, “How to have our lives FULL of Christ?”
Something teach that we have to go through a list of do’s and don’ts to make room for Christ, but is that Scriptural and sensible? We read in John 3:30 “He must increase, but I must decrease.” The usual interpretation of this verse is, Self must decrease in order to make room for Christ and I have even heard it prophesied that way. Is this correct? Read the order again. Which is spoken of first? Increase or decrease?
How do we get the glass full of water? Do we take the air out? Or, do we let more water in? Which is will work? You let water in, and as it comes in the air has to leave. This is so simple that we tend to miss it because religion tells us that we must always do something to earn, to merit, the goodness of God. I recall a convention oin 1975 where someone spoke of a visions of a log jam in a river. The question was how to break up the log jam. Most would use dynamite, but God’s answer was, “Pray for the water to rise.”
Man as a “religious” being, must try all possible religious routes so that there will somehow be room for Christ. We make up a long lists of “do’s” and “don’ts.” In other words, it is NOT GRACE, but WORKS. We are reminded of the words of Paul in Galatians 3:1 & 2 “You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? (“You stupid Galatians! You must have been bewitched” NEB) This one thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?” ALL activities apart from faith are man made works!
We may say we have a problem that we have no victory over. So what do we do? Anything, and everything, but stand in the victory Christ HAS placed us in. Some think they have a demon, or two, so someone tries to cast it out. The person sputters and spits, and then what and is supposed to be free? Nine times out of ten little has changed and they end up going back for more deliverance. The problem is not Satanic. It is rooted in the FLESH, which you CANNOT CAST OUT. Read about the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21. Let’s see, how does that begin? “Now the works of DEMONS are these - -. “ That excuse, or copout, is what many have been taught to believe. It is NOT the truth! It reminds one of some psychologists who have you blame anyone but yourself. Where does personal responsibility come it?
Verse 24 tells us, “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with it’s passions and desires.” Let me say clearly that one CANNOT self-crucify! Go ahead and try it. The end result of crucifixion is DEATH. Since one cannot self-crucify, and one must be crucified to be free, what does one do? Yes, there is a way. “Christ is the answer!”
In Romans 6:6, 7 we read, “knowing this that our old self WAS CRUCIFIED WITH HIM, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we should no longer be slaves to sin. For he who has died is freed from sin.”
And in Galatians 2:20, “I (that’s your ego – you) HAVE BEEN crucified with Christ; it is no longer I (ego) who live, but CHRIST LIVES IN ME; and the life which I now life in the flesh [as a human] I live by FAITH IN (literally resident IN) the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
So what is the problem? We are tested and tried, and we may have Satanic harassment (that’s his job – See Job), BUT we belong to God. As a youth I thought I had committed the “unpardonable sin,” because some wrong thoughts flashed through my mind. I was panic-stricken for about a week until I told my father about it. My father prayed a simple prayer and my mind was cleared, my nightmare was gone.
Powerful truth is found in Colossians 2:9, 10. “For in Him all the FULLNESS of Deity (better word than Godhead) dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over ALL rule and authority;” COMPLETE! Do you get it? ALL that is required to grow to spiritual maturity is CHRIST, and we ARE IN HIM. We have His SPIRITUAL DNA to bring us to FULLNESS, to MATURITY as we go through the development process.
Colossians 2:11. “and IN HIM in Him you WERE also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having BEEN BURIED [Only the dead are buried] with Him in baptism, in which you WERE also RAISED UP WITH HIM through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you ALIVE TOGETHER WITH HIM, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having cancelled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had DISARMED the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having TRIUMPHED OVER THEM through Him.” (NAU)
Whether our life, our glass, is half-full, or full, depends upon where our CENTER is. Is it in Christ? Is it in someone or something else? CHRIST IS OUR LIFE! IN HIM WE HAVE BEEN MADE COMPLETE! Let His LIFE well up and overflow for that is our victory. Our lives have been swallowed up in His glorious victory, and nothing can have dominion over those who walk in HIS ONCE AND FOR ALL VICTORY!
Let the LIFE OF CHRIST in you rise up. Within every believer there is the spiritual DNA to come to full maturity. "For in HIM ALL the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in him you have been made complete." Col. 2:9 & 10
Let he Christ within you arise mightily!