Before John the Baptist appeared on the scene, there was an obvious absence of Spiritual authority. The prophets had faded into the shadows of that older time even though the Temple work prevailed. John became an instant hit. His preaching was without a filter. His message was unique. Most of all, he did not mince words when it came to the deeds of his counterparts: the pharisees. However, the greatest statement of John’s ministry concerned himself and Jesus Christ. He said, “I must decrease and He (Jesus) must increase.”
John’s statement is better seen as a weighing scale of importance. God’s presence prevails when there is less of me, i.e., He can only increase if I am willing to decrease.
The greatest opposition that has the power to confine the work of the Spirit is the flesh. His glory is always proportionate to my pride. His authority is limited by my acknowledgment of my weakness. The greater my person, the smaller His Presence. The more profound my view, the less clear His Word.
God’s competition is not the devil. His competition is me. Satan has no power to resist God…but I do. God gave us the power to reject His love, favor, and truth. God wants to be great in our midst, but He can only work to the extent that we allow Him. He stands at the door and knocks. He is a knocking Savior, a gentle Redeemer. He is not an abrasive God that kicks down doors and demands us to serve Him.
He will not change my will. He has ordained my will to be an affront to His Authority, if I so choose. Incredibly enough, my will can supersede His divine order. Flesh, arrogance, and haughty spirits are the elements of a carnal man and they are the very things that crowd out the Glory of the Omnipotent Savior.
If we desire His glory, then we must become humble before Him. I must decrease in order for Him to increase. I must become empty of opinions and personal thoughts so that He can be the great God in my life. The ratio is set. Less of me means more of Him. Less of my will means more of His will. Go see Gideon. God does His greatest work when there are no resources left to manage. He does His most magnificent things when all we have is Him to lean upon.
His Glory can be seen, His power known, but all of it is contingent upon our choice. Heed the voice of the one crying in the wilderness.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole