Wednesday, October 08, 2014

I MUST DECREASE

Our church is going through the book of John.  Actually, we will be spending close to 8 months studying it, so we are definitely getting the play by play version.  I'm really liking it, and we are also talking through questions about it in our D-Group, so we are really diving in.  It's nice when the things that I'm learning keep recurring.

Right now, the theme that keeps emerging is "I must decrease and he must increase" from John 3:30, when John the Baptist keeps explaining to people that he is not the Messiah, that his job is close to done, and that he has always been pointing to the Messiah coming.

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John the Baptist is quite an interesting character.  There are the obvious reasons of locust/honey eating, animal skin wearing and desert living that set him apart, but what has also been brought to light for me is the fact that he had a clear mission, and he stayed on point.  He knew his job.  He was to prepare the way for the Lord.  There had been 400 years of silence, and it was time for Jesus to come and change the landscape of all human history forever.

It has been enlightening to realize that John the Baptist did his one job and then bowed out of the picture.  He didn't get distracted by all of the possibilities inevitably offered to him as a prophet.  He didn't lose his way.  He relinquished the limelight when the main attraction was in clear view.

When I contrast this to myself, I can see how easy it is for me to get distracted from what God has asked me to do.  I know every season will be different, but right now, my primary role will be at home with my husband and children.  This is absolutely different for every family, but for right now, for us, that is where I need to be.

And to be honest, it feels a bit suffocating at times.  There are a lot of demands at our home, and I oscillate between the tedium and the chaos, sometimes feeling like I want to do none of it.  I am so very thankful to get to do it, and I mean that sincerely, but it is easy for me to want "something bigger" with "more purpose" or perhaps, and this feels a bit shameful to admit, "more glory."  I know that the condition of the human heart left unchecked often tends towards discontent, and this is a battle that I have to choose to fight.

John the Baptist so simply and eloquently gave the beautiful example of wanting to diminish in the light Jesus.  He didn't look around and see if others were trying to decrease.  I easily get caught up into comparison and wonder if I am doing as much as those around me.  Should I be trying to do more?  I feel guilty and then wonder if I should.

I've needed the reminder that life is not about me.  I am forever and always trying to make it so, but whether I want to believe it or live like it, life is about so much more.  I have a tiny little role to play, and I only serve myself when I try to do more than God has asked of me.  That's not to mean that there won't be stretching times when I am asked to do far more than I feel capable of.  I am beginning to understand the ways that God equips and sustains me to do the task in front of me.  But, I am more than ever asking for his wisdom in how to use the time and energy he has given me for his glory and not my own.  I must decrease.  He must increase.  This needs to become my life motto and something that I preach to myself regularly.  I wish I wasn't so apt to forget such critical things.

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