November 28th, '18
All rights reserved © message by Kris Jackson
DECREASE TILL YOU INCREASE
must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30)
We need to put that verse into better context.
True, John the Baptist, who didn't feel worthy to loose Jesus' sandals from His
feet (Luke 3:16), felt it his duty to slowly back away from the scene. But it
must be recognized that he couldn't back away from the scene until he was the
scene. John "was in the deserts till the day of his showing to Israel" (Luke 1:80). He had his showing. John was known clear to the king's palace.
Herod "feared John, knowing that he was a just man and holy..." (Mark 6:20) The
prophet in camel hide didn't play humble, remain anonymous and think of himself
as unworthy or a nobody as some would misinterpret the text. John understood
his mission and calling as the forerunner of Messiah. He said, "I am the voice
of one crying in the wilderness" (John 1:23). To say "I am" sounds pretty
confident and certain. John knew who he was and Whose he was.
So that brings us to our first point, if I
decrease He will decrease. Evan Roberts of the Welsh revival made the
mistake of decreasing before it was time. He secluded himself during the height
of the revival, thinking that too much attention was being placed on him, when in
fact the publicity was resounding to God's glory and the advancement of the
revival. Decrease is the easy way out. Anyone can play meek and timid.
Decrease, considering oneself a nobody, becomes self-justification for
inaction, retirement back to the shelf and non-commitment. "If I'm a nobody
then I can do nothing. After all John said 'I must decrease' so who am I to
think I can make any difference. I will simply bow out". That attitude is
cowardly. When you decrease like that Jesus decreases along with you.
A second point, I must increase for Him to
increase. Have you ever thought that perhaps God wants you to increase? "Of
the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end" (Isaiah 9:7).
That increase operates through human vessels. One pastor says He "sinks" those
vessels, maybe so, but still there can be no demotion if there hasn't been a
promotion first. You can't start with zero then decrease that He may increase.
That is mathematically impossible. John was a hero, not a zero. "Then went out
to him Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan,
and were baptized of him in Jordan..." (Matthew 3:5,6) John increased and
increased rapidly. The publicity wasn't accidental, God lit the fire. John had
to increase to build a platform for Jesus to increase.
Which takes us to the third point, I must
decrease for Him to increase. Once the public's attention was caught John
was then responsible to point every eye to the Savior. "Behold the lamb of God,
which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). A man can't cast crowns at
Jesus' feet if he has no crowns to throw. John became the premier "voice" of
his generation, "the voice of one crying..." Every voice has a personality, a
namesake, an ego behind it. John was not without a will, he just knew that at
the peak of his success that now his will would have to be forfeited for the
higher prize of Christ's coming, His kingdom and glory. It was at that point
that John diminished. The Bridegroom having arrived, John, the "best man",
stepped behind the curtains (John 3:29). That is how the wedding reception
works, you know. In a matter of months John had been beheaded in Herod's
prison, an awful ending for such an honored life, but that was as much symbolic
as historic. The removal of the head represented his submission to the new
Authority. Sometimes we too "must" decrease for Jesus to increase. He is the
true "head of the body, the church" (Colossians 1:18). He will give His glory
to no other and certainly He will give control to no other and so it is the
disciple's pleasure to bow out gracefully. Just remember, that bowing out has to
be at the right time, when Jesus is presented so that every eye turns toward
Him. John did that and his humble ending is now the martyr's example for all
who voluntarily relinquish their own headship.