“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30
I once had a preacher sign this verse on the inside cover of my Bible along with his name. I instantly admired the man for desiring that to be his life verse but how do I claim this verse for me personally? In this verse, John the Baptist describes not only that Christ’s ministry must eclipse and do away with his own, but also illustrates for us the heart attitude that every Christian ought to have.
Most of us do not have a problem with the first part of John’s statement, we desire for Christ to “increase”, but the uncomely portion of this verse is that we must “decrease”. In order for Christ to increase, we must decrease; His increase is dependent upon our decrease, one cannot happen without the other. Friends, our “decrease” means; to be made less or inferior: in dignity; to decrease in authority or popularity; to diminish, to make nothing.
By contrast, “increase” means to cause to grow, augment, to increase, or become greater. So, how can I cause Christ to increase? Well, I can pray like the apostles, “And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.” (Luke 17:5). Our faith in Him increases in proportion to the hearing of God’s word (Romans 10:17). By increasing our faith in God’s word, faith in ourselves will diminish and we will begin to plant and water others with God’s word!
“I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” 1Cor. 3:6, 7
Notice that Paul says that he that “planteth” and he that “watereth” are not “any thing”, that’s our role, we have to become nothing! This increase of God is the same promise that Christ gave his disciples and to us as we take the seed of God’s word (Luke 8:11) and plant it into the hearts of others.
“And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.” Mark 4:8
If we “decrease” to nothing, then the word of God will have “free course” (1 Thessalonians 3:1) in our lives and God will have the liberty to multiply disciples!
“And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in
greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.” Acts 6:7 Jerusalem
Friend, it is a 100% guarantee that Christ “MUST” increase, but it remains to be seen if you will “…pour out your heart before him…” (Psalm 62:8) and thus be empty of yourself so that His increase can be achieved through you. Begin making this exchange today by simply saying “yes” to Him and “no” to self.
“Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” Isaiah 9:7