"He must increase, but I must decrease."
In a world shouting, "Me, Me, Me!" and promoting the rise of "Me, Myself and I," this scripture from the Gospel of John illustrates to me the opposite way we are called to live. To live a life fully devoted to God and living His way, dying to our flesh can seem difficult.
However, the more I ponder the way I am called to live as a disciple of Christ, I am slowly realising it is the only way to live if I want to be truly filled, satisfied and overflowing with the fruits of the Spirit.
Making a Choice
Jesus said in the book of Matthew that we cannot serve both God and wealth, and we cannot serve both God and ourselves. We must die with Christ and share in his suffering so we can also rise with Christ and share His glory.
So what does this look like on a daily basis? How do I have more of Him and less of me? I have been thinking about this lately as my desire of having more of Him and less of me grows in my innermost being. Should I sell everything and not have any material possessions? Quit my job and live on the streets? If God tells me to, then I will.
But I feel it's more about what is my main focus and how do I spend my time? What am I meditating on and thinking about? What are my priorities? How am I using my resources? Why am I doing the things I'm doing? What are my motives?
Seek First the Kingdom of God
"But seek FIRST his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be GIVEN to you as well (emphasis mine)."
So are any of these earthly things wrong? Of course not. But what are we seeking first in our lives? God or ourselves? God or our job? God or our possessions? God or others?
I'm not suggesting God wants us to be moping around with nothing or no one in our lives while muttering under our breath, "I'm dying for Christ." I believe the God I know and the God whom I read about in the Bible and talk with and love, loves us more than we could ever imagine and wants to bless us until we are overflowing with His goodness and blessings.
"Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart."
I believe in order to have more of Him and less of Me, I must follow Jesus' example of humility. Jesus came not to be served, but to serve.
Philippians chapter 2 says: "Even though He was in the form of God, he did not count equality with God but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant'...he humbled himself.
But as Christ humbled himself and was obedient to the point of death, God elevated him to the place of highest honour and gave him the name above all other names..."
"Humble yourselves, therefore under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time."
My prayer is that with the Holy Spirit's help and strength, I can be shown and guided as to how I can become less and less and He can become more and more.
"Humility is not about thinking less of ourselves, but thinking of ourselves less."
- CS Lewis
Jo Fuller is an early childhood teacher with degrees in journalism and education. She currently lives on the Sunshine Coast with her husband and toddler son.
Jo Fuller's archive of articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jo-fuller.html