"He must increase, but I must decrease." John 3:30 -"More of Him, less of me."
Many of you probably know by the title of my website that John 3:30 is my life verse. A good brother in Christ, Chip Brogden (Watchman.net) puts it this way: "Growth is not more knowledge or increase of years: it is simply more of Christ and less of me. He increases as I decrease. This is what it means to be a disciple." -Chip Brodgen
This is the simplicity of the gospel. This phrase and verse ("more of Him", He must increase...) keeps us centered and focused on Him instead of theology, doctrines, methods and the many teachings that abound. All of those other things seem to come in and get our mind OFF of Christ and onto that method, doctrine, theology, or teaching. It gets to be complex. I think even the enemy would like it to be so. Paul warned of us: "But I fear that somehow you will be led away from your pure and simple devotion to Christ, just as Eve was deceived by the serpent."
Even when we focus and strive for things such as holiness, repentance, humility, spiritual warfare, prayer, etc........ if, instead we focus on becoming "more of Him" and Him increasing in us (by dying to self and lying our self at the foot of the cross- surrendering) all of these other things come about pretty naturally! The reason? Because if HE is in us then HE is Holiness, Humility in us- He is leading. We are resting in Him, hidden in Him.
One way Chip puts it that I like is:"I am nothing but a styrofoam cup, after drinking the water you simply crush it and throw it away. The cup is nothing, it is what the cup contains that is important."
I have a hard time putting into words all that I would like to say and how this kind of surrender has allowed me to end my struggles and given me rest in Him. Please allow me to quote Chip since he has better words for it. :)
"The turning point came in my life when I stopped searching for a way, method, technique or ritual for "victory". Christ is my victory. Having HIM I have no need of a method... This is daily, forever. It is an inward thing. THERE IS ONLY SO MUCH YOU CAN DO TO REGULATE YOURSELF OUTWARDLY. It must be an inward submission (surrender) or it will not last.It is always better to focus on Christ as All in all, not on giving up this thing or that thing. He must increase and i must decrease. If He increases then other things have no place. When this is done everything finds it's proper place."
If you will allow me to give a good example from my own life that my oldest daughter and I discovered last night: A few years ago, I used to have a bad temper when things did not go my way. I was very stressed and when I was at the end of my rope, I would yell at my kids or yell at my husband (this is the sin coming from self). I knew it was wrong and would apologize (repent) afterwards. But the problem was controlling it BEFORE I got that stressed. See, it's the thing that many christians deal with, the problem of doing the same sin over and over; repenting but still not overcoming.
Do you know that since I have discovered this truth that He must increase and I must decrease- that I must surrender all to Him- that I have not lost my temper with them (in the last 2 1/2 years). It is because it is not me anymore. I have given myself over to Him completely and over time, He becomes more of Himself in me. I am not the same stressed out person anymore. How could I be? I can't fall into sin, I can't fall into temptation because He is operating and leading and guiding my life- not me anymore.
If anything rises up in me at all (whether sin or temptation or whatever) then I know that "self" has suddenly increased and I need to go to the cross and repent. This whole thing is the same as absolute surrender. We are nothing, He is everything in us. It's very simple and makes us into overcomers. This is a key to the kingdom. This is a hidden truth to most believers who are continually struggling and striving to live a "good" life.
May He continually increase in us and may we continually decrease. May we lay it all down and become "more of Him"- not for our sakes, but for the sake of the gospel and because He is WORTHY of our surrender.
In Him, Chanin
www.moreofHim.net / www.xanga.com/More_of_Him