John 3:30 "He must increase, but I must decrease."
There is a massive movement underway in the modern church, encouraging believers to discover the strength in themselves, to discover the greatness, the warrior, the poet, to be self centered, to have self esteem, to possess a positive self image, even if the image we have of ourselves is far from the truth. It has been touted by some eloquent, and some less eloquent men, from various denominational pulpits, that we can do anything, unaided by a higher power, just as long as we focus, have positive thoughts, and practice positive affirmations.
The search for greatness, meaning or even relevance in oneself absent of any exterior forces has led many to great discouragement bordering on hopelessness, for sooner or later, all men discover that in and of themselves they are outright impotent in affecting positive change. Absent of God, man is unable to stand, to fight or to be that which God expects him to be.
The power lies not in self, the power lies in Christ, what He did on the cross, and this is where many a men have erred in their teaching and philosophy. In teaching a gospel absent of Christ, we teach a gospel absent of power, a power that is offered to us throughout the Word of God, if only we would submit to His will, and obey His voice.
Flesh and spirit cannot coexist in the same heart. They will always struggle for control or dominance, neither content to surrender, or give up. We cannot call a truce between this present flesh and the holiness to which God calls us, and any attempt to do so would suddenly translate us into the land of compromise, which God abhors in His children.
The truth is simple. We must decrease, that He may increase in us. A vessel can only hold so much. It is a universal law that you cannot fit ten ounces of water, in an eight ounce glass. The same principle must be applied to the human heart. There is only so much room, and in order for God to fill us with His Holy Spirit, room must be made, therefore there must be less of us.
The less of me there is, the less of the flesh that God finds in my heart, the more of Himself He can pour into me. The vessel will always hold the same amount; the only issue is the contents. What is your vessel holding? What is it you are filled with today?
Are we filled with self, with flesh, with mantras and quirky sayings, false hopes, inflated egos, pride and arrogance, or are we filled with the Spirit of the living God? The power of God makes the flesh wither. What was once a full grown man, becomes an atom, so that the power of the risen Christ may be glorified, that men see Him in us, His greatness, His goodness, His mercy, and His wisdom, nothing left of the flesh, nothing left of the old man.
When God makes His will known to us, and we humble ourselves, realizing our limitations, it is God that gives us the spiritual strength to obey.
When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, calling him a mighty man of valor, Gideon knew that in and of himself he could be no such thing. Perhaps the angel had gotten the wrong address, perhaps it was the next wine press over he was trying to find, another young man threshing his wheat in secret, for fear of the Midianites sweeping down and taking it all.
Gideon even tried explaining this fact to the angel by saying, "Oh my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least of my father's house." It was then that the angel of the Lord revealed why Gideon was in fact the one whom God had chosen to save Israel.
Because he had decreased in his own eyes, because he saw himself as nothing more than the least in his father's house, it was God who would be with him, and it was by His power that the Midianites would be defeated as one man.
Upon recognition that it is the power of God working in us and through us that brings about the victory, that only by His strength we are able to stand and do battle, we can journey through this world with confidence, knowing that we have already obtained the victory in Him.
If you desire to do great exploits for God, the first thing you must do is decrease in your own eyes, that He may increase in you.
I ask no one to take a leap of faith and believe my words over the talking heads on their television screens, I ask only that you read your Bible and believe it, over my words and their words as well. The Word of God will never lead us astray, it will never lead us to desert places when we seek water, nor to barren lands when we seek food. It is the Bible that says we must decrease, that He may increase in us. This fact no longer makes the subject debatable. Once it has been established in the Word, it is no longer up for debate. The only thing left to do now, is to obey.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.