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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Decrease and Increase

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.

9 comments:

Pam said...

John 3:30 "He must increase, but I must decrease."

If we realize that we are the chiefest of sinners saved by grace, that alone leads us far down the path of humility.

Pam
http://worshipwords.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Michael: A Glorious day when I discovered your webpage. A drink of fresh cool water. Thank you for your writings and the changes they are bringing in my walk with the Lord! Joy

richa said...

Dear brother michael,
what you have taught today speaks to me.we can do nothing without the Lord.see,i am in the house,sick with fever and sore throat and swollen gums, for the last ten days.i can t even have food properly.But Lord jesus feeds me.i can do nothing.and i must decrease so that Lord could fill me up with his Holy spirit anointing.various times in my life,i started trusting my husband more than jesus,but everytime i found out i was making a dangerous mistake.Only jesus is the way to life.i must decrease.....
love,
i need prayers..
ur sister
richa

Elm Street Chapel said...

Amen, Michael.

Right in line with what the Spirit is speaking to those who will hear it.

Once we, the children of God, realize that all we are are vessels that need to be ready to pour out only what the Spirit gives us, then there will be no room for the flesh because we will truly understand and believe that in this flesh there dwells no good thing. The truth of it is, regardless of how wonderful, humble, sweet some of us seem, the only good in us is Christ Jesus.

Let us open our ears and eyes that the Spirit of God can minister to us all concerning these things.

In Christ,
Ryan

Elm Street Chapel said...

True Michael,
The strength of truth lies in the understanding and application in our lives. Initially, we must have a fair and accurate assessment of who we really are. This can only come to light in the presence of the Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth. In matters of heart, spiritually, physically, mentally, historically and every thought in between, God alone knows truth.

Some may read this blog and say, I have been right all along. Never inquiring of God, not hearing by the Holy Spirit but finding themselves pure and holy, to their own delight, by their own judgment. If another walked the path they travel they would be quick to point out the error of an others ways, but judge themselves flawless. Not even realizing that they are walking after the flesh.

Apart from the Holy Spirit even the word of God, the bible is perverted, reading it to there own understanding. Not realizing that the bible, the law, the schoolmaster, points to the Holy Spirit, restoration to the Father, through the blood of Jesus. Salvation is not the final destination, believing the whole council of God, the Life that is in the Holy Spirit, and the conversion that Jesus spoke to Peter is Life in the Spirit. It is what Joel spoke of.

L,J,P&HG
Dave

Anonymous said...

This has been my prayer for months. Another verse that comes to mind that is also my prayer is 1 Chronicles 28:9 Acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion, and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him he will reject you forever.
I need to remember this daily as I find myself being inconsistent in my dedication to knowing him and serving him with wholehearted devotion.
Thanks for some very thought provoking and heart searching words.

Anonymous said...

I am reminded of something the Lord showed me several years back... it concerned the gifts of the Spirit. I was a terrible 'brier bush' who longed in tears to become a 'myrtle tree'(imagine a hard-core biker mama with a mouth like a sewer and no morals...makes me almost weep to even think of what I used to be and how He has so graciously brought me so far)... and then one day I told someone that the fruits of the Spirit would be truly at work in us when it seemed as though 'we had been born that way'... the transition of what I used to be to where I am now is truly one of miraculous hand because I have had many people say in essence 'it seems as though you were born that way'! Absolute joy!! And what proof to my heart that I truly am a child of God! And tomorrows growing can only be better!

Mary

Anonymous said...

Hi Michael,
Thanks again for a revealing post. How we see our selves can be very different from the way God sees us...its a humbling thought, that we are no as great or as spiritual as we presume to be. But having such thoughts only reveals how much we are full of ourselves. Le tGod give us the testimony of our faith for he is the good judge.

Anonymous said...

Mary,

Thank you for your testimony, it does my heart good! I too went through a period of life that I'm really glad Jesus didn't come back during, because I would have been in trouble!

I liked what you said about changing to the point that is seems you were born that way.

God is truly a worker of miracles, isn't He?

Mrs. Pugh