“He Must Increase” —John 3:30
Did you ever drive across the prairie, and note in the distance a mountain? At first sight the mountain seems very small. But as you drive on, and come closer to the mountain, you are astonished to see how rapidly it seems to grow. Really, the mountain isn’t growing. It is still the same size as when you first observed it. The difference is that you have drawn closer to the mountain. This is exactly what takes place when God “increases.” He is the same God to all men. But to some people, He seems to be a little, shriveled up, impotent God, who can scarcely be expected to do anything that really matters. The reason for this is that these people are living TOO FAR AWAY FROM HIM! This is why we are instructed, “Draw nigh to God” (James 4:8).
God is far away from many people because they have allowed so many things to come in between. Some even draw nigh to God with their mouth, while their heart is far from Him (Matthew 15:8). Of these He says, “In vain do they worship me.” The only way that it is possible to draw near to God, is to begin earnestly, with all your heart to search out those things which come between, and GET RID OF THEM!
Pride certainly will keep God at a distance. “The proud he knoweth AFAR OFF” (Psalm 138:6). God cannot work WITH you when He is FAR FROM you. You must come to Him humbly.
Some have excused the lack of power in their lives, by saying, “The day of miracles is past. The church is established now, and it doesn’t need miracles any more.” Nowhere does the scripture confirm any such thought. “Jesus Christ (is) the SAME, yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: BUT YOUR INIQUITIES HAVE SEPARATED BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR GOD” (Isaiah 59:1–2). Don’t blame God for your lack of power. Put the blame squarely where it belongs. YOU are too far from God, because there are too many iniquities (sins) in between.
Friends and loved ones may come between. Jesus said, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37).
The cares of life may come between, as weeds choking out a crop, making it unfruitful. Some give all their thought to the things of this life, as though they would live here forever. God cannot work with such as these. To be near to the heart of God, and to feel the pulse beat of His compassion for the lost, and the suffering, one must have a constant realization of the shortness of life, and the inevitability of eternity.
Some are kept at a distance from God by lack of appreciation. Praise is lacking in their lives. Real appreciation for what God IS and what He has done, will bring forth praise. Praise brings us into the very presence of God. “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise” (Psalm 100:4).
Some who read this book, may not know that God desires to be so near to his people, as to send his HOLY SPIRIT to take up his abode not simply near, but WITHIN the child of God. When you have opened your heart and allowed the Spirit of God to fill you, baptize you, taking possession of every part of your body, you will find him much nearer than ever before. He will be a much greater God to you, than you have ever known. Then as he is allowed to continue to dwell in you richly, teaching and guiding you day by day, into a closer relationship with the father, and into a more pure life of holiness, the greatness of God will become more and more apparent. He will increase in your life.
The more you come to know Him, by walking by his side day by day, and the more you feed upon his word, the more he will increase in your sight. All that we know of God, we know by faith. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Feed upon the Word of God. It is strange, but some even hope to have power with God who pay very little heed to the word of God. He will not honor with his presence those who dishonor his word.
It is the Word of God which will help us to cleanse from our lives the SINS which stand between. “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word” (Psalm 119:9).
In dealing with me about this matter, God made it very plain to me that if these things were allowed to persist in my life, if sin were tolerated and allowed to remain, God would continue to be at a distance from me. He would be so far away, that he would be to me only the little, meaningless God whom so many others profess to serve. The only way that God could increase in my life to the point where he would be working through me in power, was for me to keep everything out from between me and God. The only way he could remain the great “I AM” in my own experience, was for me to continually walk in the light of his word, by the power of his spirit, DECREASING day by day, becoming more and more absorbed in Him who must INCREASE.
He MUST increase! Not could increase. Not might increase. He MUST increase. He must increase in glory, and majesty and power. He must increase in control of my life.
“I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless I live; YET NOT I, BUT CHRIST LIVETH IN ME” (Galatians 2:20).
"Fill me with thy spirit, till all the world may see,
Not me, but Jesus only, shining out through me.”
Lord, make us hungry for you.