“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30
One of the greatest parts of becoming a believer is the sanctification that happens in the new believer’s life. This sanctification is the miraculous work of God who slowly molds us more into the image of His Son until we are called home to heaven.
You have probably noticed this in new believers. You think, “Hey, there’s something different about that guy” or “The way she speaks to people is so different now!” This is just a couple of examples of how people are changed by the Holy Spirit that resides within them.
Fast forward a few years. You’re no longer a new believer, but your life under the microscope is under greater magnification. You can’t help but think, “If I mess up just once…like big time…my testimony is going to crumble.” I should know. I have thought that multiple times throughout my life. However, that entire line of thinking is wrong because I am ultimately undermining the work of God.
During the Engedi 2011 retreat, we delved into the glory of God. One of the things that really stuck to me was that God’s glory has weight, and when He made us His temple the weight of His glory displaces our old nature. This is similar to how water in a cup is displaced when you throw in solid objects like ice cubes.
I think we focus so much on our faults, shortcomings, habits, etc. that we lose sight of the fact that God is the one who ultimately reflects His glory through us. We simply have to be willing vessels that have died to the flesh. As far as being a light to the world, God is the one who actually does most of the heavy lifting.
When you take things into your own hands like going out of your way to please people or be nice, are you really shining the glory of God? Are you in reality just elevating yourself even subconsciously? I struggle with those questions on a weekly, if not daily basis. I constantly ask myself, “That thing I just said/did. Was that me or was that Jesus?”
At the end of my life, I don’t want to be remembered by how nice I was to people. I don’t want them to remember me solely. I never want to eclipse the Son. I want to be remembered as a servant that gave God free reign to shine and impact lives. I hope you have a chance to examine your hearts and ultimately your intentions for your words and for your actions. Never forget that the story is all about God, but He can use you as a pen to ink the tale of life.