He Must Increase, and I Must Decrease

“He must increase, but I must decrease.”(John 3:30)

A couple of years ago, as I sought the Lord for future direction, I sensed these words in my heart: “Somebody has to set up the chairs.” As a result, I spent the following year serving others in public ministry, and it turned out to be one of the most blessed and productive years of my life, as He increased and I decreased.

This morning a dear friend wrote to me and said she was reminded of my year of “setting up chairs” when she read something someone else had written. Apparently the gentleman who wrote the piece was seeking to “do” great ministry for the Lord, and the Holy Spirit directed him to “hold the ladder” for a man who was painting.

God’s idea of “great ministry” and ours is often not the same, but His is always right. If “well done, good and faithful servant” is the message we want to hear at the end of our lives, it’s important that we are about the Father’s business, and not our own. If we are still setting and following our own agendas, we have a long way to go to reach that sought-after quality of humility that is the hallmark of faithful service.

I once had the honor of working with a man named Dr. Richard Halverson, who at the time was the Chaplain of the United States Senate. I suppose the one thing that most impressed me about this great man was his humility, which came to light several times, though never more clearly than on Christmas Eve day, a couple of decades ago.

Dr. Halverson and I were racing the clock to complete a book project, and I had opted to spend the day working on it before shutting down for Christmas Eve/Christmas day. As I worked, I found myself at an impasse, needing an immediate answer to a question that only Dr. Halverson or one of his associates could answer. I knew the likelihood of reaching anyone in his office on Christmas Eve day was slim, but I decided to call and leave a message, hoping Dr. Halverson’s secretary might check messages and get back to me with an answer.

Imagine my surprise when, instead of an answering machine, Dr. Halverson himself answered the phone. He explained that he had sent his staff home to enjoy the holiday but felt that he should come in to attend to some necessary details. When I told him why I was calling, he immediately went to work, digging through files until he found the answer. He called me back a couple of hours later and gave me the information I needed, and we were back on schedule.

Never once did this fine gentleman give me any indication that he was “too important” to attend to such a detail or to accommodate me on a holiday. His time and his very life belonged to God, and he willingly and cheerfully spent every moment living and acting accordingly, even if it meant setting up chairs, holding up ladders, or digging through file cabinets on Christmas Eve.

May we all walk in such humility, as He increases and we decrease.

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Copyright 2009-2012 Kathi Macias, all rights reserved. Used by permission.
Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored 30 books.
“Beyond Me. Living a You-first Life in a Me-first World”

“Mothers of the Bible Speak to Mothers of Today”

She also writes novels:

Deliver Me From Evil, (finalist for the Golden Scrolls Novel of the Year Award) and Special Delivery.
No Greater Love, More than Conquerors

The author can be reached at: http://www.kathimacias.com

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