Most Christians don’t think of John the baptizer as a rabbi. But that is what his disciples called him, for he was their first teacher. In preparing the road for Messiah, John must have shined like the brilliant morning star over a clear desert sky. Now the sun was about to rise – the Son of God – and such brilliance would cause the morning star to decrease and fade from view. That’s when Rabbi John left us a lesson that must become a daily discipline in every disciple’s life – “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
My greatest enemy is not the devil. It is something so sinister that even if there was no devil, it would still act like the devil. “It” is “self” – seen in its ugliest as “me”, “myself” and “I”. It is the craving to be seen, to be praised, to envy and be envied, to be indulged by the adulation of others, and a thousand other wily ways for self to occupy an inner throne made only for God.
But when a true heart sees Jesus, we become sickened over self and look for a deeper daily deliverance from the “Big I.” “Your will, not mine, Lord. Your glory, not mine. Your graciousness, compassion, sensitivity and servanthood, not my own that is tainted by self, Lord.”
I believe it is possible to be so full of Jesus and so consumed in His immediate Presence that others can see, hear and feel Him when we are in their midst. It is brought about by spiritual intimacy between us and the Lord, not a human striving that proves contrived and sterile – and still full of self. May the Lord be pleased to touch your heart and mine by continual revelation in how we can more fully submit to the increase of Jesus and the decrease of self.