Last month I wrote to you with a desire that we understand what it means to be a "true servant". We noted that one of the key characteristics of a servant is that he is with the Master "where His is" (John 5:19-20). I wanted this time to look at one of the changes that takes place as we are walking, working, living in close relationship with the Lord.
It is the continual process of reducing. There is this subtle idea that keeps suggesting that once we have a Bible college or seminary degree, a title before or after our name, a congregation to pastor, or any other distinction that makes us feel "we have arrived", there is no longer any need for radical changes. A couple examples will prove this idea very false.
John the Baptist spent very little time physically with Jesus, but he knew there was one essential to being an effective servant of Jesus; "He (Jesus)must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30). I am very challenged with the thought that I must be continually getting smaller. Everything around me, including those I respect in the body of Christ, tend to feed my pride rather than help my humility. If we are not very serious about this issue, we will hinder the very work that God wants to do in and through us and that we have set our hearts and live to accomplish.
Paul knew this truth. Even though he had ask the Lord to remove the thorn in his flesh, he also knew that the Lord did not remove it to keep Paul "from becoming conceited" (2 Cor. 12:1-10). But there was another reason. The Lord's sufficient grace for Paul's weakness would make way for God's power to be revealed. In many respects I think we have become comfortable with a powerless life and ministry. In fact, I feel for myself that I have become too comfortable without the Spirit's power. I really don't know what His power looks like if it was released. I cannot live that way any more!
Will you join me in asking the Holy Spirit to teach us how to become small, weak in ourselves, and ready for the power of God the Holy Spirit. We must learn to be comfortable with being nothing so that Christ can be everything! This is the path to fruitful ministry.