Enjoy Life, Enjoy God

Dale Patterson


April 19, 2010

We live in a world of position, visibility, prestige, popularity, that values attention, glamour, fame-all these things. John the Baptist lived there too.

"The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. For this reason my joy has been fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease."
---John 3:29,30

 John made a spiritual splash on the scene when he called the people to repentance; he called them to turn back to God, and give evidence of that in baptism. Yet when Jesus came on the scene, the Baptist's disciples were disturbed, even jealous, due to Jesus' growing popularity. But the Baptist knew his place. He was called by God to be a friend of the bridegroom, not the bridegroom. "I must decrease." Faithfulness did not mean success, and spots on the Jay Leno show, but living in the shadow of Jesus. The Baptist knew his place.

I suspect that the Gospel of John tells us this sobering story for us to heed not only a dose of humility, not only "our place," but to summon us to faithfulness. It's not about us; it's about Jesus. What we are doing, it's not the focus. The world says we are the focus, everything in our spirits tells us it is about us. But the Holy Spirit says, "He must increase, I must decrease."

Dale Patterson