Do you know what your purpose is?
Do you know why you exist?
Do you know what your “job” in life is?
John the Baptist knew. He had one call, one purpose, he had his one thing: to prepare the way for Jesus.
So when Jesus came on the scene in the middle of John’s ministry, John knew his purpose had been fulfilled. Mission accomplished. John viewed Jesus’ success as proof of his own, with the culmination of his life’s work being summed up in our verse for the week:
“He must increase, but I must decrease.”
(John 3:30 ESV)
John’s destiny was not to climb the ladder of success. John’s purpose was to be a placeholder until Jesus (the Messiah) arrived. Then John could say that his work on earth was done, and he could step down, letting Jesus take over.
This verse takes place after John’s success in ministry begins to dwindle. His followers come to him with the alarming news that their numbers are down. Everyone was going to Jesus now. (John 3:26)
Some people would look at that as failure. Some would look at it as bad news. Some would call a strategy meeting to see how they can get their numbers back up. But John the Baptist sees it as good news, the best news, because it means he did his job well.
Instead of being jealous of Jesus’ ministry growing, John celebrates the success of Jesus. He recognizes that this is all part of God’s plan for him, for his work, for the world.
John knew that his ultimate calling in his life and his work was to lift Jesus higher than himself. To point people to Jesus and get out of His way.
That noble calling is ours as well. Our goal in our life and our workplace calling is to lift Jesus higher than ourselves. You see, it’s not about us. It’s not about our success. It’s not about our recognition. It’s all about Jesus.
In order to do this:lift Jesus up, we have to take a back seat to Him. John understood that Jesus must increase and that he must decrease. Jesus higher, John lower.
Is that the way you view your work? Do you seek to give place and space to Jesus? Or do you want to be in the spotlight? Are your accomplishments and successes credited to you? Or to God?
In order to fulfill our workplace calling, we must have the same attitude as John the Baptist and increase our own decrease.
- Increase the times that we point others to Jesus.
- Increase the decrease of self and the promotion of God.
- Increase the moments where we give God the glory instead of taking it for ourselves.
- Increase highlighting God’s abilities over our own.
Are you doing that? Are you allowing yourself and all of your accomplishments to take a back seat to Jesus’ success?
[Tweet “The more you increase your own decrease, the closer you are to fulfilling your purpose.”]
As you set out for another week of working where God has called you, focus on increasing your decrease and then watch what God does with it. The more you decrease you and increase Jesus, the greater your satisfaction in your work will be.
Go forth and decrease!