He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30
The book of Acts (5:12-16) recounts a story in which Peter, a follower of Jesus and leader in the early church, is ministering on the crowded streets of Jerusalem. Because so many miracles were being performed by these Believers, scores of the sick were brought out into the streets in hopes being healed.
We learn in this story that Peter was so filled with the power of God’s Spirit that it flowed naturally from him, even permeating the area around him. As Peter passed through the streets, people who did not even come in physical contact with him received healing. Enveloped in a cloud of God’s healing power, Peter the man was virtually inconsequential.
A few years ago the movie Time Traveler hit the big screen. Viewers learned within a few scenes that a ‘travel event’ was always preceded by a cool music intro, followed by a pixilating dissolve as the time traveler disappeared into another time and place.
What if such a disappearing act was possible on the spiritual level? I have a recurring dream in which I dissolve away – like the time traveler about to travel – until nothing of my flesh is left. As I dissipate into nothingness, the image of Jesus is all that remains, all that can be seen in me. That dream has become my deepest longing; that I would decrease to the point that people would no longer see the Tabitha in me, but would see Christ magnified in me (Philippians 1:19-21).
What would it take for that to be accomplished in my life? What might be required of me? What would need to be placed on the altar? Would the sacrifices be worth it in the end?
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. Mark 8:35
God’s word teaches me that living life as a Christ follower involves a crazy irony — the surest way to lose my life is to try to preserve it. I can only experience the reality of what it means to LIVE if I give my life away. Not to just any cause or purpose, but to the One who purchased it with His own blood.
Only through the diminishing of my flesh and strengthening of the Spirit in me, can I hope to see God glorified in my life.