More and Less

Pink Peonies
"He must increase, but I must decrease.” (ESV)
"He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less." (NLT)
"He must become more important, but I must become less important." (ISV)

At each New Year, resolution's are made, plans are set in action and we dream of what could be in the next 365 days. Throughout the years I've made these resolutions, but this year God called me to a different one. It wasn't lengthy or detailed or centered around the betterment of my life. Nope, it was exactly the opposite, or so it may seem. He led me to John 3:30 as the verse that would guide and direct my steps. It is written in three different ways above and the command is simple:

He must increase. I must decrease.

BootsLet's face the fact, we only have one shot at this life. One vapor to live. This day that God has given us won't come back around again. February 18, 2014 will only be given to us once. To be honest, I am tired of allowing Satan to come into my days and steal the joy of the Lord, kill my perserverance and purpose and destroy God's effectiveness in me. I am tired of letting him whisper lies to me about myself and my Lord. And I am tired of living a life that doesn't reflect the abundant life Jesus promised to us in John 10:10! There's so much more, I am just often too lazy to fight the Enemy, knowing that Jesus has conquered all of my trials already.

He must increase. He must be what everyone sees in me and not myself. What does more of Jesus practically look like in my life? A few ways I've prayed about are these:

  • More stopping throughout the day and listening to Him and less being constantly in a hurry. Not always talking at Him or only coming to Him with a long list of requests and worries. But rather coming to Him simply with a song of praise and delight! (Psalm 46:10)
  • More doing the necessary things and less of trying to do things I am not called to do. (Luke 10:36-40) Like Martha, I easily get distracted with lots of "do's" and neglect to even ask the Lord what the most important thing to be done that day should be. I worry and fret and live in a scattered state of getting things done. In those moments I easily miss what God is doing right in front of my eyes. I want to choose the "good portion" that Mary chose, being willing to give up my planner to simply be with my Lord.
  • More living confidently in my calling and less comparing myself to those I feel like I won't measure up to. We cannot allow ourselves to be constantly envious and jealous of the women around us. Jesus is very clear in the call for us not to compare of judge. There are many ways I willingly place myself in situations where I will be likely to compare (one example is looking at social media too often). Ladies, it's time we fight and we get rid of the measuring sticks we carry around with us. Jesus has made us enough.
  • More living fully in the present and less wishing for the future. I am a big dreamer and can often live in the future-tense of "when this dream happens..." God has given today to be a step towards tomorrow. He has a purpose for this day and it is to make much of Him. I surrender constantly planning tomorrow and missing today. In James 4:13-15 we are reminded that tomorrow is never even promised. Our life is just a vapor. I want to live each day as if Jesus might come get me tomorrow.
  • More living for eternity, less living for time. I recently got an amazing planner that I love that allows me to plan out each hour of my day. Good planning is wise, but when the plans become so rigid that there is no room for flexibility I am worshipping the schedule and not my God. I can get my focus so fixated on the present that I miss seeing the big picture. I want to live my life for eternity spent with Jesus and not the fleeting moments of this earth. This life we are given can be a practice run for the endless days we will spend praising Jesus!

More Jesus, Less meThese are just a few of my "more and less" list that I've made in my journal. Will you join me in praying that Jesus would increase in your life this year and you would decrease? Your list may look different, but the entire purpose is that Jesus is made much of and is the center of everything you do. When He is at the center, we start living abundantly!

Living Life Beautifully With You,

Gretchen