Silence and Stillness before God (2 minutes)
Holy Spirit come, search my heart, purify my thoughts, cleanse me through and through. Unroot the things that take up unnecessary space in my life to make more room for You. Change my heart and bring me into alignment with Your will for my life. I choose to lay down my hopes and dreams at the foot of the cross for you to sort through, I trust You, God of my everything. Ask Him to reveal the things He wants you to give to Him. It’s OK. His character is good and he has great plans for you, to prosper you, not to harm you. You can trust Him. Take a deep breath and let it all go!
Some Greeks who had come to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration paid a visit to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee. They said, “Sir, we want to meet Jesus.” Philip told Andrew about it, and they went together to ask Jesus. Jesus replied, “Now the time has come for the Son of Manto enter into his glory. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me. “Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But this is the very reason I came! Father, bring glory to your name.”Then a voice spoke from heaven, saying, “I have already brought glory to my name, and I will do so again.”
He must become greater; I must become less. (John 3:30)
Decrease is a spiritual necessity. John the Baptist was the first among Jesus’ followers to grasp its countercultural power. ‘Less is more’ is a popular simplicity mantra in our day. But John’s understanding of ‘less is more’ was spiritually profound. John truly lived out this mantra in his lifestyle, he only brought attention to himself so that people would see through him and gaze at Jesus. By willingly decreasing, John increased others’ view of the Savior. When we follow this example “praise slides off (us) like water off a window into the cup that is offered to God alone.”
“Not to us, Lord, not to us but to Your name be the glory, because of Your love and faithfulness.” (Psalm 115:1)
Biographer Carole C. Carlson said of Corrie Ten Boom: Her remarkable ministry became known to millions through both the book and movie version of The Hiding Place. She never looked at fame as being the culmination of personal triumph. To Corrie, it was simply a result of God’s plans. Her way of handling adulation was to take each compliment as a flower, and then gather them all in a bouquet and give them back to Jesus by saying, “Here Lord, they belong to You.” What an incredible example of giving praise back to God! “The key to this fast is a redirection, not deflection. Whereas deflection discounts and rejects praise, redirection stewards and then deposits praise at the feet of the One to whom it is due.” So as Corrie has taught us, kindly accept the praise and encouragement given to you and then in your quiet time with the Lord in the evening offer that bouquet of praise to Him. It is with open hands we receive what the Lord has given us, and with open hands, we give it back to Him – all honor, all glory, all praise goes right back to the author and finisher of all good work!
Questions to Consider
Why is it sometimes hard to redirect the praise we are given to the Lord? Do you feel like God is being selfish to want “our” praise? Why is it good for us to redirect our praise to the Lord? Can you think of an example of how you can decrease in your own life to make more room for God?
Lord, You are good. “Your loving kindness reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness reaches to the skies” (Psalm 36:5) You abound in graciousness and forgive me every time I seek praise for myself. Lord, I ask that you would cleanse me from my vanity and my people pleasing endeavors. You would truly be the all in all in my life. Lord let Your words and Your love satisfy me so that I may joyfully redirect all praise given to me back, as an offering, to you. May everything I do bring glory and honor to You! I choose to praise You, Lord! In Jesus Name, Amen.
Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)
The 40 days of decrease blogs have been inspired by the book “40 Days of Decrease” by Alicia Britt Chole.