John 3:30 (NLT) He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.
Today is just one of those days. It is not a bad thing but overwhelming need for the Lord to become greater in my life. The Lord is great and yes, He is greatly to be praised but there are moments when we just want more. If you are married or in love than you just may know this feeling, like when you are riding in the car and feel the compelling need to reach over to hold your partners hand. Or parents who in a moment of need, just wander into their children’s bedroom to stroke their sleeping head or listen to them breathe. You just need a little more of that living breathing spirit that fills your life with love and goodness. Even though they lack perfection, there is a connection in our soul so deep that we must be where they are or close the distance in proximity just to be near them. I have called Jesus my Savior since the age of eleven. I have known Him as Lord for the past sixteen years. But it has only been through the trials of the last four years that I finally know Him as my friend. It’s funny how hardship refines the relationships in our life. There were those who stuck with us as our son battled cancer. Others would distance themselves, I completely understand. My heart was crushed time and time again at the number of children plagued by this disease. Treatment rooms overflowing with little ones attached to IV poles, sleeping in a chair, predominately bald, but with spirits that were unstoppable. I get it. It was in those times that I came to realize that the Lord is my friend. He wants me in His Life and gave up His Own Life to live in a relationship with me. At the end of our journey, our friend’s list was small. Life goes on even when yours is put on hold. Now after a year of remission, I am finally able to breathe again and return to a somewhat normal schedule. Yet in this victory, my need is growing to find that place where I surrender more of me to have all of Him.
I have a good friend who I worked with through the time of our son’s illness. She was my closest alias throughout the battle always calling, texting and doing. Our friendship didn’t begin on the best of terms. I was hiring for a new position with many qualified candidates but due to budget cuts in another department – she was placed in the position. I was not happy about her arrival. It was a time in my life when unbeknownst to me – I had become consumed with my career. I didn’t even realize how much of my life it had taken until the day that our son was diagnosed. Every single area of my life was turned upside down and I was forced to choose what mattered most. It was the worst day of my life but the best thing that ever happened to me. It was the day that Jesus took back His Position in my life. He picked up all the pieces of my shattered, broken heart and began piecing it back together the way it was supposed to be. God didn’t give our son cancer. In fact, He provided the cure for it by giving up His Own Son to take the stripes that would provide his healing. Sin causes sickness and disease. The only hope our son had was to trust the Lord. I was given the same choice.
He must become greater and greater seems like such an obvious choice. Of course, we must exalt Jesus in our life. However, if we don’t understand what it means to accept His Greatness in the void of our imperfection it is useless because we will miss the great advantage that is being offered. It requires a relationship built on trust and intimacy that no one else can procure but a lifestyle of exchanging all that we are for more of Him.
Psalm 135:5 (NLT)
I know the greatness of the Lord—that our Lord is greater than any other god.
Do you know the greatness of the Lord today? It doesn’t come from a “what have you done for me lately” mentality but a relationship forged by fire. The most evident times of understanding the greatness of God and His Power is when we reach the end of ourselves. Human nature is one characterized by control, power and a fight to the finish for self-preservation. But to have more of God and discover the true potential of His Greatness requires abandonment of self to give way to His Spirit. It is when life as we know it or made it crumbles that we discover we were not really living at all and in the state of complete brokenness are made complete and whole like never before.
Hebrews 1:3-4 (NLT)
The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. This shows that the Son is far greater than the angels, just as the name God gave him is greater than their names.
Jesus is the expression of the Greatness of God. He radiates God’s Glory and expresses His Character. Jesus is our example. But like any example, it comes with respect. You will know follow and support someone or something that you do not believe in. To do so would be based on foolishness and/or ignorance. When Jesus gave up His Life for us all, it was a true representation of God’s Love. (John 15:13) The Lord says that there is no greater love than to lay our lives down for a friend. Jesus more than did this for me. God gave Jesus a Name that is the greatest in all of Heaven and Earth. One day every knee will bow (believer or not) and tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. But I want Him to be more than that to me – I want Him to know me intimately. I want Him to welcome my entrance and embrace me when I come. I want to be so close to Jesus that my experience of moving from this life into His Glory is like Enoch who was just caught up. I have to get out of the way. Jesus is my Way. I have to move me to second place and exalt Him as first place always. This is so much easier now that it is not an act of hostile submission but a surrender to love.
Romans 5:15-16 (NLT)
But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins.
The Greatness of God is His Grace. When we accept His Greatness, we are given His Glory. Now maybe all these words don’t make any sense, but once we give our life up to have more of Him it becomes evident. One man’s sin changed our life forever. The Son of God’s Life can do the same. The Greatness of God is accepted in Jesus Christ. The more of our life given in the pursuit to know Him as Savior and then Lord and finally Friend – the greater the manifestation of His Glory will be. Our life is ours to use however we choose. Grace gave us the freedom to choose our friends and pick our battles. I have decided I want Jesus. I want all of Him enough to continually find areas of my life to share with Him. I choose to fight the good fight of faith even when it is a battle. Why? I want His Greatness to fill my life. I want more of His Grace. I want my life to give Him Glory. I want His Glory to fill my space.
2 Corinthians 3:7-9 (NLT)
The old way, with laws etched in stone, led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away. Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life? If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God!
God wants us to live in His Glory. It is our right as Sons and Daughters of God to experience such a life while here on the earth. So often we miss this part as we come to God with a list of demand of what we want Him to give us while hoarding those things He didn’t give us. We cannot see that the limits on our life are self-imposed by a lack of surrender. All the times we want our way rather than requesting His Will. My life will never change and I will not experience the Glory of God until I decide that His Grace is enough to surrender my life to. Each part of me given over to the Lord including everything in it the sooner that His Greatness will manifest in His Glory.
I have been married for a long time. To stay married, my first bit of advice is don’t even try it without Jesus. You never really know someone until you live with them and nobody is perfect. In the beginning, I had a certain set of expectations carefully placed on my husband who I just knew would be that knight in shining armor. Well, upon closer inspection his armor was nicked and tarnished just as my princess gown spotted and not as it seemed. But as we continued in our relationship committing all that we were not and every expectation into Jesus Christ rather than our partner the days slipped into months becoming years. I am truly married to my best friend. Not because He is perfect as I am far from it too, but because we love Jesus. His Grace and Greatness allows us to love each other just as we are. As we give up more and more of our life to Jesus, He fills it with His Glory. Just as my relationship with my husband requires acceptance, affirmation, affection and intimacy through communication, time and communion so does my relationship with the Lord. It is in the giving of myself that my marriage is successful. I cannot have my way all the time. I cannot do my own thing. I cannot give all my time and attention to other things and expect it to thrive. What makes us thing that is how it works with our Bridegroom? If all I did was bark orders at my husband or hand him a list of my demands – we would be a statistic today with divorce papers in hand. It is through love and respect covered in grace that people have successful marriages. It is a commitment every single minute of every single day to uphold our promises and maintain our faithfulness. We put that person before all others including ourselves. This is what it means to surrender our life to Christ. It is the acceptance of His Grace, His Greatness and to experience His Glory. We find it in days like today that rather than asking for anything else – we want to give up a little more to have more of Him.
I John 4:4 (NLT)
But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.
When I woke up this morning, I knew I needed more of Him today. I need all the greatness of the One who lives in me to spread out and take over more of my life. I cannot explain it. I just want to reach out and touch His Hand. I want to hear Him breathing in and through me. I just want to step into His Presence. He has given me all I need to live a successful and prosperous life. I don’t have to ask for anything because He has supplied all of my needs. His Grace is sufficient for me! I have every bit of His Greatness and Glory hidden away inside of me. Today Lord I step aside to let it out. It’s just one of those days!
John 14:12-14 (NLT)
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. 14 Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!