30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.
John 3:30 (NLT)
Let us begin with the background for the above verse. John the Baptist started his ministry earlier then Jesus. In fact, John was the one who baptized Jesus and proclaimed Jesus’ ministry even before anyone heard of Jesus. After that Jesus began to preach and baptized people. John’s disciples saw that and reported the incident to John. I suspect they were in an indignant mode. They must have felt betrayed. Jesus, who they have seen baptized by John, had started his own ministry and this ministry was attracting audience from John’s ministry. So, when they reported to John, they must be expecting John to take actions to defend his ministry from new competition.
However, John did not respond the way they expected him to. This is what he said,
27 John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven.
28 You yourselves know how plainly I told you, ‘I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.’
29 It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the best man is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success.
30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.
31 “He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. We are of the earth, and we speak of earthly things, but he has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else.
32 He testifies about what he has seen and heard, but how few believe what he tells them!
33 Anyone who accepts his testimony can affirm that God is true.
34 For he is sent by God. He speaks God’s words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit.
35 The Father loves his Son and has put everything into his hands.
36 And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”
John 3:27-36 (NLT)
Not only did John not bother with the new competition from Jesus, he continued to proclaim Jesus as the Messiah. Why was that so? He knew his role was to prepare a path for Jesus. He knew Jesus was the Messiah, not him. People need to turn to Jesus to be saved, not John the Baptist. Hogging the prime spot will not help anyone. John had even declared that Jesus must be greater and he himself must be lesser.
This above may be a historical record but can we learn and benefit from it? I believe we can. I have always believed that the Bible is the instrument God used to prosper us. Therefore, the contents above must have lessons in prosperity that we can benefit from.
Here is the lesson:
In order to receive the greatest blessing of prosperity from God, we must allow Jesus to be greater and greater, while we ourselves must become less and less.
Sounds simple? This is what true Christianity is all about, simplifying stuff. Religion complicates, Jesus simplifies. During his ministry, Jesus spoke directly to people at the streets and he did not use any theologians at all. Yet, today religious churches have been collaborating with theologians in converting the Gospel Of Jesus Christ that sets people free into a religion that puts people into bondage.
Let us get back to the original topic. How do we make Jesus greater in our lives?
First of all, we need to seek his will in everything we do. Of course, his greatest wish is for us to prosper and be in health as our souls prosper. This is his master plan. However, knowing that is not enough. We need details. God does not prosper every one of us in the same way. He may prosper people in their ministry, in business, in their career advancement or any other way he sees fit. Just because there are people like Kenneth Copeland and Ceflo Dollar getting rich in their ministries, it does not mean that all of us must set up our own ministries to be rich. God adopts a diversity of mechanism in blessing his people. Which method is for you? You will need to seek God.
How do we seek God? Spend time with God. We need to read the Bible, pray and listen to faith messages in order to find out his will for our lives. Seeking the will of God is a continuous process. Even if you dedicate the next 24 hours in prayers and fasting, it does not mean you are going to have God’s entire prosperity plan. God may choose to reveal his plan in parts in order not to overwhelm us. So, we have to be consistent with our walk with God. Sometimes, what we think as God’s plan may not even be what it seems to be at all. Let me give you an example of myself.
I started this blog when I was working as a resident engineer. My intention was to start an internet business. I bought a book on internet business and read it. One of the tips it gave was to start a blog to generate traffic. Once I have the traffic, I will be able to build a business on it. Ideally this blog must specialize in the topic I am interested in so that I will be more enthusiastic about it. So, I choose faith. I started to write about my experience and what I have learned about the Bible. Until today, I am pleased with the traffic to my blog. The problem lies in the business I am supposed to build.
There are 2 ways I can think of to make this blog commercial. The first is to allow Google to place advertisements where I can earn each time my visitors click on them. The second is to do affiliate marketing where I promote other people’s product in which I get a cut in commission for each sale. At the same time, I place a high value on the credibility of this blog. After all, it has my name in it. I am not going to risk my credibility by promoting any product just for the sake of money. The only way I am going to promote anything is when I have purchased it myself and I am convinced that it is worth buying. Unfortunately, I have not found anything at this moment. This explains why there is nothing commercial in this blog other than the book I have compiled on the Bible verses on prosperity.
At the surface, it seems that my business venture has failed. However, I see some sort of ministry being born. I have received comments on how the articles I have written have helped to encourage people and helped them to build up their faith. Through this blog, I have contributed to the welfare of many people who have read the articles in it. Some may ask, “How about your original intention of making money out of it?” I am believing God for some rewards to come out of this. After all, I am sowing seeds of faith and prosperity through this blog. Seeds are supposed to grow and yield harvests. Therefore I still expect to get rich from this blog.
In fact, I have seen some positive results in my life now. As I wrote the articles, my faith grew. When my previous project was about to finish, I have reached the level where I dared to trust God for more prosperity in my life. I applied for the post of project manager with a much higher salary and I got the job. Today, I am no longer an engineer. I have moved to the next level.
At the same time, I am not that naïve to think that I have achieved all these based on my own strength. It is through the grace of God that I have my current position and I will continue to trust God for more blessings to come. In order to do that, I will have to make Jesus greater and greater in my life. I place a high priority in spending time with God. He has all the answers that I need to achieve a higher level of career success and prosperity in my life. If fact, I remember when I filled up the application form in this company, there was a section where it asked me my aspiration in this company. I wrote that I am planning to take over this company. I can’t imagine why would my boss still wanted to hire me when he knew that I am planning to displace him. It must be God. I am trusting God to move up to the top of this company.
If all these can happen to me, it can also happen to you if you belong to the same species as me. Just because your present get-rich plan doesn’t work, it does not mean that you can never be rich. God has other ways to bring prosperity to your life. All we need to do is to trust in him. God is the true source of our prosperity, not the plan. Let Jesus be greater and greater in your life. Soon you will find your prosperity to be greater and greater as well.