404 More Of You Means More Of Me

More Of You Means More Of Me

The other day in worship my friend Andrew began to sing a refrain that most of us are pretty familiar with. “More of you and less of me, Jesus“. The problem was that he changed it up and sang out “More of you means more of me. More of you means the real me.” It caught me off guard and I needed a minute to process it before I could actually sing it out.

More of You

Initially it seemed contrary to a humble heart. The message of humility is something that has marked me. Not because I necessarily have a firm grasp on it. More because the Lord has revealed to me its utmost importance in the life of His followers. So I had to ask myself, does more of Him really mean more of me?

I Must Decrease?

For most of my walk with the Lord, I’ve been taught from the pulpit that I must decrease. John the Baptist is often quoted as he spoke this of Jesus, “He must increase but I must decrease.” (John 3:30).

John was a forerunner for Christ. He was paving the way and setting the stage for the coming of the King. When Christ finally came, John knew it was time for him to get out of the way. Not because he was unimportant, but because he didn’t want to distract from Christ.

People were looking to him for answers when they could now go directly to the Christ. Not figuratively in prayer. Literally in person.

John had to decrease because anyone who came to him received an incomplete revelation of the Messiah. Emmanuel was God with us in the flesh. No other moment in history was afforded this opportunity. If John didn’t decrease, he would have undone the very path he paved.

The Least In The Kingdom

God’s given me this new revelation of humility. It’s not about increasing or decreasing. It’s about being who I am. Sometimes that means going low. Other times it means being bold. But it is always rooted in my confidence in Him.

Jesus had some pretty great things to say about John the Baptist. But many forget what he says about us in the new covenant:

“Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” Matthew 11:11

John was the last and greatest of the old covenant prophets. He had the honor to be the final forerunner of the coming of the Bridegroom. He was a pretty big deal.

But Christ says the LEAST in the Kingdom is greater than he.

I don’t think he was talking about value or honor. I believe He was talking about authority and glory.

The Hope of Glory

Yesterday as we studied Romans in my home fellowship group, my friend Andy said this: “Do you realize that the God of creation, the Spirit that hovered above the waters, the Word that spoke all things into existence lives IN you?”

I had to let that one sink in.

As much as we praise and honor the men and women of the Old Testament and we imagine what life was like to experience God the way they did, it’s easy to forget that they longed for what we experience.

Paul says in Colossians 1 that there has been this mystery hidden for ages and generations that is now finally revealed. He says that this revelation is the full realization of the word of God. This is the revelation:

“Christ in you, the hope of glory”

This is our identity. This is our destiny.

When we really know who we are as sons and daughters, we don’t have to make less of this glorious truth. Many times when people say they must decrease, it’s really just false humility anyways.

We are awesome by proxy.

Not because of anything we’ve done but because Who now dwells inside of us.

Humility is the foundation that keeps this all in perspective. It’s never about pointing to us, humility always points to Jesus.

So with that understanding, I was finally able to sing it out.

“More of you means more of me. More of you means the real me. More of you, more of you, Jesus!”

What do you think? Are we really to decrease?
What do you think it means that the least in the Kingdom is greater than John?

Comments

  1. Tony,
    great stuff here.Thanks for writing it!
    Last weekend, on Easter Sunday, I shared my testimony before three different time service congregations. The video was five minutes, then the pastor asked me to speak for a minute afterwards.
    Here’s the thing- it quit being my story, and it became Christ’s story in me.
    You may enjoy the video portion, so I will attach a link, or try to send one to your email.
    Thanks for being faithful to write the words God has put on your heart.

    Blessings,
    Zack

  2. When a person becomes a son of God, he is automatically less of himself and more of Jesus. We become temples and temples are important but only because the living God dwells there. Christ uses words like “deny yourselves” and “die to yourselves” as an illustration that we are not our own. That we are to walk as He walked and that He is the reason for our living and salvation.

    We are important, we have tremendous worth, not because of anything we do, but what He has done. Now, all He asks is that all we do becomes an expression of praise unto Him.

    Jesus came into this world in weakness. He became human. Then he was humiliated by going to a cross. If we want Jesus in our life, we have to also start in weakness. That’s where the kingdom begins, but not where it ends. He later took His place in Glory, where He belongs. When Jesus returns for us, love will totally triumph over hate and life will totally triumph over death and we will be like Him, and we will see Him as He is.

    I believe that words like decreasing and increasing and dying are ways to tell us that we should live life knowing who we are. Not too think too much of ourselves and not to think to less of ourselves. But to think of ourselves in the same way that He does. Our problem is that we always get this wrong. We are either too proud, or too humble. That’s the fight of our identity. The more we know Him, the more we know ourselves, and the better we get to know our place in this earth as well as the coming one.
    Moe recently posted..Learning How To Die

    • I think you hit it perfectly when you said “we have to also start in weakness…but [that’s] not where it ends.”

      You absolutely got it. Thinking too much or too little of ourselves both have the same problem, we’re spending too much time thinking about ourselves.

      When we fix our eyes on Him, He comes alive in us and we can be who He really wants us to be.

  3. I have to admit, bro, you’re kinda blowing my mind here.

    You see, I reach these places all the time where I think…well, I’m pretty well set “belief” wise on all the popular Christian topics, doctrines, and theologies…my “beliefs” and “understanding” of all the most popular and debated Scripture is solid as well. You would think I would have learned by now that at best, I’m just scratching the surface of all these things.

    More of you means more of me…man…I’m gonna be thinking about this one for awhile!

  4. When I think about it, the fact that He must increase, but we are to decrease basically means that we have to meet eye to eye. After all, that’s what a true friendship/relationship is all about. So often we can’t increase anymore than we already have, so He meets us in the middle. That’s what gives us strength.
    Ed recently posted..The Student Who Scored 0% On His Exam

    • I look at it as an increase in position as opposed to importance. The only thing I decrease is the amount of self effort I bring to the table. Basically any focus on what I can do in my own strength needs to go.

      However, when I focus on Jesus and who He IN me, it changes the game!

  5. I like his unique “take” on this scripture. More of Jesus in our hearts and lives – does help me to be the REAL me – no hiding and pretending – just authentic, the way God made me – ME! Love it!
    Cindy Holman recently posted..To Journal Or Not To Journal

  6. I think that passage where John says he must decrease and Christ must increase is often taken out of context. Yes, there are areas in our lives where we need to decrease – our selfish desires, our ambitions, our sinful ways – but John was talking about something different. He realized that His ministry had to decrease because part of his ministry was getting people ready and then sending them to follow Christ in the flesh. If his following grew, it meant he was doing something wrong.

    Christ lives in us, and humility isn’t this idea that we are worthless and we have to decrease for Him to increase. True humility is knowing who we are in Him and allowing Him to push us into our potential. I mean, Moses himself wrote that Moses was the most humble man to ever live. That doesn’t sound too humble if we are to decrease, but he wrote scripture so it’s not a lie.
    Jason Vana recently posted..Covering a Multitude of Sin

  7. Great thoughts on this Tony…I love that refrain by the way…less of me is more of Jesus…

    i think what Jesus was getting at was exactly what you talked about…JESUS in US! Having the Holy spirit live in us with power and authority! John didn’t have that…

    so the least or “Last” one in the Kingdom will be greater than John and Moses, and Elijah…because God IN Us…
    arny recently posted..White Little Building (Chapter 2)

  8. I used the illustration one time of the Christian being a glove and God is the hand inside. What good is the glove without the hand? No matter how beautiful the glove, no matter what fine materials it’s made from the glove will not reach it’s potential without the indwelling of the hand. More of the hand inside the glove means more of the glove. More of revealed and put to use.

    Great post, Tony.
    Ken Hagerman(The Barba) recently posted..Meme Book

  9. Wow! Great message here! Thanks for sharing!

  10. I think this goes right along with the “I’m a sinner saved by grace” line that we as Christians like to deliver. True surrender only happens when we come to the end of ourselves, and at that point we are on the same page as God. We truly desire His will in all things, and that’s when He shines through us the brightest. His light isn’t clouded by our sinful self at that point, and He doesn’t look at us and think, “There’s that sinner that was saved by my grace.” On the contrary, He sees His beautiful, spotless creation. The more we have of Him, the more He has of us. I like that. Great post as always, Tony!
    Nikki Weatherford recently posted..Dictionaries save lives . . . and reputations.

    • Yes, you’re absolutely right. I think many of us are actually afraid of being powerful because we think it will lead to pride. But there is one secret weapon to overcome that…humility.

      He doesn’t see us as sinners so we shouldn’t see (or refer to) ourselves as sinners either. That’s not to pretend sin doesn’t exist. It’s just about not giving it the power that Jesus took from it.

      You get it, Nikki! 🙂

  11. I like the unique take on the subject, Tony. As Christians we enjoy this whole “I’m so bad” mentality, as if the harder time we give ourselves the higher seat in Heaven we have.
    It’s a beautiful (and Biblical) thought- that the more Christ reigns in my life, the more I can live like I was made to live, and be the overcomer He created me to be.
    Stephen recently posted..March Madness Lessons

    • I totally agree, Stephen. I see too much “I suck” or “I’m awesome”. Both of those are ultimately rooted in pride because they are both way too self-focused.

      Humility looks at what Jesus did and who He says we are and then owns it. Like I said, awesome by proxy.

  12. You my kind sir are a great writer. I am glad you are working for the big man upstairs.

    Thanks for sharing your life brother.
    Matthew Snider recently posted..5 Degrees of Separation: Using Your iPhone to Manage Relationships

  13. “More Of You Means More Of Me” I like that. The more we allow Him to lead us the more He shapes us into the person He desires us to be. God knows what is best for us and when we surrender to this we really DO become more. But, it’s all because of Him! Life to the fullest.
    Eileen recently posted..The Coffee Cup Catastrophe

  14. Awesome by proxy is probably the best line I’ve read anywhere in a long time.

    Good thoughts man. It’s funny how when we die to self, we discover who we truly are in Him.
    Michael Perkins recently posted..Oxygen

    • There’s a song by Bethel Music that’s in HEAVY rotation for me right now. It’s called “This Is What You Do”.

      The chorus goes “this is what you do, this is what you do…you make me come alive!”. When we die to our self, we come alive in Christ. This is the real version of who we are. The version He intended all along.

  15. John 3:30 is one of my favorite verses in all of Scripture. I want to live my life so He is honored and glorified and lifted up. I want my identity not to be my sin but my Savior living in me. Good thoughts Tony.
    bill (cycleguy) recently posted..Honesty

    • That’s what it’s all about. Him living in us. Your comment makes me think of grace. It’s not just available to cover sin, it’s also the power to avoid it in the first place!

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