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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : I decrease...

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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 I decrease...

"Growth is not more knowledge or increase of years: it is simply more of Christ and less of me. He increases as I decrease. This is what it means to be a disciple."
-Chip Brodgen

I think it would be for good discussion not necessarily debate over the scriptures in the word of God on this subject of being less and God being more in our lifes.

[b]John 3:29-31[/b] - He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/8/31 21:03Profile
moreofHim
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Joined: 2003/10/15
Posts: 1632


 Re: I decrease...

Thank you Greg, for bringing this up. I am touched. This scripture and it's meaning is very near and dear to my heart. It has kept me on the straight and narrow for the past 3 years. It is a reminder to myself everytime "I" want to do things my way or when I question why I must suffer through many circumstances. I always come back to this. It's all about Him- the more I am out of the way (decreased), the better.

If you think about this and keep it in mind, it is so obvious why the desire and the temptation to fall into sin are more and more distant. The more I live this way, always thinking to be decreased, the less I have to worry about temptation or sin in general. I trust He will continue to purge me, as I am always open to being decreased so that He may be All that He is supposed to be through me. And He sure keeps His end of the deal!

Here is another part to this if I might add. It's beautiful.


"The whole aim and purpose of God is to bring
us to Christ - not once, but continually, daily,
hour by hour, minute by minute.
Just as a wildly spinning compass eventually
points to true north, so the Holy Spirit is
arranging our lives and ordering our steps so that we are constantly being brought back to our
"true north", centered and focused on and into
CHRIST, forever being made to see our sufficiency is of Him.

We are being prepared as a fruitful garden
for the Lord. The north wind represents
the cold, bitter experiences we must pass through. The south wind represents the warm, sweet experiences. Both winds are necessary.
All things are working together for His Purpose -
which is to reduce you to Christ.

As we walk the narrow way we are being
changed from glory to glory. Today we should
reflect a little more of the glory of God than
yesterday; tomorrow we will reflect yet more than
we did today." -C.B.


I pray that many eyes will be open to this wonderful truth, to it's full meaning- for the longer we live it the more we understand it. Again, it's another act of surrender.

Blessings, Chanin


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Chanin

 2004/8/31 22:48Profile
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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

Online!
 Re:

I just had a wonderful converstation over the IM with brother Josh (oarsman7) here is a small excerpt:

brother Josh says:
If He is as precious as I think He is to you, in the light of that 'Preciousness', what are you willing to let go of, so that you might grab ahold with all you are to obtain that 'Precious One'?
brother Josh says:
It's a no-brainer
brother Josh says:
but the key is to looking to Him, considering Him, letting go and apprehinding Christ
brother Josh says:
seeking to lay hold of that for which Christ has laid hold of you
brother Josh says:
have you been laid hold of by the Precious One?
brother Josh says:
the proof will be in our dropping everything to grab ahold of even the hem of His garment
[sermonindex] Greg says:
yes broter
[sermonindex] Greg says:
i need to go pray
brother Josh says:
I want to be consumed in that, by that, and for that One
brother Josh says:
last thing
brother Josh says:
C. T. Studd said that "God is not looking for nibblers of the possible, but rather grabbers of the impossible"
brother Josh says:
what greater impossibility in the eyes of the Church today than laying hold of God Himself.
brother Josh says:
than going out and watching God doing the impossible through us...
[sermonindex] Greg says:
amen
brother Josh says:
amen


----

me, too, serious
brother Josh says:
Let God be magnified in you, brother
[sermonindex] Greg says:
amen
brother Josh says:
Let Him wrap Himself in your skin and take over
brother Josh says:
think His thoughts through your mind
brother Josh says:
look through your eyes
brother Josh says:
move your hands and feet
brother Josh says:
let His heart beat in your chest
brother Josh says:
let His tears flow through your eyes
brother Josh says:
offer yourself as a living sacrifice, wholly and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable act of worship


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/9/1 1:33Profile
moreofHim
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Joined: 2003/10/15
Posts: 1632


 Re: I decrease

This is the simplicity of the gospel. This phrase and verse ("more of Him", He must increase...) keeps us centered and focused on Him instead of theology and methods and the many teachings that abound. All of those other things seem to come in and get our mind OFF of Christ and onto that method, doctrine, theology, or teaching. It gets to be complex. I think even the enemy would like it to be so.

Paul warned of us:

Quote:
But I fear that somehow you will be led away from your pure and simple devotion to Christ, just as Eve was deceived by the serpent.



Even when we focus and strive for things such as holiness, repentance, humility, spiritual warfare, prayer, etc........ if, instead we focus on becoming "more of Him" and Him increasing in us (by dying to self and lying our self at the foot of the cross) all of these other things come about pretty naturally!

The reason? Because if HE is in us then HE is Holiness, Humility in us- He is leading. We are resting in Him, hidden in Him.

One way Chip puts it that i like is:
Quote:
"I am nothing but a styrofoam cup,after drinking the water you simply crush it and throw it away. The cup is nothing, it is what the cup contains that is important."



I have a hard time putting into words all that i would liketo say and how this kind of surrender has allowed me to end my struggles and given me rest in Him. Please allow me to quote Chip since he has better words for it. :)

Quote:
The turning point came in my life when I stopped searching for a way, method, technique or ritual for "victory". Christ is my victory. Having HIM I have no need of a method...
This is daily, forever. It is an inward thing. THERE IS ONLY SO MUCH YOU CAN DO TO REGULATE YOURSELF OUTWARDLY. It must be an inward submission (surrender) or it will not last.

It is always better to focus on Christ as All in all, not on giving up this thing or that thing. He must increase and i must decrease. If He increases then other things have no place. When this is done everything finds it's proper place."



If you will allow me to give a good example from my own life that my oldest daughter and I discovered last night: A few years ago, I usd to have a bad temper when things did not go my way. I was very stressed and when I was at the end of my rope, I would yell at my kids or yell at my husband.(this is the sin coming from self). I knew it was wrong and would apologize (repent) afterwards. But the problem was controlling it BEFORE I got that stressed. See it's the thing that many christians deal with, the problem of doing the same sin over and over; repenting but still not overcoming.

Do you know that since I have discovered this truth that He must increase and I must decrease- that i must urrender all to Him- that I have not lost my temper with them (in the last 2 1/2 years). It is because it is not me anymore. I have given myself over to Him completely and over time, He becomes more of Himself in me. I am not the same stressed out person anymore. How could I be? I can't fall into sin, I can't fall into temptation because He is operating and leading and guiding my life- not me anymore.

If anything rises up in me at all (whether sin or temptation or whatever) then I know that "self" has suddenly increased and I need to go to the cross and repent.

This whole thing is the same as absolute surrender. We are nothing, He is everything in us. It's very simple and makes us into overcomers. This is a key to the kingdom. This is a hidden truth to most believers - who are continually struggling and striving to live a "good" life.

In Him, Chanin


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Chanin

 2004/9/1 7:43Profile
riki
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Joined: 2003/11/30
Posts: 78
Sweden

 Re: I decrease...

What a beautiful conversation... :-) I just wanted to thank you. Once again I am reminded of what my focus ought to be.

/Rikard


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Rikard Eriksson

 2004/9/1 9:55Profile
Rafiki
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Joined: 2004/8/20
Posts: 30
His Hands

 Re:

Yes, Amen to that. We must decrease, that he may Increase, and have full reign. God Bless You all :-D You have blessed me indeed!

 2004/9/1 13:16Profile
Jimm
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Joined: 2004/4/27
Posts: 498
Harare, ZIMBABWE

 Goodness vs Godliness

Greetings all!

This is a marvelous discussion. I have no doubt that the work of the Holy Ghost is not hindered by our ability to express ourselves but I must confess that I am struggling to put my point into words right now. Nevertheless, I believe everyone is on the same page and I am merely paraphrasing the marvelous revelations, which my family in Christ has presented to us.

We as people can do a lot of things that can give an impression of holiness but without real victory. We can load our minds with a lot of information, theology, mysteries, autobiographies, songs, poems and sermons from holy men and women of God but who is it among us who has the ability to write on the heart? As it is written in Jeremiah: Jeremiah 31:33 “Instead, this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days"-the Lord's declaration. "I will place My law within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people.

We can put on a very effective outward display before people. We can become so eloquent in the way we present ourselves that we even fool ourselves. I think that for me the best thing I gained from this site was to realize that I did not have a relationship with God. On the surface everything was in order, the ideas thoughts and intents of my heart were unchanged: Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as to divide soul, spirit, joints, and marrow; it is a judge of the ideas and thoughts of the heart.

As long as the heart is not set on Christ you will never be free. I speak of “freedom” now with a slightly better conception of it because, once you have been in bondage for long enough it creates the illusion of freedom. Our conception of “self” is intimately tied with the flesh and not with the spirit that dwells in the flesh. Our very brains, which are the centre of our thought processes and our minds and consciousness, are made entirely of flesh and this is where sin is manifest (in the flesh). In light of this, we cannot trust our “selves” because the flesh wants nothing to do with God. It is not that the flesh wants nothing to do with “good”, because there are those who will do “good” as long it is not for God.

This is something I struggled to accept because it was once difficult for me to separate “goodness” from Godliness. Although Godliness leads to goodness, “goodness” does not necessarily lead to Godliness. In other words you cannot hope to impress God with your works or knowledge or any other activities that are manifest in the flesh. As Paul puts it 2 Corinthians 9: 7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. Though it is “good” to give, it is Godly to give cheerfully. This is something that cannot be learned but its is given by God. I can learn to give but I cannot learn to give cheerfully as that must come from the heart. I can see in my mind the “good” of giving but there is no way I can convey this to my heart. You can give until you are homeless but if it is not from the heart it is not going to do anything to improve your relations with God.

Reading the Sermon on the Mount now, I realize that self cannot ever accomplish the outlines set out by our savior, not ever. I will not take more of your time with another analogy but read it for your-“self” honestly. I thank God for his mercy because in his fairness he did not set laws for us without a means to achieve them. He is the means through his son, as long as we allow him to increase. The heart can only hold one thing at a time, God or self; when in self you are not in God, no matter how much good you do.

Your Son in Christ

James


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James Gabriel Gondai Dziya

 2004/9/1 17:47Profile





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