“He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)
Pride is insidious. It affects the pulpit as it does the playing field. It lurks wherever men would be great among men. Unless we find One greater than ourselves to point people to we are forever lusting to increase in their eyes. But God is a jealous God. We cannot magnify ourselves and Him at the same time. To the degree we lift ourselves up, we sit Him down. He is obscured where we aim to be seen.
God’s largest task is to get us “out of the way” while using us at the same time. He calls us to humble ourselves in His sight that He might lift us up; but He knows that our acts of “voluntary humility” also tend towards pride. God therefore takes it upon Himself to humble us.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous. He has thorns in the flesh for each of His servants. He must make us nothing and nobody before He can make us something and somebody. Whatever humbles us is good.
Learn how to glory in those things which make you weak. Take pleasure in being despised, reproached, slandered, and rejected. Accept being least, last, and little. The Lord is testing your heart to see if you are living to magnify yourself or Him. Accept His chastening hand in your life.
Let Him increase, and be willing to decrease at all times. To the degree you accept a low place before men, God will raise you up to a high place of honor before Him.