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John the Baptist was the first cousin of the Lord, Jesus Christ, and his ministry was to be a forerunner of the Lord. But John the Baptist was no slouch himself.

In Matthew 11:11, Jesus said that of men born of women, there is not a greater than John the Baptist. Jesus didn't say that John the Baptist, in his estimation, was greater than Moses, greater than Elijah, or greater than Elisha. Jesus said that John the Baptist was the greatest man to walk on earth other than Him. Amen.

So John the Baptist was no slouch. He became known throughout all of the regions, and thousands came to hear him preach. John baptized thousands upon thousands, from some of the least to some of the greatest in Israel. He was the Number One minister in Israel at the time.

John had a choice to make. Jesus, the one who God had called, was there, and what was John going to do about it? John had a ministry, but John recognized that the time of his ministry was coming to an end, and that God had something else for him to do.

It's important to recognize that, whatever we do, whatever we have, whatever anointing we have, whatever God has given us, God gave it to us and God can decide to move us from it. And it doesn't have to be because there's anything wrong. It just could be God's time.

John's attitude concerning this was, "Hey, I'm happy because the bridegroom has come. I'm happy because the bridegroom's voice is here." Just like a bride, when she hears her bridegroom's voice, she gets all happy. He said "I'm glad because He is the Messiah. He's come and He must increase, and my ministry is going to decrease."

Jesus didn't have the Spirit by measure. Jesus had the Spirit, period. A complete and total flow of all of the gifts of the Holy Ghost. Jesus was the apostle, He was the prophet, He is the pastor, He is the teacher, and He is the evangelist. He is the first and the last. He's everything! John recognized that he had a part, but he knew that he must decrease so that Jesus could increase.

And that's the key to God using us. We must decrease from what we think should happen. We must decrease from how we want it to happen. We must decrease from the way we want it to be.

We must let Him increase and get our minds in the proper place, because when you are willing to give, that's when God gives unto you. If He's lifted up, all men can be drawn unto Him. But if we're lifted up, we're lifted up in our own pride so others can see us. Then there is no anointing, and it's the anointing that breaks the yoke.

You want to reach your relatives? One of the ways is to keep on decreasing. The more they act up, the uglier they get, the more they persecute you, the more you decrease. And the more you let God increase, the more that you decrease, the more Jesus they'll see.

The world says not to take it, especially from your relatives. But Jesus told us to love them that persecute us. Pray for them that despitefully use us.

The way to reach your relatives and neighbors, and to reach some of those hard-headed folks you've been trying to minister to for a long time, is not the abundance of words, or how good you can preach, or how much scripture you know, or how much counseling you're able to give them. More than anything else is whether or not they can see a compassionate spirit in you, and that spirit will come the more you decrease and allow Him to increase. Allow Him to come out, rather than to respond in the flesh.

Emotionally, you are made in such a way that you always want more, going the opposite direction than the way God is trying to teach us by the Spirit how to receive. But when He increases, He increases us with Him. If you'll decrease in the flesh and let God increase, when God gives back to you, you'll be run over with a blessing.

You know the story in Luke 5. Two fishing boats are there at the water's edge. There is a crowd around Jesus, pushing Him into the Sea of Galilee. Jesus wants to sit down and teach the people some of the truths from the Word of God, and He sees the two fishing boats and He comes up to Simon and says, "Can I borrow your boat?" Simon allows Him to borrow his boat and Jesus sits down like a Rabbi does, and began to teach the people the Word.

Simon allowed Jesus to use what he had. And after Simon allowed Jesus to use what he had, Jesus did what He always does, and that is reward Simon for allowing Him to use what he had. "Go out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." Simon answered and said, "Master we've toiled all night and we've taken nothing. Nevertheless, at thy word I will let down the net" (Luke 5:4-5).

He was thinking in the natural, "Well I'm a fisherman. We know there's no fish out here, and it's daytime, and you're not going to catch fish in the daytime in a net. Besides, I'm a professional fisherman and you are a carpenter; but just because You said it, I'll let down the net."

Well, you know what happened. "And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink" (Luke 5:6-7).

He let Jesus use what he had, and the Lord blessed other people with what he had. Then the Lord came back and said, "Now I want to bless you," and what the Lord gave him was a boatload he couldn't handle, until they were sinking in the water.

And Simon Peter became astonished and said, "Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord" (Luke 5:8b). But Jesus said, "You think this is something, I'm going to teach you something even better than catching fish. I'm going to teach you to catch men."

Because Simon was willing to let Jesus use what he had in the natural, Jesus used him to minister in the spirit. Simon was willing to let Jesus utilize him.

You might have to take less, you might have to eat less, you might have to fast. You might have to give up some shopping time. You might have to give up some TV time. You might have to give up some quiet time. You may have to decrease so that he can increase. If you'll let that happen, you won't be sorry.

The question you need to ask yourself is, "Where do I need to decrease? Where am I very strong in and of my flesh?" And then make your decision, "I'm going to decrease in this area so He can increase in this area, so God can have his power flowing through me."

He must increase and you must decrease.

Copyright © Keith Butler Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Keith Butler
Web site: Keith Butler
Keith Butler has been an ordained minister since 1974. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and holds diplomas from Canada Christian College and Rhema Bible Training Center. He serves in ministry with the support of his lovely wife, Pastor Deborah L. Butler, and their children: Pastor Andre Butler (granddaughters Alexis, Angela, and April), Pastor MiChelle Ferguson and husband Pastor Lee (grandson Lucas), and Minister Kristina Jenkins and husband Pastor Joel (grandsons Andrew and Austin, and granddaughter Alyssa).

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