People only resist what they do not know and understand. Jesus does not have to manipulate anyone. Once a person with eyes wide open sees Him for Who He is they will always choose Him. He is irresistible. And as He increases, as He is lifted up, He will draw all men unto Himself. So this is the First Universal Spiritual Principle:that Christ must increase.
But there is another side to this. Remember there are Two Universal Spiritual Principles in John 3:30. What is the second? I must decrease. On the one hand, Jesus must increase. Then there is that tiny word “but.” Jesus must increase – but! Something hinders this increase. There is an exception here, signified by the presence of the word “but.” Here is a potential obstacle to the increase of Christ and the fulfillment of God’s Eternal Purpose. “But… I must decrease.” That is the Second Universal Spiritual Principle: I must decrease.
Just like the Law of Increase, the Law of Decrease does not depend upon your understanding, agreement, or acceptance. It must be so, therefore it is so. Just as surely as Christ must increase, so you must decrease. We will see how this is accomplished later; but for now, simply accept it as a spiritual law because that is how the Bible presents it.
Even if you do not agree with it or like it, if you are honest, you can look back over your life and see that any advancement made in spiritual things was the result of some kind of decreasing of you and an increasing of Christ. In fact, most people will not come to the Lord without an extraordinary, life-changing negative event. Does anyone seek God in the midst of prosperity? Has anyone ever fallen to their knees and cried out in despair, “Oh God, I have a nice house and nice clothes, a lot of money in the bank, and good health! Why me? What does it all mean? Why have I been blessed? For what purpose have you prospered me?” Human nature takes credit for the blessings and accepts them without question as a deserved gift from God or simply the result of a lot of hard work.
But life does not always go the way we think it should. It may be a time of sickness, or the death of a loved one, or an acute sense of loneliness and pain that causes you to seek out the real meaning and purpose of life. “Evil” does seem to serve a purpose in that it drives us to God, either to blame Him for what is wrong or to seek relief (sometimes both).
When you come to the Lord Jesus for the first time, regardless of the circumstances, it means that on some level you have come to the realization that you cannot save yourself, that salvation is only possible through Him. No one seeks a Savior if they believe they can still save themselves. Only when you realize that you cannot save yourself will you acknowledge your need for Someone Else to do the saving. This is usually not the result of some intellectual argument or emotional plea, but the cold hard reality one faces after having tried unsuccessfully to do everything on their own.
We may fail once, twice, a dozen times, a hundred times. But when we finally surrender to God we are decreased, and He is increased. Practically speaking it simply means a little less confidence and faith in yourself, and a little more confidence and faith in Christ. Disappointment and disillusionment are powerful tools in this process of decreasing.
Well, that is how it begins. Unfortunately too many people stop right there. They trust in Christ for salvation, but they trust themselves for everything else. The reality is that salvation is only one of many things that you cannot accomplish on your own. Have you realized yet that you cannot live a holy life? Have you learned the hard way that you cannot overcome anything in your own strength? Are you frustrated by your inability to grow spiritually? Have you given up on trying to heal yourself? The sooner you realize “I cannot,” the sooner you can graduate to “He can.” And this realization actually opens the way for Him to do what you cannot do. Why? Because when you are decreased then He is increased. Those are the spiritual principles.
(Read Part 1: The Law of Increase)