Larry Roques

Larry Roques

The Pastor's Journal of House of Joy Church

LESS IS MORE

                         Less is More

                     February 1, 2015

 

 

 

 

He must increase, but I must decrease. He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony. He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true. (John 3:30-33 NKJV)

 

One of the most fascinating of Jesus’ quotes, John Chapter 3 contains this nugget that is the turnstile of decision in seeing God move in and through our lives. Many of us battle with the reality of miracles and wonder through the doubt and disbelief that the world fosters and incubates, only to miss this simple but crucial principle. As we begin to comprehend that God’s domain is so much larger than our ability to imagine, we can rationalize that to see the miraculous manifest in our lives, we must go in the direction that is opposite our  earthly wisdom and defiant of our mortal abilities.  We must shrink back in our opinions and watch the Lord take the lead as we, in childlike faith (as He told us) see heavenly wonder unfold before our eyes. It is only then that we truly understand the term “less is more”.

 

 

He must increase

 

Isaiah 9:6-7

 

 

For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:6-7 NKJV)

 

Allowing God free reign in our lives is a tough concept for many of us to wrap our heads around. The battle between free reign and free will is a violent theater of war where every day, we can either make the decision to stay in control, or turn the keys over to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords and watch the economy of heaven go to work in our lives.

Isaiah 9:6-7 is a scripture that we customarily like to toss around at Christmas time. I mean after all, it “goes there”, right? It talks about a son and a child and a prince of peace and all of those tasty morsels of religion that gets us all fuzzy inside. But the real meat of these passages of scripture is buried right in the middle of the passage where it says “Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end.” In other words, if we are experiencing difficulties in our individual lives, it is not the blame of the Kingdom of heaven...because His government operates on a higher plane. If anything...our free will interrupts his free reign and creates a conflict in the spiritual realm that interferes with the increase that His kingdom was designed at the foundations existence to overcome the world. He must increase, because increase is a foundational dynamic of His government.

 

 

 

I must decrease

 

Luke 9:46-48

 

Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest. And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child and set him by Him, and said to them, “Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great.” (Luke 9:46-48 NKJV)

 

Don’t you find it funny that a Bible that expressly focuses upon the lifting up of God and the humility of man has always seemed to battle with the subject of man becoming self-exalting and filled with religious pomp and arrogance? Here in Luke 9, we see a situation flare up among the disciples of “who was going to be the rock star among them”. It seems that whenever we are presented with a golden opportunity to see God in this life, someone decides they want to go in to the golden calf business. These men were in close proximity to heavenly perfection and their main concern was “pecking order”. When we decrease, we step aside; we allow creation to take its rightful place in our lives. We do THE thing that will trigger the miraculous. We release our earthly lives to heavenly influence. In case you haven’t noticed, we are mentioned in the Lord’s Prayer only in the capacity of receiving from His hand and keeping us from the opportunity of sin.

Instead of naming the next “Jewish Idol”, Jesus summons a small child to himself and makes His point crystal clear. He tells them that if they cannot find humility to receive a child....to embrace the simple with simplicity, then they were missing the point. The least will be the greatest. The humble will be exalted by God. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble...in other words.....less is more.

 

 

The Kingdom advances

 

Matthew 19:13-22

 

 

Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” And He laid His hands on them and departed from there. 

 

Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He said to Him, “Which ones?” Jesus said, “ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. (Matthew 19:13-22 NKJV)

 

 

 

For a group of people who operated in such close proximity to greatness, they didn’t “get it”....a lot. Jesus did not come here to establish a religion...he came here to set man right with God. The religious hacks of the day were doing everything in their power to continue the distorted view of God’s love for mankind. They wanted to continue the dynamic of their superhero image and their “living like royalty” demeanor. And unfortunately, that same carnival roams the world today with semi-trucks filled with multimillion dollar concert tour-like religious rock shows. We were called to preach the Gospel...we were called to present the Word and see God move in manifestations. People’s lives are only truly changed when the Spirit of God changes them. There is no prayer that you or I can pray that will be effective without the power of God following suit.

The Kingdom of God must and will advance. There is a day, and it is coming soon when the itching ears will no longer be quelled by inspirational talk. When the Kingdom advances cancer is healed. When the Kingdom advances, addictions are broken, when the kingdom advances live are changed forever, when the kingdom advances souls are saved, when the kingdom advances God’s love floods the earth and the end time harvest is reaped.

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