John the Baptist realised that, as Jesus’ ministry began, his was coming to its end and he was content to know that he’d played his part and would now take a secondary role as Jesus became pre-eminent, though I doubt he knew that he would have an early death at the hands of Herod.
In a similar way, when Jesus comes into our lives, we need to learn to take a back seat, allowing Him to guide and lead us, putting Him first in all things. This is a process, as we often struggle with the ‘selfish self’ which would rather do things ‘my way’. There are also occasions when we long for God’s clear guidance and He seems to be silent. Many times I have heard people say, “If only God would tell me what He wants me to do life would be so much easier.” Yes, it probably would be easier, but God allows us to make our own choices because He has given us free will.
What I have written in that last paragraph may seem contradictory, but I believe that as we allow Jesus to fill our hearts, everything we do can be a service for Him. I’m not all that keen on housework for example, but I often remember a line from Teach me my God and King by George Herbert: ‘Who sweeps a room as for Thy laws, makes that and the action fine’. If we do the simple jobs with the love of Jesus in our hearts we can make them special. We can remember that even as we go shopping, or cooking, or cleaning, or whatever it is we are doing, Jesus is with us.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I am no longer my own but yours. Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will; put me to doing, put me to suffering; let me be employed for you, or laid aside for you, exalted for you, or brought low for you; let me be full, let me be empty, let me have all things, let me have nothing: I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to your pleasure and disposal. And now, glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you are mine and I am yours. (Prayer from the Methodist Church Covenant Service.)
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