The day was marked in time. The moment planned from the foundation of the world. “Behold, the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world!” John’s words rang from eternity and into the hearing of all those surrounding his revelation of Jesus Christ at the Jordan. [John 1: 29-32]
Soon after, John’s ministry began to decrease as Jesus moved into the forefront. As it was meant to be in John’s account in John 3: 22-36. We don’t see a fight for the limelight or a disappointment in John that his ministry was coming to a close, but instead we see elation and glorious joy in that Jesus was being exalted and recognized!
In recent years I experienced a decreasing of sorts in the ministry of worship that I spent over 15 years being involved in and about 10 of those as the Director of the worship ministry in my church. During that time, I received many accolades and words of encouragement, at times, even finding my identity in those words and giving myself over to them.
As I began to transition out of leadership and out of the ministry and welcomed another, who is younger and ten times more anointed than any worship leader I have known, I wrestled with my identity and my impact. I wrestled with insecurities about my tenure and if I even made a difference. I was tempted to make comparisons of my regime to the new regime and doubt any and all that I contributed during my leadership.
This, of course, was a ploy of the adversary to get me into discouragement. However, it was short lived as I began to see the amazing growth and impact the new regime was making. Of course, realizing that to everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven [Eccl. 3:1]. I thought I knew what that scripture meant before but it began to speak to me during this time of transition and actually brought comfort and confidence that God was still at work in and through my life.
Even more, was the impact that I saw from this amazing young man who stepped into the next season of leadership for that ministry. And like John, I saw the beauty of God’s plan and that through this ministry, people’s hearts were being drawn to Jesus Christ and His love and cross and THAT was all that was important. Not MY impact, or MY contribution, but HIS love and gospel was being communicated and CHRIST was being lifted.
THAT is cause for celebration! John said, “This is the point, HE is the point, I only exist to give reference to THE POINT and THE LIFE and my life is good for nothing else but to bring glory to CHRIST however HE sees fit. Including, beheading”! [Paraphrase mine] I am so impressed with John and his understanding of his role however short-lived and, in the end, tragic. He was content to know that he pointed the world to their Savior and Redeemer. What peace to know that Jesus approved and acclaimed John, even from that point [John 11:7-11]. Even if the rest of the world forgot John, Jesus loved him for eternity!
We can take refuge in the truth that no matter how our lives and impact ebbs and flows, that Jesus approves of every act we do to bring others to Him. From the simple act of motherhood that bathes and sings to a baby in obscurity, to those who are on stages and platforms declaring the Kingdom of God. All is seen and recalled in the mind and heart of Jesus and rewarded. Not according to the importance the world puts on that season, but the love and humility in which that season is carried out with obedience and adoration for Christ through it all.
So, whatever season you find yourself in, like John, exalt Christ and walk away in full assurance of faith. And walk into the awaiting joy of a greater fullness of purpose found in knowing that you have completed the work that He gave you in the previous season and that you were as faithful as possible to every unction of His heart.
Celebrate you in whatever season you are in!