On this week's podcast, Matt shared a personal and powerful moment about 4 words. Here is that podcast adapted for you to read and if you'd like to hear it and subscribe to the podcast you can subscribe at iTunes by looking for MATT CRUMP or you can also subscribe, download an app and have fun at https://www.godsgotthis.podbean.com
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Today I'd like to share with you how to become bigger, by becoming smaller. We’re going to look at 4 words and those are REDUCE ME TO LOVE. If you’ll stick around for the next few minutes I'm sure it will be a blessing to you. Let’s start in the Bible today in the book of John:
JOHN 3:30 NLT
30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.
How is it possible to pray without ceasing and how can a non-stop prayer be a prayer of power and one that makes a difference? I’ve wrestled with how to pray always in my first few years as a Christian almost as much as anything I could imagine that was on my question list then, and almost as much as I wanted to hear what God’s voice sounds like when he would say “Hello Matt, I’ve heard you and here are all the answers to what you have been wondering in life.”
Although I must say that I still have never heard a voice from the heavens speaking my name and then holding a holy conversation with me, I can say I have heard from God and fortunately, I still do. Contrary to some people’s VIEW on TV lately that hearing the voice of God is like hearing voices in our heads and I might actually just be crazy especially if I answer back, I can say with all assurance, there is a difference.
I don’t know if it’s the drugs I am on, the stress of the condition I am living with from the damage cancer is doing and has done to my body or, I just get plain wore out, I know there is no doubt I struggle with mood swings. I struggle with issues that I haven’t really talked about to many people. I figured it might be helpful if I talked about it today in hopes that it would help someone listening today to say. WOW.. really? It’s not just me??!!
Struggling with cancer and some unknowns, I also know of some knowns. I know that I wrestle so much with nausea and fevers and sweats and extreme fatigue. I feel trapped in a world that seems like groundhog day. I wake up, I shower, I try to do my ministry works for the day, I fight sleeping while doing it, I take naps, get fevers, have intense dreams, might fix dinner for the family if I’m not too nauseous and then go to bed. Not to go to sleep, but to live in cycles of sleep. I may sleep for 15-20 minutes, it may be an hour but usually not more than that at a time. Lately in those moments when I do fall asleep, I go to these places or dreams if you will that are seeming more real every time, so real that at times, I can’t remember which is which when I wake back up for the next round. I get through those cycles only to find it’s time to take a shower again and start all over.
If you could hear my voice… You'd hear I had another one of those nights..I didn’t get to sleep until almost 6 am!! Not a great way to start your day.
Before you start feeling all sorry for me, I must say, it’s not always like that, or at least it wasn’t, it has been more like that lately, enough that I wanted to talk about it with you today.
It is a place where I can easily get swept away into a place called NOTHING. That is a scary place to be and a place I am trying to escape.
So, back to the core of where I wanted to go today, the place of 4 words REDUCE ME TO LOVE. I recently read some of the works of Hannah Brencher and she is absolutely fantastic. She wrote some things that put words to my thoughts and some words I want to share with you.
I started out talking about the social world and the desire to be bigger and my being a student of that training. There is no doubt some of that training is absolutely incredible and life-changing, but if applied the wrong way, it could bring complete devastation into your life.
John 3:30 says to become greater, we must become less, in other versions, it says He must become greater, I must become less. I have found in my life that the more I point to Christ and the more I focus on what He wants FOR others the better I learn how much he wants FOR me.
Here’s the point. To say the 4 words REDUCE ME TO LOVE is to say I want to be stripped of the pride and desire of life. I want to be stripped of the desire of more in my life. Not that I would say it’s bad to have more or want more from God. We are promised in so many places of what the benefits are to being a child of God, however, when we can come to the simplest of 4 words in our lives embodying the whole of who God is.. LOVE.
Let’s break it down a bit to the first 2 words,
Is that such a horrible place? I am learning what REDUCE ME is meaning. Reduction of self, reduction of gaining things that may actually enslave me. REDUCE ME. It is a powerful prayer. It means I have come to a place where I have either learned, I am learning or I want to learn what it means to be REDUCED. In cooking, reduction leads to the blending of some incredible flavors, in retail REDUCED means a place of incredible value. In weight loss, REDUCED means a great place of personal gain. So, REDUCE ME in itself is and can be a prayer of excitement and value like never before.
To love means obviously not to hate. To love is a place where someone becomes selfless. When you first fall in love with the person of your dreams, to love is a place of incredible dreams, a place where money means nothing when you can have a few moments with that person. TO LOVE is a place when you have been praying for your child to be healthy and strong and nothing in your life could even matter to see that happen. TO LOVE is a place when you may know you have a limited time left with someone and nothing else in the world matters but those few precious moments.
Now, put all those words together, REDUCE ME TO LOVE. When we can pray a prayer like that, with the understanding of the depth of what it really means, JOHN 3:30 becomes one of the most incredible passages of scripture to catapult you into an incredible place of growth in life.
There is a worship song that was written called "Breathe on Me, Breath of God” it is an English Christian hymn by Edwin Hatch, a Church of England vicar and the Professor of Classics at the University of Trinity College in Canada. It was first published privately in 1878 and publicly published in 1886.
Here are the lyrics to that song:
REDUCE ME TO LOVE. May I be less and you be more Lord. Yes, there is great benefit to working our jobs and working them well and striving to do our best and finding ways to make it to the top, however, the top may be very well be flipped the other way around.
I want to encourage you this week to pray a breath of God prayer. To pray a REDUCE ME TO LOVE prayer. Just those 4 words, with the understanding of what they mean and a passion to see them fulfilled in your life.
A place where I wondered what praying always meant, a place wondering what the voice God sounded like. You’ll find it when you can pray to REDUCE ME TO LOVE. May it be less of me and more of you. May others success be my success. May my desire to be less actually be a place I find more and that more never becomes a place where I could be self-centered, but selfless. REDUCE ME TO LOVE LORD.
May that be a place that transforms the place of wake up, shower, live, sleep do-over to a place of wake up REDUCE ME TO LOVE.
May today be the gift of excitement in your heart. May you dream the biggest dreams as your reduced to the biggest purpose of all, love.
I hope that today has stirred something up in your heart and hope that it will continue to speak to your heart. When it does, would you take time to comment and share what God is speaking to you? It could change someone’s life forever! Also, we want to share many resources, all FREE for you at our site https://www.godsgothis.love While there subscribe to our Monday Magazine which opens up an entire week of ministry, every week, just for YOU!