For the vast majority of people, including each one of us when we give in to our selfish and sinful nature, life points inward. It points to self. It paints the picture that “Life is all about me.”
Being created in the image of God, though, our lives are supposed to point to Him.
In the 1st century, John the Baptist had a massive following. One could make the claim that John could have easily continued to grow his following and created his own kingdom, of sorts. That was not John’s aim or purpose, though.
John the Baptist was preaching a message of repentance and preparing the way for the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. John did not want a following. He wanted Jesus to have the following.
When people were confused about who John the Baptist was and who Jesus was, and when there was concern that so many people were all of a sudden flocking to Jesus, John said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).
Oh, that we would all have such humility and Christ-centered lives that others would flock to Jesus because of what we say and do!
Why is this so difficult for us? Why are we so prone to look inward rather than looking upward? Why are we so tempted to talk about ourselves rather than about our Savior?
The answer to each of those questions, of course, is sin. Only Jesus can take away our sins, and until we surrender our lives to Him and commit to surrender ourselves to Him every single day, we will not win the victory over selfishness and pride. Have you surrendered? Are you surrendering?
In the following chapter of the gospel of John, there is a culture-shocking encounter between Jesus and a Samaritan woman. After the Samaritan woman believed Jesus was who He said He was, she wanted others to know about Him. Should could not help but point others to Him.
Then, after others believed based on what they heard, they went to Jesus themselves and eventually told the Samaritan woman, “We no longer believe because of what you said, since we have heard for ourselves and know that this really is the Savior of the world” (John 4:42).
Wow! Is this not a great picture of how the journey of faith works for all of us? People often first believe based on what they hear (and thus the importance of living out our faith and talking about our faith), but when people then sincerely seek Jesus themselves, they believe and trust even more because the result is faith that experiences a relationship with God.
Until that relationship exists, what you “believe” can change. Once you know the Savior, though, you find satisfaction and fulfillment that cannot be found elsewhere. What you believe is then based on a life-changing relationship with the Lord, and He will never let you go.
Only then will your life (your actions and your words) point others to Jesus.
To where does your life point?