The definition of increase can be summed up in two phrases: “to become great” and “to add to”. Therefore, two other possible titles for this chapter are “Preparing to Become Great” and “Preparing for an Addition”. As we learn how to properly petition God, we are preparing to become greater, we are preparing for God to add to what we already have. No matter how great the blessings are that God has given you, He is always able to bless you even more. Expect that God will make your life greater, and that He will add to the blessings he has already placed before you. Indeed, we are preparing for God to advance our lives. Becoming greater, adding to what we already have, and advancing are all components of increase.
Many of you may need an increase in your finances, you may desire to have children or you may be in need of a great miracle in your body. God has already said that He will bless all those that fear him. He not only will bless you, He will bless your children (Psalm 115:13). Isn’t it good to know that He will bless you and your future generations? Your blessings are perpetuated and they become your children’s blessings. This is a promise I take personally. On a daily basis, I prepare for my increase.
Once you understand how God’s increase operates in your life, even your children will increase. God wants to work abundantly in our lives, and He wants us to prepare for this increase. Jesus came that we might have life, and even better life than before! (John 10:10) Jesus came not only to ensure our eternal lives with Him, but He came to ensure an increase while we are living this life.
“Increase” is a very general term; you can have an increase in good things or you can have an increase in bad things. We would all agree that it is neither good nor acceptable nor perfect to have an increase in bills, or in car trouble, or in sickness and disease.
Since every good and perfect gift is from above, we do not have to worry about the bad being increased by God. He wants to increase your blessings and not your miseries. He wants a personal hand in causing your health, your finances, your academic grades, or any other good thing that you are in need of to be advanced.
Don’t be satisfied with where you are. Push to become greater. If better is possible, then good is not good enough. Anytime there is even a glimmer of hope that you can be better or do better, good is not enough.
John the Baptist recognized that there would come a time when he would have to yield his ministry to Jesus so that Jesus could increase and John could decrease (John 3:30). John the Baptist in essence says, “I’m good, but Jesus must be greater. I was here first, but now I yield my authority to Him.” John the Baptist was speaking spiritually, but did not know it. Paul said that those who are after the flesh do fleshly things. But those who are after the Spirit seek the things of the Spirit. The Spirit provides life and peace. Those of the flesh CANNOT please God (Roman 8:5-8).
Paul presents to us the argument for decreasing the flesh and increasing the spirit. John represented the flesh; Jesus represented the Spirit. He knew that in order for God’s ultimate plans and purposes to be accomplished, he could not consume himself with pride and stubbornness. He knew he had to yield to the authority of God and not frustrate the Spirit. John the Baptist wanted to please God.
In our lives, the first way to prepare for God’s increase is to decrease the flesh. Become more spiritually minded; do not put your mind at enmity against God. Be subject to the law of God so that you can ultimately please Him and find life and peace.
Do Greater Works
Recall the definition of increase in John 3:30. John the Baptist declared that he must decrease and Jesus must increase. John made this statement at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, when He realized he had to yield his ministry to the Son of God. In the same fashion, Jesus made a very similar statement toward the end of his ministry. Just as John the Baptist had to yield his ministry to that of Jesus, Jesus has yielded His ministry to ours! We are able to do the same things Jesus did and more (John 14:12). Jesus has decreased and He wants us to increase and do greater works. That’s in the definition. Increase means that you become greater. And greater works than these shall we do! Jesus will increase the works that He has done and these greater works will be our works.
Even the prophet Isaiah had something to say about increase. God’s Word is the answer (Isaiah 55:10-11). God points out that we have never seen rain on its way back up — when rain comes down, something happens. If I cut grass on Monday and it rains on Tuesday, I will have weeds on Wednesday. The rain causes the earth to increase and spring forth and bud. Conversely, a drought causes the earth to decrease and wither up and dry.
God compares the effect His Word has on our lives to the effect the rain has on the earth. The rain causes the earth to prosper, just as abiding in God’s Word causes our lives to flourish. Rain makes the earth prosper and yield increase. The Word of God forces us to prosper and yield increase. God says His Word “shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Because God’s Word causes increase wherever it goes, you need to have as much Word residing inside of you as you possibly can. Once His Word occupies a space in your life, increase will automatically follow and will reside in you as well.
Oh, My Aching Back
God’s word works whether you believe it or not. When I was a little boy, my family and I took many trips to Florida. On one particular trip, we had a driver who was suffering from back problems. As we rode for the six or seven hours it took to get to Florida, my mother played tapes from various ministers. The man who drove us to Florida was not a church-goer, he was not even a believer, but when we arrived at our destination, he proclaimed to us that he had been healed of his back problem! This man was not a believer, yet the Word of God prospered in his life. God’s Word will prosper whereunto you send it, whether or not faith is present. Just imagine how much of an increase will be granted unto you when your faith is active.
Once you immerse yourself in God’s Word, you will learn that you must have faith in order to please God. Without faith, you cannot please him. You must believe God and you must also believe that He is going to reward you for seeking Him (Hebrews 11:6). We have learned that those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You will also learn that you cannot stand before God petitioning Him if you have unforgiveness in your heart toward another (Mark 11:25). Unforgiveness will block you from receiving from God. Learning and applying these and other principles from God’s Word will build a great foundation for learning to receive from God and will help you prepare for the increase.
Get In Shape
The second method for preparing for the increase is to exercise your faith. It is not only important to know that faith comes by hearing, it is also important to know that faith without works is dead. Remember the parable of the master who gave his three servants different
talents? He gave one servant one talent, another two, and a third, five. When he had returned from his journey, the one given five had obtained another five. The man with two made another two. Lastly, the man with one buried the money. He was a fool. (Matthew 25:14-18). Wouldn’t you rather give your money to someone who would double it for you? Would you place your life savings in a bank that was just going to keep it for you even if another bank was offering to pay you interest?
The man who was given five talents to invest operated on his faith. He had faith in what his master told him and he proceeded to invest. The servant who was given only two talents did likewise. However, the one who was only given one talent had many excuses for not obeying and investing. Incidentally, the man with the least production was the one talking the most. He probably told his master that the market had been fluctuating, and it probably would not have been in his best interest to invest at that time. Regardless of the excuse, he still disobeyed. Remember Peter when he frustrated the Word of God and hindered it from allowing an increase, an expected end, in his life? (Refer to the chapter titled “An Expected End”). This servant did the same thing. When you operate on faith, you do not have to do a lot of talking, offering a lot of excuses. The Apostle Paul tells you that if you have faith, to have it unto yourself before God (Romans 14:22).
Bring The Tithe
The third way to prepare for your increase is to tithe. Tithing not only yields an increase in your life but to the Body of Christ as a whole. You may say, “Well, I don’t make enough money to tithe.” But God is waiting to see what you will do with the little that you have before He entrusts you with much. Try God. The area of tithing is the only area in which we are invited to prove God. He wants you to try Him. And once you tithe, you will declare that the Lord is good.
If you need to receive something you need to give something. Just prove God at His Word. Malachi 3:10 is the only point in His Word where we have permission to prove God. He wants you to be greater. He has prepared an increase for you, now you must prepare to receive it.
Summary — Preparing For The Increase
1.Understand that God wants to increase you in good things.
2.As we increase, we add to what we already have and we are advanced.
3.Steps for preparing for God’s increase:
Decrease the Flesh
Exercise Your Faith