Typically we are told that “he must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). We interpret this to mean that we must allow God to do it all. Since we are helpless humans with flesh tainted by sin, our involvement in the matter must decrease as much as possible so that we won’t get in his way or God forbid, steal his glory. Only then will it be clear that it is God who has done it all by Himself. In that way “God gets all the glory.”
This kind of thinking can lead us to failure and God actually not “getting the glory” in some matters.
According to Scripture, we are actually God’s co-workers.
2 Corinthians 6:1 As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.
God’s will is done through us as we carry out his commands.
In order to save sinners, God sent his son in the form of a man who would die on the cross and be raised back to life. God used Jesus to save us. After Jesus ascended to heaven, in the same way he sent his disciples to continue the work of the gospel among the Jews and to take it to the Gentiles.
John 20:21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
Let’s say the disciples did not go into all the world and simply stayed in Jerusalem praying that God himself would preach the gospel to all creation. They simply committed the Great Commission into God’s hands and left the results up to him. What would have happened?
Therefore there are certain matters—perhaps not a few—in which God accomplishes his will through believers. We are the body of Christ. Our head, Jesus Christ, is in heaven seated at the right hand of the Father. Clearly Jesus does his work on earth through us—his hands, his feet, his voice, his body.
How is his gospel preached today? It’s shared through us, through our voices.
But in addition to preaching the gospel, in Matthew 10:8 Jesus also commands us to:
“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.”
How do we obey his command to “heal the sick?”
Shall we simply pray to God and leave the results up to him so that he will “get all the glory?”
We learn to preach the gospel effectively by studying how Jesus did it and by following his pattern. In the same way, we can heal the sick as he commanded simply by studying how Jesus healed the sick in the gospels and then ministering to the sick in exactly the same way.
John 14:12 “ Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing….”
And we will see people healed as evidence that Jesus is the Messiah.
“He will increase and we will decrease” as we obey his holy commands and do the works that he did. God is pleased and will get all the glory as his people obey his commands effectively and fruitfully—while acknowledging that we are but unworthy servants just doing our duty (Luke 17:10). After all, it is God in us through whom we can produce good fruit for him!