John the Baptist is one of the pivotal characters of Scripture. Think of some of the things that we know about his life.

His birth was abnormal by any stretch of the imagination:

His father received a visit from an angel while serving in the sanctuary of the Temple for what was probably his only visit inside the sanctuary of the Temple.

                                Dad had some problems with this visit and couldn’t speak until John was born.

Prior to John’s birth, while she probably in her 6th month of pregnancy, his mother visited her cousin; Mary, Jesus’ mother.

                                John, as a baby in the womb, reacted to this visit!

When John was born Zechariah wrote out John’s name for a group of ladies who had come to visit. Only then was he able to speak.

                                It’s a little odd that possibly he had never told anyone this name before – for 9 months!

John began a ministry in his adult years that attracted a large following – even Jesus came to visit. He had such influence that the king and his family payed attention to what he had to say. These are things that most of us dream to have – and yet this was John’s view of his life.

They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”
To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less.” John [3:26]-30

As I read this I wonder what influence, desires, and focus that I’m not willing to surrender to God. Friends, family, and followers, can seem like good things, but they can definitely keep us from fully serving as God presents opportunities.