Hungry For More
I was surprised to note that a grassroots movement can be faked. It’s called “astroturfing” and is defined this way: Faking a grassroots movement is known as astroturfing, which, as the name suggests, is named after AstroTurf, the iconic brand of artificial grass. Astroturfing means pretending to be a grassroots movement, when in reality the agenda and strategy are controlled by a hidden, non-grassroots organization. In this manner, a faux show is presented, consisting of robotic individuals pretending to be voicing their own opinions.
What John the Baptist and Jesus began was a grassroots movement. It was one of the reasons those in authority were not happy with either of them.
John the Baptist is an interesting character. He appears on the stage of history like a star—a falling star. He arrives and six months later his minister ends via the blade of an ax. But he did what God had designed him to do—call the people to repentance, warn them that the Kingdom of Heaven was close and announce the coming of the Messiah.
In John 3:30, John makes a fascinating statement. His grassroots movement was short-lived. Once Jesus arrived on the scene, people began to leave John to follow this new teacher. John’s disciples were concerned and came to John to express that concern. Whether or not John had a premonition that his time was short, we don’t know. But we do know that he understood his role in history in a way that most people don’t. When his disciples complained that the crowds were following Jesus, John launched into an explanation of just how important it was that that happen (John 3:27-29). Then he made this wonderful statement: “He must become greater; I must become less.”
There is another grassroots movement beginning that I sense in some people. There is a hunger at the most basic levels for Jesus, for more intimacy with Him, for a more personal relationship with Him, for a greater sense of Him in life. It echoes John’s statement in that it is the voice of a few people who know that Christ must become greater in their lives and that personal ego and personal agendas must diminish.
I feel the hunger. I feel it in myself and I feel it in others. I know I can’t orchestrate it for others by offering another study or another course. Those things might set the stage in some small way, but in the end it is the Spirit of God working in response to a submissive heart that will meet the need. Jesus expressed it when He spoke to Nicodemus: “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit” (John 3:8).
The key is reflected in John’s attitude about Jesus’ rising star. He must become greater and I must become less. Then, and only then, can the Spirit do His work and satisfy, as much as it is possible on this side of heaven, the hunger of a heart that wants to get closer to God.