Becoming some other than ourselves is not what this John 3:30 is about. John the Baptist was teaching his disciples about Jesus. He was proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah and explaining that his ministry, the end of the Old Covenant of the Law had to decrease so that Jesus’ ministry the beginning of the New Covenant of Grace would increase and spread. Let’s put the verse back into context and see that John was saying his ministry, the old was complete, and Jesus’ the New Covenant was now and forever more. John 3:25-30 reads,
Now a discussion arose between some of John's disciples and a Jew over purification. 26 And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.” 27 John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. 28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ 29 The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.”
Consider what it took to make you exactly you. Your exact parents and theirs and theirs and theirs all the way back to Adam came together to give you the DNA that made you. Even with the same ancestry as your siblings consider that it was one out of 500 million sperm that penetrated the egg that grew into you. Your life experiences were specific to you and only you. It took God tens of thousands of years to come up with exactly who you are. You are His masterpiece formed exactly as He meant you to be. Psalm 139:13-16 reads,
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
He formed your inward parts, your mind, your spirit, your soul just as much as He formed your body. And He says you are wonderfully made! Why would He ever change His mind about who you are! He planned you and He loved you before you were ever born or even conceived. He planned and loved you before He even created the world! Ephesians 1:3-6 in The Message says,
How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.
You are a masterpiece, God’s workmanship! And you were created with a purpose. You were created to do good things for God, great works in Jesus’ name! Read what Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:4-10.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Since He prepared you before for what you can do now in Christ, why would we want to refute who He made us to be? Do we deny the desires of our fleshly sinful selves? Yes! We are new! But do we reject the person He made us to be? Absolutely not. He made me with a certain way of expressing myself and therefore Him. He made me with particular passions and cares. He put me in a place where I would be able to express Him, care about issues, and love people in the way only I can through Him. When Jesus said, “deny yourself,” He didn’t mean deny who you are. He meant deny the appetites and desires that will make you behave like the person you were before He made you new. That phrase put into context was an answer to Peter saying he didn’t want Jesus to die and leave him. Peter was tempting Jesus to stay with them, forget the cross and live out his life as a man instead of living His life as Savior. Matthew 16:21-28 reads,
From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. 28 Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
Denying yourself those old desires, that ease and comfort gives God the opportunity to save you, make you more like Him, and live eternally.
Look at very different Paul was from Peter and Peter from John and John from James. Yet, their unique personalities enabled them to bring the Gospel to the world and to different people. Paul was straightforward and sometimes quite harsh even saying words not considered so good and sweet by some. Peter was passionate and confident. John was poetic and visionary. James was logical and deeply aware of how his actions expressed his heart. All these men were deeply in love with Jesus and zealous about spreading God’s message. All of them were equally, profoundly, and intimately loved by God. You, too are loved that way by Him. You too have the purpose of using your individual style to tell the world how much Jesus loves them.
Paul explained it this way in 1 Corinthians 12:12-20.
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
God is not disappointed in who you are. He saved you because He is delighted with you! For real! He is delighted with you. Psalm 18:19 says,
He brought me out into a broad place;
he rescued me, because he delighted in me
Be who you are meant to be, who you were created to be. The best you that you can be is to walk fully in your identity in Christ and fully in who He made you. 100% Jesus 100% you.