29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This isthe first commandment.
Mark 12:29-30 (NKJV)
From the earliest of ages, I can remember picking up anything that resembled a microphone and singing my heart out to whatever was on the radio, or in my heart. I desperately wanted to sing, and if I had an audience, well that was even better. I loved to perform for others. I also desperately wanted their approval so I would feel reaffirmed in what I was doing, and who I was. I mean what was a dream of being a music superstar without an audience?
As I grew older I sang Karaoke, at weddings, for friends who asked, and even sang on the Praise Team at church. I found that I forgot how much I loved to sing and was now confronted with wanting the approval of my audience. Even my worship was tainted with a longing for approval. It can also happen in everything else I do. Like writing this blog, posting a comment on someone’s status, or doing just about anything.
As a child, the approval of who was watching became highly important to me. Then as I grew up and it continued to be somewhat of an obsession. As my sphere of influence grew in any profession I held, or ministry opportunity I had, an audience was something I couldn’t escape. It seemed as if everything I did had to be examined, and re-examined when I did it, or when I said it. Becoming a Christian actually made my want for approval from my audience even stronger. I wanted to know what I was doing was right. I also wanted others to know it. The approval of men became a snare, and when the pressure became too much it actually led to big failures in maintaining approval of myself. It was also devastating to my self-esteem, and at times led to such self-awareness that I was consumed with me. Such preoccupation with self-took my eyes off of God, and I found myself serving my reputation and man’s approval of me.
Consider your life and those whom you impact on a daily basis. Who do you include? Family, friends, those on social networks, acquaintances, coworkers, church members, the first time attendee, or any of the people you meet during the course of your day. Those you know, and those you don’t know are all included in our sphere of influence if we come across their path.
Each of these people is impacted by our words and deeds. Even those who are watching that we are not aware of. It is easy to forget our influence on others, and just as easy to practice influence on them. In fact, with our world of social media, we tell people what we think, what we are doing, and where we are going with a post, a tweet, or a pin. Our phones are so sophisticated that we can take our audience with us and record anything that can be posted on YouTube or another internet site for all to see. The pressure to perform as Christians and for the approval of men in a world that leaves no room for privacy can be great. The willingness on our part to do what we are called to do for others can even leave us conscious of our audience. Rare moments are those when we are truly alone.
However, there is always One. One who sees it all hears all your thoughts, knows what you will do when you finish reading this and every moment set before you. He knows what choices you have made, are making, and will make. He knows when you get up, and when you lie down. He knows your coming and your going. He was your first admirer, and will always be from the time before you were formed in the womb.
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
Jer 1:5 (NKJV)
God has been our most important audience since then and continues to be even if we don’t regard Him as so. What if for the next month, or more if you like, you concentrated on that audience of One who is always there. What if you began to practice your performance just for Him in everything you do, say, or think. Living and loving for the King of Kings, an audience of One.
17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Col 3:17 (NKJV)
For the rest of my life, I am determined to live for an audience of One. Not for me, not for man, but for God. If I stand to worship in a group of believers, then I worship One. If I write, read, study, pray, give, take, live, love, laugh, cry, or anything else I want to do it all for an audience of One. I do it all mindful only of His presence and His approval. In doing so I pray that my actions, words, thoughts, and deeds would glorify Him, and bless Him abundantly.
What do you think a focus on an audience of One would do for your life? Won’t you join me each Wednesday, and embark on a life with only God as your audience, Beloved?
Leave a comment below on how living and loving for an audience of One would change your life or perspective. Then join me right here each Wednesday as we share what it looks like, feels like, and sounds like to live and love for the KING!