Audience of One: The Quest to Please God First
Audience of One: the idea we should please only One. That our lives are to honor God first, not ourselves or others. That we perform, create, build, work, love for His pleasure first.
Repeatedly, I must refocus because my perspective becomes skewed. Why is that? Why can’t I do everything simply out of love for my Creator, my Savior, my one and only Deliverer? Why do I make it about me? Am I fatally flawed? Have I learned nothing on this Christian walk?
God knew selfishness would be my battlefield.
Father, I repent one more time for forgetting: It’s all about You, not me.
And it’s even self-focused to think I’m the only one struggling. Preoccupation with self is a human race thing. We all have our personal battlefields. Maybe this isn’t your main one, but it is a common challenge.
Why is this Audience of One concept so difficult for us?
Listening to the Wrong Voices
In our technologically driven age, voices assault us from all directions and we’ve become addicted to the virtual connection. The wrong voices are LOUD and everywhere. Powerful media messages scream that love and acceptance are measured by the number of social media followers, and the number of “likes” on your Facebook or Instagram posts. On-line blogs on lifestyle, décor, art, health, etc. set the beauty and creativity bar high and we strive to attain even a modicum of perfection.
A mega-blogger recommends to wanna-be successful bloggers: “Be more than you really are.”
The Bible tells us the exact opposite: “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)
Often, our own voices join in the self-defeating cacophony. Satan doesn’t need to do anything extra. Between the world’s messy messages and our own negative “Amens,” the devil can sit back, cross his arms, and smirk. My job is done here, Batman.
The pull to heed these voices is alarmingly strong.
Even though I determine not to get sucked into this allure, I do. I’ve measured how well I write, or how valuable my contribution to society is, by how many agree with me in a public forum, a virtual community. I see you read my blog post, but I don’t know what you thought, if it touched you, or if it helped you through a rough day. How frustrating. How can I measure my success if there’s no actual communication exchange?
Aha…there it is. “My success.”
“No, it’s not about me,” I remind myself, one more time.
Listening to the wrong voices – the world, the enemy of our souls, and even my own at times – is self-defeating. We won’t receive true affirmation from the world or Satan, only rejection, disappointment and discouragement. The only voice I can control out of these three is my own.
My voice needs to agree with what God says in His word about me:
I am the head and not the tail. (Deuteronomy 28:13)
I am the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)
I am hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:3)
I am the apple of His eye. (Psalm 17:8)
He sings over me with joy. (Zephaniah 3:17)
The Pull of Personal Insecurities
We ALL have personal insecurities. None of us are talented enough, thin enough, outgoing enough, successful enough, rich enough, polished enough, educated enough, well-connected enough, intelligent enough, spiritual enough. Maybe your family put the “dys” in dysfunctional, your teeth aren’t straight, and you suck at public speaking. We ALL have our issues! Some people are just better at hiding their fear.
That’s what insecurities are…straight up fear.
Fear and faith are opposite ends of the spectrum. When fear walks in the room, faith leaves. When faith enters, fear hightails it out. Which one should we invite to stay? Faith!
Consequently, we must boot fear out the door through repentance and choose faith in God and His Word. Jesus died not only to give us eternal life, but to save us from EVERYTHING, including our insecurities and fears.
Focusing on Past Failures
Focusing on the past, especially on our personal failures, will only keep us wandering around the desert like the Israelites who didn’t believe God for the “Promised Land.” A whole generation, except for Joshua and Caleb, died in the desert before their children could believe and walk in God’s promises.
Moving into promised territory requires faith.
For the sake of our families, our loved ones, our sphere of influence, we each must take responsibility for possessing our personal birthright in the Kingdom of God. Even if it means I must let go of past failures and unfulfilled expectations. I repent once and for all for that failure. I repent for negative thinking and for allowing myself to dwell on ancient, and not so ancient, mistakes. I repent for a lack of faith and for not trusting that You can do it.
We can’t cling to the past and move forward. Let go.
We must dare to believe God, move out, and take new ground. The world won’t applaud. The enemy will launch another attack. And there are giants in the Promised Land. But God says we can and will defeat them.
Our voice must agree with the Promise Maker’s voice: “And they triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” (Revelation 12:11 NIV)
Pleasing our Audience of One is possible... because of Jesus.
PRAYER: Lord, I desire to please you alone. Silence the negative voices and deliver me from my own selfishness, my insecurities and fears. I release my past failures to you. Focus me forward on Your purposes. I declare I will move as You direct, fight the good fight of faith with Your sword in my hand and Your Word on my lips. I will be victorious through the blood of the Lamb and the Word of my testimony, in Jesus’ name.