I shouldn’t have been surprised by the little note a beloved friend included in a donation she and a friend of hers sent me. She had told me she wouldn’t take the time to write anything this time around, but she has a heart for the Lord and couldn’t help but write what the Lord had laid on her heart. She thanked me for my obedience to God. Just moments after I read her brief note, unlike her usual long letters, it dawned on me what she had written. Only minutes before I retrieved her note and donation from the mailbox, the Lord had dealt with me in yet another lesson in obedience.
|photo courtesy of pixabay.com|
I had been going back and forth with Him on His direction to me to write another book. After writing three books that almost nobody read, and after he had told me to take all three books out of circulation because I had written them with the wrong heart, I have had a big hesitation to write another one. What if nobody reads it? What if I pour my heart into yet another book, and it falls to the wayside just like the other ones?
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I heard with utter clarity the Lord’s response. He wanted me to write the next book as an act of obedience regardless of who, if anybody, might ever read the book. And then the thought came to me. God, if you wanted me to write another 500 books for you that nobody would ever read, I would do it for you. The timing of my friend’s little note made perfect sense. God was confirming what I had heard from Him. My job is to love and obey Him regardless of what the world says or does, or doesn’t say or doesn’t do.
A friend told me some years ago she had read an article called “Audience of One.” The intention of the article, as I recall, was to drive home the point that doing something for God is enough even if not a single human being ever affirms or validates or praises or acknowledges us for what it is we do. In other words, if God is our audience of one, our audience is sufficient.
And in mulling all this over, the following thought came to me. Even if I had an audience of NONE, even if God Himself didn’t take a single second to acknowledge something I have done, I would do it for one reason alone. My reason would be Him. For my love for Him makes me want to please Him. And my obedience is borne out of this ever growing love for Him. And if God wants me to do something, even if God Himself never gives what I have done for Him another thought, I would do it anyway. Because given how much I love Him, I can’t conceive of holding back this love for Him.
So whether my next book has an audience of millions, or just a handful, or simply and wonderfully the Lord Himself, or whether I have an audience of NONE whatsoever, not even God, I will write the book not for an audience. I will not write it for the purpose of money nor fame nor validation. I will write it as an act of obedience. I will write it as a labor of love.
Not for anything I may receive in return. And I will write it if not a word is ever read. I will write it for the one I love this day and forever. I will write it for my Lord. And, who knows, with this pure heart I wished I had had all along, perhaps somebody in fact might be led to read it. But regardless, I will know that I have done something to love and serve the Lord with or without an audience, even with an audience of NONE. For we were not created anyway to live our lives for an audience, were we? We were not created to live our lives for the praises of man. We were created to love and worship and serve and bring glory to the name of the Lord who deserves all praise and all honor and the sacrifice of our thanksgiving every day of our lives and forevermore!
Do you struggle with wanting to be accepted? Acknowledged? Affirmed? Validated? Do you seek an audience? Do you like to get a pat on the back from time to time? Do you enjoy the praises of people? Do you find your worth in others? Do you find your significance in what others say of you? Do you desire an audience? Is your obedience to God contingent on what you may get in return? Will you love the Lord so much that you will let it all go and choose act in obedience to Him simply because you love Him? Will you let go of all the wrong reasons you may have served the Lord, and will you serve Him for this one? Because you love Him………..even if you find you have an audience of none. Will you love Him anyway? Will you choose to obey?
Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
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Joh 12:42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
Joh 12:43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
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