Audience of One

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Gal. 1:10, NIV).

This verse makes an extremely strong statement. It’s reminiscent of Jesus’ bold declaration that no one can serve two masters (Matt. 6:24). We just are incapable of doing so. We’ll either “love the one and hate the other,’ or vice versa. Such intense wording!

We cannot serve Mammon and the Lord simultaneously. Likewise, neither can we dedicate ourselves to people-pleasing, and pleasing God, simultaneously. If we are positioning our hearts and lives in the pursuit of human approval, we are going in the opposite direction than that of serving the Lord. We can’t do both. Attempting to do so would give us a perpetual whiplash, or something far worse.

Holy Spirit calls out to us through the ages, “Choose this day whom you will serve” (Josh. 24:25).  If we truly want to serve Jesus, we are going to need to wean ourselves off of the “need” for human praise. In my experience, this weaning process takes way longer than weaning my babies off of breastmilk ever did.

You and I know how human it is to seek out the praise of others. Even from childhood, we would call to our parents, “Look at me! Look at me!” as we managed some feat on the playground. We hungered for their approval and applause.

The trouble became, when we grew up and moved well into adulthood, still depending on human approbation to feel good about ourselves. I have found that the Lord will address this in each serious seeker of Him. He takes us through a process of development where He trains us to be wholly dependent on Him. This includes utter dependency on His praise alone. This very well may translate into long seasons of our lives in which we feel like we are invisible. During these prolonged periods, it may seem like no one is seeing, appreciating, our valuing our contributions.

No one, that is, except Him. Him alone. Our audience of One.

If you are in a season like that, the One who loves you more than His own life has a beautiful and powerful purpose for it. He wants to teach you to receive encouragement and recognition from Him. He wants to instruct you in leaning deeply into His unchanging, unconditional approval of you. He is your safe place. He is the One cheering crazy loud for you from the bleachers. He is the One who thinks you are absolutely amazing.

Going through the training, shaping period, to get you to the place where that praise from Him is what fuels you every day… may be an extremely challenging chapter of your life. But you will never, ever regret it.

What absolute freedom it is to live for the audience of One, and for Him alone!


Have you been through a season of training like this? If so, do you have any words of wisdom to share about what you learned, or what helped you through it?

18 thoughts on “Audience of One

  1. I am going through such a time right now – so this post really spoke to me. Only tip I have: pray every day that God will help me comport myself in a way that glorifies Him as I go through this difficult learning. I don’t enjoy being taken for granted by people around me, or treated by other people as though I’m invisible. It makes me cranky and grouchy, and I react in ways that I don’t want to, before I can contain myself. I pray every day for His help in becoming the person He expects me to be.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for sharing this transparently, that reflects childlike humility that I know pleases our heavenly Father in a very special way. He is so proud of you! And so am I. I am saying a prayer for you right now, for fresh grace, strength, and encouragement from His heart to you for this season. You are so loved!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This post made me think of the time when I helped organize a speaking engagement for a well-known speaker on a university campus. After the event, the speaker complained to us that the room was only three-quarters full. It said a lot about what the speaker was focused on—the numbers and ego, not the people who did show up. Thanks for this insightful post.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I used to think becoming an adult would mean escaping peer pressure. Oh my, was that ever wishful thinking. I can’t help but think the need for approval from peers is behind much of the tribalism and polarization our society is facing right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. These moments in our lives, define CLEARLY the motivation behind our actions and our sacrifices….if not one is watching, seeing, applauding, or even saying thank you, – are we discouraged? Are we quitting and giving up ok that day or hour and then resuming at another hour that is more likely we will be noticed?

    This clarity, is needed. For ourselves. To really see- hey, I’m doing this for Christ. I’m doing this for God. He is my reward. The fact that i have this opportunity to give, FREELY, no payment or money involved, I’m doing this freely for God, because all my life He has freely given me each day of life, every blessing, every good thing, He is a non stop flow of continued blessings. Praise His name, forever!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Brings preaching to mind for me. There can be a difference between what people want to hear, and what they need to hear. If I only concentrate on the former, I’m not doing the job as well as it needs to be done.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. i agree dear Jennifer. I Have been beseiged by an army of people who have come across my books on line etc. Many want to re-publish to make HEAPS of money. They do not understand that what HE inspired was given freely to me. I have no desire to have a goal for success or money. All I have ever written is ;out there. ‘ I may receive a trickle to help us in our later years but it is God Who must be the FOCUS in all I have ever written. God will supply our ongoing needs.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s