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  • Writer's pictureAllie Sherron

An Audience of One

What do they see when they look at me?

I've been battling this thought lately...

"Am I shining ...rightly?"

The thought seemed to coincide with the releasing of my earthen vessels watercolor collection. I think it all stemmed from my studying and then misapplying what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4 and what Jesus said in Matthew 5.

2 Corinthians 4:5-10, 14

For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body...knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you.

Matthew 5:16; 6:1, 4

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven...Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them...and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

Admittedly, in the past weeks I had started worrying if I was the right way, at the right time, around the right people...almost as if shining is all about me or as if it's a work of my own doing.

It's neither.

And this misses the point so drastically, because in reading those verses the way I did I completely failed to see the surrounding context and, therefore, the intended message.

First things first.

Second Corinthians 4 emphasizes that it is God who does the work in and through us. God shines the Light into our darkness; and it is by His power, not our own. I have to remind myself daily that it is typical for believers in Christ to be afflicted, perplexed, persecuted, and stuck is not the norm to have rainbows and butterflies all the time. And despite our struggles and difficulties this side of heaven, God continues to shine the Light of Christ in our hearts so that others might see His Life in us. What a glorious and hopeful future we have that the same God who raised Christ from the dead will one day raise us with Jesus!

Second things second.

Matthew 5 emphasizes that it is the Father who is to be our only audience. Although both 2 Corinthians and Matthew 5 talk about the world seeing the Light of Christ in us, it seems to be that God wants us to do our work in secret and allow Him to direct others' attention to Himself. As a classic people-pleaser, when faced with multiple options I naturally think through what others will think and feel depending on the decision I choose. I am learning that when I am faced with a fork in the road, the only Person's opinion I need consider is the Father's. What will He think? What will bring Him the greatest glory?

Last but certainly not least.

BOTH 2 Corinthians 4 and Matthew 5 emphasize that all of this is for the glory of God. I was sitting in my squishy, oversized, living room chair yesterday having a thousand negative thoughts...about myself, my art, my writing, my motives, my prayer life, this ministry...feeling defeated and wondering if any of it was worth it.

Then I remembered something one of my favorite encouragers, Desiree Hartsock Siegfried, shared recently:

"You have an audience of ONE."

I have been repeating this over and over to myself ever since, "I have an audience of One, and it is only for His glory." It has been both a burden lifted as well as wings given. Consider this, there is zero chance that I (or you) can harm or defect God's sovereign plan. I am reminded of Romans 8 verses 1 and 28, "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus...And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

Oh that ours eyes would never drift from His beautiful face, seeking only to honor Him with our every breath, and to leave the results in His sovereign and faithful hands.

My Heart for You

Dear one, my prayer over you today is that you would know just how very much you are loved and that you would find your identity, your security, your hope, your value, your all in all in our Sweet Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. You have an audience of ONE, and He absolutely adores you.

And if you feel compelled, you can find the earthen vessel watercolor collection in the Desert's Sage Shop. Let these pieces remind you that it is God who works in and through you for His glory, and let that truth lift your burdens and give you wings.

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