The world today will tell you to get more followers on social media, to be an influencer and draw in the crowds. As followers of Jesus, we must live for an audience of one.
"If Jesus only did what He saw the Father saying or doing, then shouldn't we be doing the same thing?" said evangelist Caleb Wampler.
Wampler shares in a recent episode of his podcast, Awaken the Wonder on the Charisma Podcast Network, why we must only seek after the approval of Jesus.
After Peter left the upper room, he was the first one to preach to the Christian church (Acts 4). The Bible says the crowd was perplexed by the message he shared. People in the world will always be perplexed, no matter what you do, no matter what you post or say. There was another group of people who began to mock Peter, saying he was just drunk early in the morning. In the Word, we see that on that day, 3,000 people believed. That is a good first day of preaching the gospel. But many people could not understand why God was using these unschooled and ordinary men who did not have an education to change the world.
In the story of Gideon in Judges 6-7, we see a man who had never led a battle, but God raises him at that moment. In Judges 6:15 (NLT), Gideon says, "'But Lord,' Gideon replied, 'how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!'" God uses the least likely to bring His kingdom on earth. Gideon told the Lord he needed more people for battle, but God said "No, you need to get rid of people." His army was already outnumbered 4-1, but the Lord still told Gideon to get rid of some of the warriors. Gideon spoke to the people and told them whoever was afraid, to go home. 22,000 people left that day, leaving only 10,000 warriors.
"I don't know about you, but if there are people in your life who are afraid or speaking fear into your life, I would want to hit the mute button on that," Wampler said.
God sent Gideon and the army to a river for a test to see which warriors would come to battle with him. At that moment, Gideon sent another 9,000 warriors home, and there were only 300 people left. He limited the crowd again to just a few people who believed they could do something. God is reducing things down to an audience of one as if saying, "Are you willing to trust Me even though things do not look as they used to?"
Gideon ends up winning the victory and becomes a judge.
What is it that God has asked you to do? What are you doing to steward His voice in your life when others do not believe you can do it?
In John 6, Jesus has the famous story of feeding the 5,000 people from the fish and loaves from a little boy. In this passage, Jesus started to realize the people were following Him for the good things He provided. A large crowd began to follow, putting pressure on Him. The people were following Jesus because they wanted a handout. We see next where Jesus asked them who would eat His flesh and blood. Jesus wants to know who His true disciples are. He is trying to find the offense in your heart today, the offense in this generation. "We all start to say, 'Free us from the Romans, Lord,' and He says, 'No, I am doing a work inside of you that cannot be shaken,'" Wampler said in his podcast.
Doing what pleases everyone else will lead to emptiness, but doing what pleases God will lead you to light. There will always be people following you because they want something you have. We cannot find our value in humanity, but in Him and Him alone. The value in your life comes not from people and what everyone else says, but from an audience of one.
Obedience is the byproduct of someone who has counted the cost. When He tries to prune everyone and everything out of your life, can He prune you too? Spend time seeking the Lord and ask Him today if His voice is the only one you follow.
And to see how the Lord is calling you be an influencer for the kingdom, listen to the full episode of Awaken the Wonder here.
Evangelist Caleb Wampler is the founder and CEO of Kingdom Encounters International. He has seen hundreds of thousands of people come to Jesus in countries that are hostile to the gospel, witnessed incredible miracles and regularly experiences God's wonder.
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