A Small Audience
Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow Me," (John 21:22).
For several weeks I awoke with heaviness over me. It seemed it did not matter how much I prayed or how much I read the Scriptures. Finally, one night I was reading a book by Os Guinness that described the conversation between Jesus and Peter. God had just commissioned Peter in the famous "Peter, do you love Me" passage of Scripture. This was after Jesus' resurrection. Jesus was calling Peter to feed His sheep, and He informed Peter of the death he would encounter for following Him. But Peter had a question. He wondered what was going to happen to John. Would John have the same trials, the same responsibility, as Peter? Jesus quickly retorted to Peter, "What is that to you?"
That night I realized I was guilty of envy. I had several friends who were now "making it" in business. I began to compare where I was in life. It brought me into a state of depression. Once I realized this, I asked the Lord to forgive me. I knew in my head I was to have only one audience—the audience of One. That knowledge needed to get to my heart. I also knew I was experiencing spiritual warfare in the area of unbelief.
The next morning I awoke, and as I normally do, I checked my e-mail to see what the devotional was for that day that is sent to other workplace believers. Although I write the devotional myself, I read it because I get letters from readers regarding the devotionals. To my shock, the devotional was on this same passage of Scripture. It talked about the sin of envy. I was amused by God's sense of humor, as He convicted me with my own devotional message. But that was not the end of it.
That day I went to lunch with a friend. After lunch I got into my car. I turned on the radio and Os Guinness, the author of the same book I was reading the night before, was being interviewed. They were talking about the discourse between Jesus and Peter and the sin of envy! I was floored! "Okay, God, I get the message!" The Holy Spirit has an uncanny ability to communicate to us. The Lord wanted me to know that I am not to worry about someone else. God has called us to a unique life that may look totally different from anyone else's life. Once we begin to compare ourselves to others, we begin to live for others and ourselves.
There is only one audience we should be living for—the audience of One. Ask the Lord today if you are living solely for His pleasure.
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