Have you considered living for an audience of One? Unfortunately, most of us live for the wrong audience of one. We either live solely for ourselves or unhealthily for another person, all at the expense of living for God. One of the Bible’s most prominent characters was King David whose chronicles demonstrated for us what it means to live for an audience of One.
David fully surrendered his heart for an audience of One. Samuel, the prophet, priest, and judge of all Israel, spoke a sobering truth to its first earthly monarch, King Saul, “But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14). The man after God’s own heart was David, a shepherd, poet, and musician, who would become Israel’s warrior and king. Much of the Old Testament is devoted to the man whose lineage would lead to the Messiah.
Heart in Hebrew is leb, or lebab. It is one’s entire inner being. Just like the physical heart contains four chambers, so the spiritual heart is comprised of four chambers. We can remember the spiritual heart’s four chambers with the acronym WISE: will, intellect, spirit, and emotions. The will is the chamber of choices. The intellect, or mind, is the chamber of thoughts. The spirit is the chamber of prayers. The emotions encompass the chamber of feelings. David chose God’s heart with his will. He meditated on God’s heart with his mind, or his intellect. He prayed for God’s heart with his spirit. He wanted God’s heart with his emotions.
David fully surrendered his heart and his desires to God. He described the process of knowing God’s heart in a psalm, “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). Delight, anag in Hebrew, means “to make one’s heart pliable.” In essence, it is a surrendered heart that is humble toward God like clay in the Potter’s hands. Give is translated from nathan in Hebrew, meaning “to orchestrate.” Desires represent the beat of the heart. They connect our hearts with our lives: time, talent, and treasure. Thus, when our hearts become malleable to God’s hands, He makes our desires to be like His. This is how we experience God’s will in our lives.
David modeled this process by praying to God for a fully surrendered heart, “Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, O LORD my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever” (Psalm 86:11-12). Notice how all four chambers of the heart are referenced in these two verses: teach leads with the mind; will walk is primarily a matter of the will; fear includes the emotions; praise leads with the spirit, not to mention that the entire petition is prayer of full surrender. Whereas an undivided heart is one that is fully surrendered to the Divine, a divided heart is partially surrendered, indicating a mixed devotion, or impurity, inside one’s inner being.
A well-known illustration of David’s heart for God lies in his refining prayer for his Lord to examine and help David to surrender any offensive way inside his heart, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).
One offensive way that through the Holy Spirit David examined and surrendered is one that we face today, a heart set on riches, “Though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them” (Psalm 62:10). Full surrender of our hearts and desires to God is a dynamic process that features the Holy Spirit’s refining components of: examine and surrender. This is how He shapes our hearts and desires to be like His, clarifying His will for our lives.
Surrender your heart and desires for an audience of One. Memorize David’s refining prayer (Psalm 139:23-24). Request that the Holy Spirit would examine your heart and help you surrender any offensive way manifested from a mixed devotion, or a divided heart. It might be a heart set on riches, selfish pleasure, perfectionism, or even religion all at the expense of a relationship with God. Choose His heart. Meditate on His heart. Pray for His heart. Want His heart. When you do, He will shape your heart and desires to be like His, clarifying His will for your life.