Every voice has an audience, and every audience has expectations. This applies to a stay at home parent whose life is focused on kids, a prophet with an international ministry platform or a local pastor who speaks before a congregation each Sunday. In the relationship between our message and the expectations of our audience is where our integrity will be tested and the depth of our character discovered.
The expectations of an audience are a rut of familiarity. A familiar and predictable messenger affirms their current beliefs and worldview. This allows people to settle into a way of life that gives them a sense of security. Disturb this equilibrium, and your audience might begin to question their allegiance to your message. When you deliver a message that is not on your historic menu of revelation the challenges that come with having an audience will begin to make an appearance. At this point, if we are not careful, our allegiance can make a subtle shift from pleasing God to pleasing people.
The size of our following doesn’t really matter to God. What matters to Him is the condition of our heart and whether or not our message is buffered with enough integrity to not be affected by the demands of an audience that has become accustomed to the familiar sound of our voice and the recognizable content of our message.
Ask God for the courage to step out of the ruts of expectation and speak with confidence the word the Lord has given no matter what the consequence. Being faithful to these courageous acts of obedience is actually your prophetic calling even more than the distinctive tone and content of your message that has made your voice unique, recognizable and comforting to your audience.