I write devotional blog posts. And sometimes people read them. And sometimes the people reading them are people I know. And sometimes they tell me how they appreciated it. How it spoke to them. How they found my writing funny. How it encouraged them. And sometimes people I don’t even know read it and say how they like it, and that blows my mind. And because my blog posts are linked to my facebook page sometimes even my non-Christian friends have the occasional read, which is pretty cool.
Through All4God I have this platform that God has given me. People read words I type. They read devotions that I put up. They read short statuses that I post on the facebook fan page. There are people who subscribe by email to get my every thought sent straight to their inbox. Over 800 people have hit the “Fan” button on facebook. There is a platform there. There is even a small dedicated core who regularly ‘like’ the things I post – if Justin Bieber fans are Beliebers and 1Direction fans are Directioners, I wonder what the term equivalent for All4God fans is….
And at church I have become increasingly aware that there is a platform there. I help out with Sunday School and youth fellowship, and young people there look up to me. For guidance. For support. For encouragement. For answers.
With a platform comes a responsibility. Because what matters is not the size of your platform, but what you are using it for. And so often I use my platform for me. I want people to look at me. I want them to laugh at my jokes. I want them to like me. I want them to think I am a pretty cool guy. But that’s not why God gave me a platform. He gave me it so I could glorify Him.
I can easily get into the trap of caring about keeping the crowds happy, but that is not why I have a platform. I have it to speak truth about God, not to amuse a few random people on the internet with anecdotes about me falling out of bed tediously linked to a spiritual message. I have it to speak encouragement into people’s lives, not to make the gathered crowd laugh with my ability to use sarcasm to put someone down. When you have a platform and there are people listening to you, it can be easy to fall into the trap of trying to keep them listening by only saying what you know they want to hear. But we need to use the platforms God gives us to tell people what they need to hear, and sometimes that won’t be what they want.
It is easy to stand up on the platform and talk the talk. To type the words and hit publish. What is harder, much harder, is stepping down and living it out. But if I am to use my platform to glorify God, that is what I must do. I cannot stand up on the platform, share a message and expect others to live it out if I am not doing so myself. I need to be totally authentic, setting an example to all the believers in faith, in love and in purity at all times (1 Timothy 4:12), not just in those minutes when I am up on the platform.
I am not the only one with a platform. You have a platform to. Your friends. Your family. Your facebook connections. People notice things. Even when you think they don’t, they do. There are people looking up to you right now. Is what they see glorifying to God? Are you magnifying His name, or your own? When King Solomon came to the throne of Israel (a pretty big platform if you ask me) one of his priorities was “to build a Temple to honour the name of the Lord my God” 1 Kings 5:5. He may have lost his way later on in his rule, but his initial focus was to use his platform to point to God, which is a pretty good example for us to follow (so long as we stop at that, and don’t follow the 600 wives part…)
Whatever your platform, resolve to day to use it for God. To glorify Him. To honour His name. To point others to Jesus as the Way, the Truth and Life. And to be authentic when you step down from the platform into the craziness of life.