As an actress in Hollywood for many years, I had learned how to perform within three walls – sides walls and back wall. The audience wall – front wall (called the 4th wall) could never be broken. It’s just been in recent years with the popularity of the TV series, The Office, that the rule of speaking directly to the audience became acceptable, even popularly broken. One of the reasons I loved performing as an actor was because I could research and perform the lives of others outside my own personality and world. I got to explore the thoughts of killers, the justification thieves used, and the mind of a woman when she negotiates adultery or abandons her child and so many other humans choices.
Yet, God kept nudging me to write and speak to audiences and break the fourth wall.
As I drew closer to God and explored His personality and choices, God began to speak to me more intently about telling His story and the stories of those who chose Him into their lives. But… I just kept coming up with excuses. I wasn’t qualified, trained as a Biblical scholar and I really didn’t want to break that fourth wall and have to expose myself. It would mean I’d have to communicate face to face with people which meant personal vulnerability. I’d have to expose my doubts, questions, failures and a multitude of cuts and scrapes not someone elses. And besides… who was I to tell others how to live when my life was far from perfect? Then there was this excuse, “my story just wasn’t very interesting.’ I’d never been a drug addict, a prostitute, been abandoned, sex trafficked, or sent to prison. I’d had a pretty good life and stayed committed to Christ, albeit sometimes on the edge of faith a few times. I’d had, and still do have, a great (not perfect) family, marriage, and children. So, who’d want to listen to my uninteresting life? It wasn’t entertaining.
I had an insecurity problem.
God must have taken deep breaths. I’ve often wondered why He never sent a burning bush like Moses to me get my attention. Looking back, I now see a few interesting ways He did. Still He waited. Almost getting killed in a bomb attack in London was one. God waits for us. Is it about His perfect timing and knowing our personality? Maybe it is just standing on the stage of life we find ourselves on and getting tired of seeing out into the blur and darkness. Maybe it is sensing He’s out there waiting and deciding to move onto His stage and not the one we’re standing on.
Ultimately, I had to embrace my insecurities and fear.
Breaking the fourth wall means breaking down our authority, pride, and position so that others see Him and not us. To make Him the Star on the stage of our life. Yet when I did, I couldn’t go back to playing someone else. I had too much work to do. In order to portray Him, I had to get people to see Jesus in me which meant commitment and research like never before. As I explored His character and choices, I realized how ignorant and distant I had been from knowing God fully and intimately. I hadn’t truly explored the depth of His love, wisdom, promises, and ways. I saw how how inclusive God is of all and why our mind is important, but it is our heart that God wants most. When He has our heart, He has our attention. He has control. More importantly, I discovered that there is no ending place of ever knowing all there is about God. It is a lifelong journey full of bumps, bruises, and treasures of endless discoveries. It is walking out onto a stage of fearless joy, adventures and wonder.
Are you ready to breakdown your fourth wall and walk into the unknown?
Psalm 139:23 (TPT) says “God, I invite your searching gaze into my heart. Examine me through and through; find out everything that may be hidden within me. Put me to the test and sift through all my anxious cares. See if there is any path of pain I’m walking on, and lead me back to your glorious, everlasting ways—the path that brings me back to you.”
What’s God been telling you lately? Let Him collapse your fourth wall.