There is a battle raging…
…and it’s all about “the voice.”
My voice, your voice, the voice of the body of Christ as a whole.
What happens when the enemy finds a way to “silence” us?
To “shut us down” in response to fear.
To “shame” us.
To “disqualify” us.
To “muzzle” us…
To shut us away in our little boxes… and we hand over our key.
All he has to do is persuade us with his lies—all he has to do is convince us with his schemes.
And we do all the rest to ourselves…
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” —Proverbs 18:21
What happens when we allow fear and intimidation and “reasoning” and lies to hold us back from saying what needs to be spoken?
“But Moses pleaded with the LORD, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.” —Exodus 4:10
God has chosen to use His “voice” in the earth.
He uses His voice to create… and to build.
He uses His mighty voice to speak truth and life into the earth, into the heavens, into eternity… to set things right.
And in the earth, His “voice” is His church body…
His “voice” comes through “us”…
His “voice” comes through “you”…
His “voice” comes through “me”…
“So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it” — Isaiah 55:11
“Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.” —Mark 11:23
But what happens if I say, “no”?
What this is really saying in the heart is, “God, I don’t think the voice You created in me matters, I don’t think You can really use me…”
What happens if I’m convinced not to speak, when God really needs me to speak up with the “voice” He’s given me?
What happens if I deem “my voice” as unimportant?
…as too insignificant?
…as too unpolished?
…as too dumb?
…as too unqualified to speak…
“That person does it better, I am not needed. Let them say it… let them do it…”
What am I really doing when I decide to do this?
What am I really doing when I deem my voice as “unneeded” and decide that it’s better, and easier to just keep quiet, and to keep silent even though I know need to speak, even though I’m drawn to speak up and speak out?
Because when I remember that God chooses to speak through His people…
Through me, and through you…
I’ll see it in a different light.
I’ll see through the lies.
I’ll see into the truth.
It’s the way He’s chosen to work —He’s chosen us, He’s created us with “voices” so that He can use our voices in the earth, to do His creative work.
“The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” —Proverbs 15:4
In Ecclesiastes, we’re reminded that there is, “A time to be silent and a time to speak.”
And right now, in a “time to speak” the enemy is trying to convince us to “hand over” our voices…
He’s out to get us to shut down our voices…
He’s out to twist and distort our voices…
He’s out to “disqualify” our voices…
He wants to do everything he can to “shut us down” in a time when the church needs to “roar” and to “speak” the words of God into a dying, decaying world.
Do you know what I think of? I think of Ariel in The Little Mermaid, and how she signs over her “voice” to the evil Ursula…
I’m sure you’ve probably heard this a time or two, but the year 2020 on the Hebrew Jewish calendar, 5780 (2020) is the “Year of the Mouth”… isn’t that interesting?
For most of my life, the battle has been over “my voice”… I’ve silenced myself for many, many years. I decided it was just better. Yes, I am an “introvert” and often when I am processing things in my thoughts, it’s mostly inwardly instead of outwardly. I don’t always have a lot to say. But I’m not talking about that… I’m talking about when I do have something to say, and when it needs to be said…but fear or hesitancy or insecurity gets in the way.
I don’t know why the battle over “my voice” has always been so intense, but I have learned that the enemy usually tries to put a stop a thing that God is wanting to do, and he’ll try everything he can to get us to “shut up and sit down” in the moments that God is drawing and calling and He’s wanting to speak into us so that we can speak into the earth.
I’ve felt the battle raging. I’ve felt the attempts. I’ve allowed myself to be shut down in different kinds of ways, for a really long time.
How I’ve felt tempted to hide myself away…
And I’m learning that when I find myself listening to “all the reasons” that “I just need to shut myself down, and hide myself away”…. and in all the most “reasonable and convincing” kind of lies…
I know I’ve got to press into my Father’s heart. I know I need to press in closer than ever so that I can hear His voice that’s speaking into my heart. I know that I need to cry out to Him to help me break through the lies.
I know that whatever the enemy is trying to convince me of, I just need to plan on doing the opposite. No matter how I may feel—no matter how unimportant and unneeded, unqualified and unnecessary I may feel my “voice” is…
And I’ve got to remember that He often uses the small things. The “insignificant” things… the “unqualified” things…
I may not like the “sound” of my own voice… but do you know that He does?
“O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, In the secret places of the cliff, Let me see your face, Let me hear your voice; For your voice is sweet, And your face is lovely.” —Song of Solomon 2:14
I’ve got to remember what my Creator says about me, and I’ve got to listen intently for my Heavenly Father’s heart on the matter. Because it’s never just surface level. It’s never just how it seems. It’s always so much bigger than we know. It’s so far beyond just “me” and “you”…. God thinks so much bigger than we do.
I have to remember that He has given me a part in this story —a part that cannot be filled by anyone else in quite the same way.
That’s how He designed it to be. ?
Father, forgive us for shutting down our voices in a time when You’re calling us to speak Your heart into the earth. Help us to tune out all of the lies that attempt to persuade us, and may Your “still, small” voice be so “loud and clear” in us, that there’s no question on what we should say and do. Help us to remember that You’ve created us with “voices” and that our voices were created to be used by You, to speak Your words into the earth —right now, in THIS time. Help us also to remember that our voices also come through our actions, and in our responses, and in what we write on social media. All of it matters. Help us to know when it is time to hold back, and when it is time to rise up and speak. Help us to have the strength to “tear off and cast down” these “muzzles” in a time when You need us to speak. Let us not be silenced! Help us to remember that every single one of our voices matter because as Your sons and daughters, You created each one of our voices to be uniquely used for Your purpose and for the time we’ve found ourselves living in.
Thank You, Father. ?