A popular television show called "The Voice" features singers who blind audition in front of four expert coaches. These judges then must decide whom to choose -- or not choose -- based solely on the singer's voice. If the coach hears and responds to the voice, he or she hits a button, swinging their chair around to face the singer.
In essence, they are saying, "You have a voice with me, I hear you."
I get that. All of us want to have a voice. All of us want to be heard.
In the spiritual realm, our voices can activate God's creative power. That's called prayer.
But we can also activate our own spirit when we use our voice as God intended -- building lives, making changes, casting vision and leading people. Your voice is a powerful, spiritual piece of equipment. It is a tool and a creative force for either great good or incalculable evil.
For a long time now, much of the world has asked the church to sit down and be quiet, silent and voiceless. In large measure, the church has generally conformed to this. In fact, the church itself has asked the church to sit down and be quiet -- and the church has largely submitted.
Sometimes we lose our voice because of laryngitis. Most of the time, however, we lose our voice because of social pressure, fear for personal safety or simple apathy. We take refuge in a false sense of security, hoping for "peace in our time."
There is an intriguing story about Jesus to consider in Mark chapter three. He walks into a house of worship where religious leaders are gathered. Almost immediately, Jesus notices a man with a deformed hand. We aren't told if this is the result of an accident or disease, but the man is evidently suffering. Jesus stands the man in front of the gathering.
Looking at the leaders, he asks, "Is it legal as people of faith to do good, or to do evil?"
Jesus waits for them to use their voice to respond to his question. He is hoping to hear a life-giving response from these leaders, but verse four says, "they kept silent."
There is a message in this story for us. As Christ followers, your creative voice is needed right now -- on a host of issues and concerns.
It's time to use your voice.
"Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand -- shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16, The Message)
About The Writer
Rev. Micah Smith is president and founder of Global Gateway Network (www.globalgatewaynetwork.org), author of "Heaven's Heartbeat," and a Tri-City Herald Spiritual Life contributor. He enjoys trail running and coffee roasting with family and friends. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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