More Than A Voice
Because I am a writer, I am a person who deals with words. The way words are formed, what their meanings are, what an expression means to someone--it all is something very amazing with me, and to be able to express myself in this way is a gift—I hope that I do a good job with what God has given me. Not only am I able to write, God has given me the gift of preaching and expressing the gospel to people through the power of my voice. The gift that has been given to me is something that was given to the men and women who experienced the power of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.
The Book of Acts tells us: When the Day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
That day, there were men from all walks of life from many different places and when the people of God began to speak, each person heard the gospel in their own language. They were able to understand what was said and what was being spoken through the power of the Holy Spirit. Each person who preached was able to express themselves through something more than themselves. They were able to give each person what they needed to hear in and conveyed the gospel in a language that could be understood. But it was more than the actual language; it was because of the love of God that flowed through them.
That language of love is given us from the fire of the Holy Spirit. Jesus in the gospel tells us: If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water. Jesus uses the imagery of water that is alive for a purpose. Water is one of the most powerful forces on earth - it gives life, it takes life, it can destroy and it can build up. Water is needed every day, without it no one can live. Without water the earth would be destroyed. Each person's body is made up of almost entirely water. Jesus tells us if we are thirsty, we need to drink of the living water—the water that can only be given by Him and His Father—the water of life, that powerful force that is the only water that can truly satisfy. When we allow the water to fill us, when we drink of the living water and let it completely fill us, it will eventually overflow. Jesus tells us that the living water will flow out from us like rivers.
The result will be that that mighty rushing water will sweep others away and give them that edification they need and they will hear what it is that the Lord has to say. The problem is that most times we do not drink and even if we do, we fear that overflowing of the Spirit will make us look silly. We are servants of God, we are called to be the Voice of God. He entrusted us with the gift to bring others to Him. He gave us the Holy Spirit, not only to comfort us, but to also allow us to carry on His work until He returns. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to overflow in us - we need to use our voice as a tool for God.
Behind the Scenes
Now it is true, some people are not eloquent in speech. They cannot give a good sermon, they cannot write poems, books or songs, but God uses those people in many different ways. Some are called to be behind the scenes. These individuals are men and women who serve the Lord with other gifts — but do not be fooled, the gifts they use are still a language. Their voice is the same as any other faith-filled person. Their voice is used in being servants of God in other ways such as cleaning, cooking, waiting on tables, preparing the tables, listening, learning, etc. — all those things that are done behind-the-scenes that are done and are essential in maintaining the church, the business and the home. We are all called to use our voices in many different ways.
The way we carry ourselves, the way we look at someone or the way we shake a person’s hand expresses a multitude of things. We, as Christians, when we are servants of God need to hold ourselves high; not in an arrogant or prideful way, but in way that expresses our faith. When we are driving, do we use the middle finger to express our love when someone cuts us off? When we are married, do we hug our spouse when they make mistakes? When we are in church do we ignore those who are poor, ill or handicapped? The way we carry ourselves expresses our faith—the way we way we live expresses our communion with God.
Are we prejudice or do we look at everyone as children of God? We need to be merciful with our actions as well as our words. When we forgive, we need to forgive with more than shallow hollow words. When we give, we need to give with a cheerful heart. When we fast, we need to be joyful not solemn and gray. The way we express ourselves to others speaks to others of how we live as Christians.
There was an instant, when someone borrowed someone’s vehicle and as they were driving, they spilled a drink in the vehicle and ruined a book that was in the vehicle. Two choices could have been made—forgiveness and understanding or anger and irritation. When we say that we are filled with the Holy Spirit and we tell others we are Christians and we are scornful and angry at someone’s actions we do not express a language of love—we express a language of the world.
I often think about what the Book of James writes: So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Sure there was not any wrath, but I think that you all get my point. A gentle word turns away anger. When we have mercy on others—God will be merciful to us. When we have grace on others—God will pour our His grace on us.
The plain and simple truth is—if we profess to be Christians—THEN LET US BE CHRISTIANS!
Our voices can be used for good and/or evil. Our voices can be used for a power of love or a power of darkness. I know the saying "What Would Jesus Do" or "WWJD"—is used a lot, but really that is what we need to be asking ourselves. What would Jesus do and say in most situations?
I often think about Jesus’ language of love from the cross. Was He angry as He hung naked and helpless from the Cross or was He full of the living water that overflowed out on the whole world? He was the true expression of love—He lived and spoke truth, mercy and love. He lived accruing to what He proclaimed. Our lives are an expression of God’s love. Most people hate going to Church, not because of God—but because of the people.
We need to use our voices for the glory of God whether it is spoken or in action. We need to give the world what is in our hearts and live according to the grace, love and glory of God. We need to express our love through our lives.