That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever. (Psalm 30:12, NASB)
Our family is currently on a music mission tour with our church youth choir. As I have listened to this group of kids sing since the beginning my hope for them has been that one day they would have the confidence to sing loud enough that they could hear the sound of their own voice. There is safety in a choir because you have the sound of all the other voices around you. Those around you can give you the safety net of singing only up to the point that you blend with everyone else.
In life a crowd, like a choir, can allow you to have an invisible sound barrier around your own voice. It can allow you to speak, but only up to the point that you blend in with all the others around you so that your own voice is not really heard. It’s funny how so many of us cringe at the sound of our own voice.
I can tell you thatI have and do still at times struggle with this myself. Just take a moment and thing of the voicemail on your phone. How hard was it for you to simply record that personal message? Have you even recorded that message yet? Do you run from the room while home video’s are playing when you hear your own voice played back to you? Have you ever wondered why?
In the beginning God spoke all things in to existence. When God created mankind the first assignment that He gave Adam required him to use his voice…
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”
Did you see it?
“and whatever Adam called…“
“The man said…“
Through the Scripture we clearly see that God created us to use our voice.
God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
The power of our voice is not just in the sound of it. Someone who is mute and yet speaks with their hands still has a voice. Someone who has breathed their last in this life still has a voice. Our voice, our ability to call a thing, our gift to have the authority to say something, goes much deeper than the simple vibrations of vocal cords. Our voice coms from within us. It is an outward manifestation of our inner being. It is a revealing of our very soul.
For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.
When God spoke life came forth because He is life. When God spoke everything was good because He is good. When God speaks it is all true because He is truth. When we receive God’s Word we receive love because God is love. God’s voice pours forth what is in His heart and He created us in His image and in His likeness, therefore what our mouth speaks reveals what is in our heart as well.
This week I had the great joy of being present and watching our student choir break the wall of the safety of the crowd. I had the great privilege of experiencing them sing out to the point of hearing their own voice. They remained in harmony, yet because they made sure the uniqueness of their own sound came forth, their was a fullness in their praise that had not been there before and it was beautiful!
Not only did they find their singing voice, but this week they stepped outside their comfort zones and not only sang of God’s goodness, power, life, and love but they displayed it. They used their voice to pray with strangers and new friends. They used their hands and feet to meet needs. They used their smiles and kindness to brighten the days of those with whom they came in contact… and it has been beautiful!
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
May these Messengers always use their voice to pour forth the life of their Creator God and His love and continue to be servants of His who are willing to reach out to a paralyzed world and bring them to the cross through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Here is a little feedback from those we had the opportunity to serve and be a witness to:
“Thank you to everyone for volunteering… Your group has made a great impact on our agency. We appreciate the team’s huge help organizing the thrift store, sorting clothing, organizing the linen & dish rooms and our mattress warriors in the recycling center!! Your assistance makes a huge difference in the community. We look forward to hosting your group in the near future. Thank you so much.”
-Ingrid at “The Mustard Seed” (furniture warehouse)
“My grocery staff has been talking all week about how wonderful your volunteers were on Monday! Thank you SO much for bringing out such sweet, talented and hardworking volunteers! Our grocery shelves look great and our hearts are full! They have all asked me if you all are planning to come back.”
-Emalee at United Against Poverty (grocery store)
“I personally wanted to send a note of gratitude on behalf of the Springhill Suites Kissimmee by Marriott team here in Orlando, FL regarding Central Baptist’s choir group that was with us recently. As we are an extremely busy hotel, we are always having large groups coming in and out, seeing as we are a Disney neighborhood property. We have had quite some challenges with very large groups and behavioral issues due to lack of exceptional leadership. Upon arrival, Central Baptist Church chaperones and directors were very kind and organized. The kids were probably the best behaved group we’ve had in a long time. Mr. Kimmel & the chaperones were amazing!
Marriott is a melting pot of various cultures, beliefs, and all walks of life, and I wanted to personally reach out to your church to share with your youth group that we thank them for showing what a true reputation of Christianity looks like. Being brought up a Baptist PK (preacher’s kid), your young disciples make more of an impact on the people they come in contact on a daily basis more than you would think. The kindness, the thoughtfulness, the respect towards everyone in the hotel means more than you will ever know to all of us. Please accept my offering to your church website, as I believe in your missions. If you ever find yourselves in Central FL again, we would be more than happy to accommodate. You all were truly a blessing to serve. May God bless your missions through music & chorus. May God bless your Church.”
-Lucas (Springhill Suites Manager)