Voices

Life Today!

©2020 | Bill C. Dotson

Powerful voices

Voices…range from soprano to bass in the world of music. I can’t sing well, so they have yet to identify my level. In church, I fall back on ‘making a joyful noise’. And rely on God’s grace. Speaking voices are all over the board. From soft to loud and in between. Some people have been known to hear audible voices in their heads, or in their dreams. Our voices are used to do so many constructive things. Unfortunately, destructive as well. Speaking, teaching, praising, preaching, sharing, singing, worshipping, directing; all these, and more.

People can detect many different emotions from inflections in our voices. We can say the right thing with the wrong tone, adding confusion to the discussion. Voices can be powerful. God made it that way. Statesmen, politicians, world leaders, military leaders, spiritual leaders; all use their voice to impart their orders, opinions, encouragement, or directives. Even parents can use certain tones of voice to direct or correct their children. Most children, when they hear their first and last names being used by the parent, know that they are in trouble.

Listen carefully

So many voices resound in today’s world, as never before. TV, social media, books, politicians, even billboards. Message after message coming your way, vying to be heard over the others. The news media and press are 24/7 with truth or shaded truth. Who do we listen to, who are we to believe? Most of us choose to listen to voices that represent our point of view, especially politically, even spiritually. We all want our voices to be heard in many arenas.

Which leads me to our relationship with God. We would all agree that he has spoken through his word, the scriptures. And most importantly, through his Son, Jesus. All throughout history, God has been speaking to his creation, especially ‘his people’. He spoke audibly to Adam and Eve, Cain, Noah, Moses, Joshua, David and all the prophets, at Jesus’ baptism and the Transfiguration. Psalm 19 speaks of the heavens and the firmament ‘declaring’ his glory. In Romans 1.20 we hear: “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they (we) are without excuse.”

One of the most intriguing is how God spoke to Elijah who was in a cave, sulking, and having a giant pity party, believing that he was the only true believer left on earth. God sent many, many things, mostly loud and alarming, but Elijah could not hear God. Then, when everything was quietened down, and he had Elijah’s attention, this is what happened. ‘And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. (a still, small voice, a thin silence) And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here Elijah?”’ (I Kings 19.11-13 ESV).

Discerning the voice of God

As we can see and have experienced, God uses his voice in many ways. Have you ever been so confused by the noise in your life, with the many voices giving you countless ideas or advice, that you cannot discern God’s voice? We all have found ourselves there at certain times. Today, the pandemic has brought forth so many voices, some settling, some alarming. Day after day; debates, opinions, instructions! So, where do we get our truth to stand on for victorious living?

We start with prayer. “But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer” (Psa. 66.19 ESV). He answers our prayers. As his people, we can recognize his voice when he speaks. Through prayer, through the written word, through the preached word, through other believers, even direct; so many ways that God speaks. Jesus said; “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (Jn. 10.27 ESV). We don’t have to go to a cave and wait for God to speak to us, although a sabbatical is not a bad place to start. We must quieten the noise of many voices coming into our lives and begin to recognize his voice in whatever way he speaks. He will give you the peace that passes all understanding to know that you have heard from him. He’s speaking, are you listening?

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