Using the Power of Your Voice to Make a Difference
This month we’ve talked about finding our voices. We discovered how to own our voice and use the power of our voices for Kingdom-building. We also learned how to share our stories. And, we explored the steps to writing out our stories in preparation for sharing our stories with women around the world. This week let’s take a look at the many ways we can use our voice to make a difference.
Before we begin, let’s take a moment to define voice. Merriam-Webster defines voice as a wish, choice or opinion openly or formally expressed; the right of expression. If you’ve been with me for a while (and many thanks to those of you faithful and loyal readers), I shared this definition in a previous blog post, Do You Own Your Voice. I’m all about owning your voice because, for many years, I did not own my voice. I did not share my opinions openly, and I certainly did not speak up when someone belittled or disrespected me. Sad but true.
Owning your voice takes courage. Standing up for what you believe in is powerful. Owning your voice is significant certainly as women of God busy in the work of Kingdom-building. YOUR voice is your expressions, opinions, and thoughts openly expressed to others. Owning your voice means having the confidence to speak up and share your feelings and views with those around you, regardless of your fears.
I hope you realize the incredible power your voice holds. You’ve been gifted with an amazing voice and amazing experiences from God that proclaim His goodness. Your voice is to be used for His glory, and sharing your testimony is just one example of how we are to use our voice for His good. Today, let’s dive into the many ways we can use our voice to point others to Christ.
A word of warning about the power of our voice, the words we speak can be used for Kingdom-building, and our voices can also be used for harm – tearing down as opposed to building up.
“Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.” Proverbs 15:4 NLT
Too many times, I can recall moments where I have used my words to tear down. I am not proud of this, and I can surely tell you that one too many times I’ve had to ask for forgiveness because I used my voice for harm. I allowed the moment and my emotions to get the best of me. I reacted in ways that were unbecoming and reckless. No matter how good my intentions were, for some reason, I gave into temptation and chose words that were unwholesome, hurtful, or shaming.
Let me tell you one thing right now (and you may not like it), throwing shade is not cool. I don’t care who you are, how many followers you have, or how big your bank account is, IT IS NEVER OKAY to dishonor or disrespect someone verbally. Just. Not. Cool. And, we all too often use our voices in ways that crush the spirit.
Make a Difference Through Self-Control
So, how do we use our voices to make a difference when the flesh is tempted to use our words for harm? Let’s see what James has to say about this matter: “My dearly loved brothers, understand this: Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.” James 1:19 HCSB
If we truly understand these words and put these words into practice, we will use our voices for remarkable things like sharing the good news. But, to use our voices for good, we need to recognize the significance of James’ words. Take time to listen, reflect before speaking, and restrain any feelings of irritation.
Take time to reflect on James 1:19 and put into practice listening and speaking with self-control. Are there any areas of your life where you have used your voice for harm? If so, ask for forgiveness. Apologize (yes, you will need to apologize) and make it right with the person you hurt with your words. Seek God’s forgiveness. And, the next time you are tempted to use your words for harm, be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.
Make a Difference Through Doing
Taking the first step begins with “doing.” We can plan, prepare, and dream about making an impact, but if we aren’t taking action, we aren’t making an impact.
“The Lord announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng.” Psalm 68:11 NIV
We have an extraordinary opportunity to share God’s Word and proclaim His incredible truths. But just as we are quick to hear, we must be slow to speak. Why? Because the words we are proclaiming are His words. He declares the words and places these truths on our hearts to share with others. We are simply His mouthpiece. Take time to reflect on what God is asking you to share.
Today, what step can you take to make a difference in sharing God’s Word, the good news, with others? How can you be God’s messenger today? It can be as simple as tweeting Scripture, taking a photo of Scripture and posting to Instagram, or sharing of His goodness on Facebook live. Don’t make this difficult. All God asks is that we step out in faith and share His Word.
Make a Difference Through Speaking Out in Faith
While Jesus walked on the earth, He told His disciples something pretty amazing. He said, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.’” Matthew 17:20-22 NIV Now, these words do not mean we can cry out for a mountain to move and the mountain moves. This Scripture does not say we (as believers) can go around shouting our wants at any challenge or that as soon as we shout the words, the mountain will evaporate.
Speaking out in faith doesn’t work this way.
What Matthew 17:20-22 means is that our words, when spoken in faith, have incredible power. Why? Because we are placing our trust in God and God alone. We are dependent upon God, and we know that the power is His alone. We trust and believe that He is who He says He is, and nothing is impossible.
All God asks of us is that we depend on Him. Just like that small mustard seed – side note, a mustard seed is the smallest seed second to an orchid seed. So, having faith as small as a mustard seed is faith. Jesus was telling His disciples to hold on to their faith because once He was gone, they would need to have faith in the unseen.
How’s your faith? Do you believe in the unseen? Now is the time to step out in bold faith and declare God’s Word. And, from there, God will do things beyond what we could ever ask or imagine. He will use our voices to “move mountains” as long as it is according to His will and plan because nothing is impossible with God.
What can you do today to step out in bold faith and declare God’s goodness to the world? It does not have to be a big step, just a small step, much like the mustard seed. But, when you do step out, step out in faith. Believe and receive.
Make a Difference Through Prayer and Petition
Prayer is powerful! If you want to make a difference in your life or the lives of others, pray.
Proverbs 2:3-5 ESV says, “yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”
Here again, we are encouraged to call out to God for understanding and wisdom, giving your full attention to His Words. Prayer changes things. Prayer makes a difference. Through our prayer’s hearts change, lives change, and circumstances change because we are drawing on the powerful promises of God. The power of prayer lies in God, not our own strength or knowledge.
Through prayer, we are doers of the Word. YOU have the opportunity to talk to God every moment of every day. Don’t waste the opportunity to seek God’s Word and His will. Pray big prayers. Trust that no matter how He answers, your prayers are accomplishing a purpose beyond your comprehension.
At this very moment, look up and offer your gratitude to God. Raise your voice in praise and gives thanks to God for all He has done and will do. Offer up prayer on behalf of someone in need – a prayer of healing, a prayer of abundance, or a prayer of protection.
Make That Difference!
My friend, we each have a choice on whether or not to use our voice. We have the opportunity every day to make an impact for God’s glory. The decision is yours.
Will you use your voice for building up or tearing down?
Will you use your voice to make an impact?
Will you use your voice by being a doer of the Word?
Will you use your voice by speaking out in faith?
Will you use your voice through prayer and petition?
Our voices are amazing – they are powerful, and when used appropriately, can move mountains.
It is my prayer you will use your voice to make a difference. Be quick to listen and slow to speak. When you do speak, speak out God’s truth. Proclaim His promises. Pray in faith. And, bless those around you with words of life and encouragement.
“Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel.” Ephesians 6:19 CSB
Keep on Shining!