to be a voice and not an echo.

This voice of mine. I use it, I abuse it, I misuse it.

I use it to lead worship on weekends at my church. I use it to encourage someone. I use it to crack jokes that bring laughter to my home and workplace. I use it to teach from the Bible. I use it to sing new songs and prophetically over others’ and my own situation.

I abuse it when I mismanage my schedule and line up too many singing/teaching programmes back to back, and then I get throat infections with it.

I misuse it when I speak words that are unkind, ungracious, unhelpful, unnecessary, unbecoming, untimely.

Today was a great day spent with a trusted friend. We spent a great amount of time talking about the things upon our hearts. Yet as I reflected on the conversations we had, I realised that many of my utterances were of defeat and discouragement. And contempt, oh so much contempt.

“There’s no breakthrough anywhere,” I said about my current experience with ministry. “This xyz situation is headed into a state of crisis if somebody doesn’t do something now, and why does it always have to be me?” I complained. I listed the faults of my leaders, the flaws of my co-workers, the falling-shorts of our lil’ old church in comparison with other bigger, better, brighter churches, and the failures of our members.

Death in dialogue. And in my internal monologue, death too. I berated and discouraged myself in my inner thoughts, and I proclaimed so many negative things about myself.

How is it that the same mouth that sings life in praises to God can also utter such death?

Warfare. Upon my emotions today, especially today. Every little incident became a trigger of a negative string of thoughts. Every scenario I played in my mind was tinged with a dark screen, it is little wonder that I had so much negativity upon my speech today.

Fight. At 9pm, I decided I will not take this lying down. “Enemy you shall not win the fight for my joy in God tonight,” I said as I finished up my late dinner. I went home and into my room, closed the door and began praying and reading the Bible. The Lord lifted my spirits as I lifted my voice and spoke His healing, hope and solutions into the places I spoke death into earlier today. He shifted my perspective and convicted my heart of some attitude shifts I needed to make as I flipped the pages of my Bible, and found these verses:

“Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:10-12)

“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess 5:16-18)

“Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other.” (1 Thess 5:12-13)

Resolve. I choose to close today with these verses on my mind and my voice uttering the same hope and power that is from my God. If I were to merely state things as they are now, I am simply an echo. Criticism is ever easily upon the lips of the crowd, what’s new that hasn’t already been said? May it be that I will be a voice, and not just an echo, speaking as if it weren’t so, life and truth into the spiritual realms of this world. 

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