by Jerrica Matrone
"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8
Whether we choose to believe it or not, there is an enemy of our souls. A fallen worshipper who longed to share in the glory of God now fights relentlessly to destroy our hope in Christ for eternity. He will stop at nothing to confuse, distort, and silence the truth of God. With eloquent words reinforced by circumstance or negative emotions, he can attempt to diminish the life that Jesus has spoken into existence, causing us to leave our stories untold. But because of Christ, there is a voice that can whisper louder than our enemy's darkest desire — and that voice is yours.
When you grow up with eleven siblings, you learn quickly that your voice is your livelihood. If you don’t speak up for yourself you end up the stunt dummy in all your siblings’ home videos, or worse, left at home while the rest of your family takes a day trip to a nearby theme park. (I’m not bitter at all…) Three of my brothers learned this early on because they are deaf. In order to be heard over the chaos, they used their voices and a light stomp of the foot to get our attention. In addition to sign language, they used whatever means possible to communicate with us.
My family has spent countless hours involved in our local deaf community where we met a family friend, Katie. Katie has a charismatic personality and a contagious joy, but Katie never uses her voice. It always confused me because I was so used to my boisterous brothers. One day my sister asked her why… why wouldn’t she speak? Katie told us that as a child, a hearing boy ruthlessly made fun of her voice. Having never heard the sound of it herself, she felt she had nothing left to do but believe him. So she went silent.
Far too often we allow the voices of this world to define the worth of our own. We compare ourselves to those doing what we dream of and become convinced that their influence is more valuable than our own. We sit back and idolize what we perceive as their realities, while ignoring the opportunities right in front of us. In your world today, there are people God has strategically placed for His purposes. It would be a shame for you to hold back who you are and what God has done in you because of fear that your words may fall short. No one — even though they may try — can de-value the power behind your unique voice.
As a worship leader and songwriter, I tend to find myself saying things like “someone else would be more eloquent, talented, and worthy…” which is exactly what the enemy would want me to believe! I am blessed with the opportunity to put hope-driven words to melodies that land in mouths of the broken, doubting, and weary. I would be a fool to take that lightly. There are things that God has done in my life that give me a perspective to be reckoned with. And you are no exception. Let us refuse to silence the purpose God has written into our DNA because it may not be as polished or perfected as we desire.
Before you were born, God in His sovereignty knit you together — perfectly. He does not make mistakes. Psalm 139 describes the thoughtfulness in which God made each of us and how deeply He cares for the details of our lives. There is a purpose that God wrote on your life that is so specific to you, and He is not waiting for you to be perfect enough to be used. Our purpose is not to simply exist for ourselves, but to share with the world the glory of God through our lives. There is no brokenness or messiness that God cannot restore into His original design. If we are in Christ, we are a new creation, we are enough. Only the enemy of your soul will tell you otherwise because he has everything to lose if you begin to walk in the authority Jesus has given to you.
Luckily, God is not in the business of using perfect people to advance His Kingdom. Moses had a stutter, David was an adulterer, Peter denied Christ, Paul was a murderer of Christians, Rahab was a prostitute, and you and I are sinners just the same. We focus our attention on the amazing things these men and women accomplished; sure. But to me, the most compelling part about them is that God takes broken vessels and uses them for His glory — we just have to be willing.
We all have a story to tell. We all have a purpose and a voice waiting to be heard. God is always at work within our lives whether we acknowledge it or not. He offers hope in times of pain, sickness, mourning, and doubt. He has spoken dreams to life when we thought they were dead. Even in our darkest moments, His Word promises us He is there. And this hope comes to life in the power of our testimony.
The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in you (Romans 8:11). The same exact Spirit! The mercy-giving, truth declaring, miracle-working Spirit lives in YOU. Believe that today. Don’t go silent any longer. Allow the voice of God to speak through you. The enemy can try to steal a lot of things from you, but there are two things he can’t take: the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony! (Revelation 12:11) Use the pain the enemy meant to destroy your life to be the platform in which you advance the Kingdom of Heaven.