The phone rings and you pick it up. On the end of the line is a voice that sets your spidey-sense a-tingling; recognizable, though you can’t immediately put a name to it. If you’re wily, you keep them talking and in about twenty seconds, the incredible machinery of your brain has rampaged through the archives and spits out a name. Incommunicado, but your ears have not forgotten this unique cadence; the tone, timbre and texture that differentiate one from another. Hello, old friend.
One of my favorite programs right now is, wait for it, The Masked Singer. I know, I know, it’s pure camp, but the actual premise intrigues me. Take a well-known, famous figure, disguise them in a ridiculous costume and let them sing crazy songs way out of personal context. Then, using physical and vocal cues, try to guess who they are. Even the pop experts get stumped, which makes for a lot of laughs. The take-away? Standing out among millions, a single voice is potent and distinctive.
In a year of lock-down, our concentration focused on television, computer, iPad or other media devices, the hullabaloo of voices has never been louder. The Gospel of “speaking your truth” is the current panacea for all evils, but without actual Godly wisdom and eternal truth behind the words, it’s all just noise; a riotous cacophony of opinion.
While many seek a formidable vox on the earth, my attention has shifted lately to a much more elevated sphere. What if your voice is recognized in Heaven? This is a provocative thought in a lot of the Psalms. David claims, with the passion of experience,
In my distress I called upon the Lord, And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry came before Him, even to His ears. Psalm 18:6
Of course, the God who names and numbers the stars is going to have no trouble recognizing the cry of an individual, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the Host might. Is my dialog with the Lord so regular, so reverent, my song so devout that even the angels know who I am? Wow. Consider that for a minute.
The privilege of royal audience strikes me again with fresh force. Can anything compare to the benefit we have as His children to cruise in and out of the throne room with no thought other than our own convenience? At any time, our praise, prayer, petition or pitiable pleading are heard, and then answered. Even an insolent rant doesn’t go unacknowledged. Over time, this well-beaten path of ritual becomes much more; forging the ability to recognize His voice. In the secret place of thunder, in the holy oracle, we learn the faculty of how to listen. Then, in our speaking, the back-story of relationship weights our words with real clout. By honoring the voice of the Lord, we find the fast track of authority in our own.
An excellent illustration of the power of the voice is found in the story of Paul and Silas in prison (Acts 16:16-40). Though naked, beaten to within an inch of their lives and thrown in the dungeon of the inner prison, the boys were not defeated. They had one weapon left, and they knew how to use it. Drawing deep on the last of their strength, they summoned the breath to sing praises, with stupendous effect!
And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.
Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.
It was not angels, but faith through voice that shattered the foundations of the prison. Their praises were the outward expression of a deep and vested intimacy, a vital connection prison walls could not deny. Having absolute conviction in the faithfulness of God summoned all the authority of the kingdom. Heart-felt worship destroyed a prison and loosed every chain.
Have you tried singing your way out of prison lately? Instead of beating against your personal stumbling-stones, try the frequencies of worship. Don't smite the rock, sing to it. Move mountains with a whispered command. The power of the Kingdom is in your voice.
My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up. Psalm 5:3
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