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Your Voice Matters

“Your voice matters. Don’t ever let someone tell you it doesn’t.”

We met when I was the guest speaker at a Bible study. She was a very confident woman, probably in her late thirties, dressed very well, and so engaging. I could totally relate to the story she told about her trepidation at sharing an unpopular message that the Holy Spirit had placed on her heart. She talked about how she believed the Holy Spirit was challenging her to teach younger women, especially teenage girls, about the need for modesty in their appearance. No, she wasn’t extreme at all. Instead, her message was to respect yourself and understand the struggles of brothers in Christ to maintain purity in their thoughts and lives.

As she spoke, it was evident that her motives and passion for the topic were genuine and sincere. Of course, so were the fears that she shared.

She was afraid of seeming too legalistic—she knew everyone had their convictions, and she didn’t want to appear judgmental.

She was afraid of being seen as an old-fashioned prude.

She worried that it wasn’t the Holy Spirit leading her, but just her own beliefs.

Eventually, she admitted that she was afraid of the response she would get as she shared the incident of a snotty teenage girl telling her, “You wouldn’t feel this way if you looked good in a bikini. You just believe this because you can’t pull it off.” (Excuse me while I roll my eyes!)

As she shared, I remembered a similar experience from my thirties. I was teaching a group of ten to thirteen-year-old girls about the importance of only dating Christians and saving physical intimacy for marriage. Honestly, I was surprised that many hadn’t heard this teaching before. However, the response wasn’t entirely positive. Instead, my seventeen-year-old assistant said, “Yeah, but if we do that, then we’ll end up single like YOU!”

At the moment, I shook it off and stood my ground, but I have to admit that her words bothered me for weeks afterward. I began thinking, “Maybe I’m not the best example for these girls. Perhaps they should have a teacher who has everything they want….a husband, a family, a successful career.” Over and over, I questioned whether my voice had value because I was single.

Looking back, I can now see that the real issue wasn’t whether my voice had value, but that the enemy, Satan, wanted to quiet my voice so that it wouldn’t influence these young girls. Much like my friend, who believes she needs to teach modesty to a generation who may not have ever heard of it before, my voice was speaking God’s truth to these young women. There are few things that Satan fears more than God’s women speaking God’s Word.

Why? Because there is always the possibility that it might take root in someone’s heart and change their lives. There’s the chance that someone who has never heard what the Bible says will not just listen to it, but also obey it. They will turn from sin, choose God’s way, and thwart Satan’s plan to destroy their lives.

There’s also the possibility that someone who knows the right thing to do but is wavering in their commitment to do it, will be encouraged to stand firm. Over the years, I’ve observed that many believers who have had proper training in the Word of God are worried that they are too legalistic, too judgmental, and too old-fashioned. They are afraid that they are the only ones who believe such things, so they either keep quiet or start to compromise their convictions to be part of the church crowd. Yet, as soon as they hear another voice reinforcing their beliefs, they are encouraged to stand firm. Remembering that they are not alone, they regain the courage to continue doing what they know is right. Some even gain the courage to add their voice now that they know they are not alone.

However, these are not the stories that the enemy wants you to hear.

Instead, whenever we feel the Holy Spirit leading us to share God’s Word, to speak out for injustice, to differentiate between right and wrong, or even to share our testimony with someone, he immediately tries to fill us with fear. Suddenly, our minds are filled with “what-if’s.”

“What if they laugh at you?”

“What if they don't invite you to the next Ladies’ Event?"

“What if they think you are too legalistic? Remember, the Bible says we live under ‘grace’”. (Seriously, this is one of the biggest lies the enemy uses to silence truth among God’s people. Because while we are saved by grace, as followers of Christ, the Bible still commands us to live by the truth in God’s Word. Grace gives us freedom from sin, not freedom to sin.)

I find this particularly true when it comes to speaking truth to close friends and family members. Sadly, this “what-if” has kept too many Christian parents from speaking necessary truth into the lives of their children. The fear of rejection is powerful. Yet, if we truly love someone, we need to speak truth into their lives.

Other “what-if’s” are:

What if I’m wrong?”

“What if they turn on me and use my testimony against me, and I’m embarrassed?”

“What if my voice doesn’t matter or make a difference?”

Here are some things that I have learned on my journey through struggling with these “what-if’s”:

1. If you truly believe God has told you to share something, you must be obedient.

Sometimes I think we underestimate the value of obedience in the modern Church. It is far more important than we acknowledge. If you truly believe the Holy Spirit is calling you to speak into a situation, then your only choices are to obey or disobey God. The “what-if’s” don’t matter. As a follower of Christ, you are under an obligation to do what God has told you to do and let the results to Him.

2. Remember the parable of the soils.

In Matthew 13, Jesus tells the story of a farmer who went out to sow his seed in different soils. Some of the seed fell on land that was so hard that it produced no crop. Other seed started to take root, but the weeds took over and destroyed it. Finally, there was the seed that fell on the good ground. This seed produced an enormous crop that gave the farmer income.

This parable explains the process of what happens whenever we use our voice to share God’s truth or the testimony of what God has done in our lives. True, some may reject it. Others may hear what we’re saying, but eventually, blow it off and do what they want.

As we see in the parable of the soils, there is always the possibility that some seeds will take root. There’s the strong possibility that God is leading you to speak to that one heart that needs to hear, that wants to respond, and that will be strongly impacted by what you have to say. We continue using our voice even when we are rejected by some, in the belief that God will use our words to reach the one—the good soil who will produce a harvest.

3. Your testimony doesn’t belong to you.

One of the most powerful ways that we can use our voice is to share our testimony of what God has done in our lives. Ironically, this is also one of the scariest things to do because it means that we have to be vulnerable with our story and share personal information without knowing how people will respond. If you’re like me and you grew up in a house that said, “What happens inside the home stays inside the home,” it can be a real struggle to share part of yourself that isn’t exactly flattering or shares family secrets.

Early in our ministry, this was a big struggle for me. Fear of what people would think or betraying family members by sharing my story kept me from using my voice the way God desired. I’ll never forget the night I attended a conference, and the Holy Spirit used a speaker who was extremely vulnerable with their story to teach me that my testimony did not belong to me. Instead, it belonged to God. It was the story of His redemption, His grace, His healing, and His ability to change lives. Because of all He has done for us, out of an attitude of gratefulness, each of us has the responsibility to share our testimony with others so they can find hope that God can do the same thing for them.

Revelations 12:11 says, “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.”

The truth is that your testimony has the power to change lives. Don’t let the lies of the enemy keep you from using your voice to share God's story with other people. Remember, the enemy doesn’t want people’s lives changed for the better, and he doesn’t want people to spend eternity in Heaven.

4. Your voice is powerful.

This brings us to our final truth: your voice is powerful. That is why Satan tries so hard to keep you from using it. That’s why he throws fear, worry, doubt, and insecurity at you like fiery darts—-in the hopes that you will keep quiet.

However, this is not God’s will for His daughters. Instead, He wants us to use our voices to speak the truth, whether it is popular or not. God’s will is for you to share your story so that others can find hope and a relationship with Jesus through your testimony.

God’s will is for His daughters to stand up for righteousness, speak out against injustice, be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves, share the truth, share hope, and be a light in a very dark world.

God gave you a voice for a reason.

Though doubt, fear, and insecurity may try to quiet you, though some may even say your voice doesn’t matter or is insignificant, these are all lies from an enemy that knows just how powerful your voice can be.

Your voice matters.

Don’t ever let someone tell you it doesn’t. God gave you a voice. He gave you insight. He’s given you a perspective. He wants to use your story as a testimony to bring people to Him. Don’t let fear, intimidation, or embarrassment steal your voice. Never let anyone tell you that your voice doesn’t matter or isn’t worth being heard. Don’t let anyone steal it or silence your voice.

Instead, use it for God’s glory, to advance His kingdom, to encourage other people, and to fulfill the purpose He has for your life.

Scriptures to Ponder:

“They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” (Revelations 12:11, NIV)

“Then he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘A farmer went out to sow his seed.

As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.

 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.

 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.

Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.

 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.

 Whoever has ears, let them hear…..Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.

 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy.

 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.

 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.

 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.’” (Matthew 13: 3-9 and 18-23, NIV)

“Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, ‘I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.’” (Jeremiah 1:9-10, NIV)

     Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.

When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry."


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