We made it y’all, week 3 and the conclusion of Use Your Voice. This is the one I have been waiting for. This one is super important.
In week 1, we discussed how dirty prisons are. In week 2, we discussed how we should sing no matter where we are. Today, we are going to talk about what to sing and whom to direct it.
“But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NKJV
Use Your Voice – No More Silence
If I was to begin a Disney tune, could y’all finish it?
Heigh ho, Heigh ho….
A spoon full of sugar….
The thing about these 3 songs is that they take something bad and change it to something good. Not many of us enjoy going to work, but I bet your attitude would change if you sang along with the seven dwarfs as you made your way to there. Very few of us like taking pills. (I might be the biggest baby when it comes to taking pills, I will throw myself on the ground crying like a toddler anytime someone says I need to swallow one little pill.) But, if I could take it with some sugar, I would be one happy camper. Lastly, raise your hand if you have never worried about something. Ok, since all of us worry from time to time, just imagine listening to Timon and Pumbaa every time you had a worrisome thought. Literally it would disappear.
In all 3 of these songs, the characters situations didn’t change, they still had to endure those things, but their thinking changed.
Here is what steptolife.org says about the health benefits of using your vocals. “Singing strengthens the health, broadens the mind, refines the intellect, expands the imagination, makes one happy and gives life a little added zest. Singing boosts the immune system by causing the body to generate immunoglobin A, a protein considered a first line of defense against respiratory infections. It also increases the production of hydrocortisone, an anti-stress hormone. Singing releases endorphins into your system and makes you feel uplifted and energized. People who sing are frequently healthier than people who don’t. Singing gives the lungs a workout. It makes us breathe more deeply than many other forms of strenuous exercise. We take in more oxygen and in turn, our aerobic capacity is improved and we can experience a release of muscle tension.”
The reason we sing is to change our countenance starting from the inside and working its way out.
In everything we do, we have one of two choices to make. Either let the good shine through, or the bad. There is an ole story out there, it has been around for years. I have adopted this story and passed it on to my kiddos. I would like to pass it on to you.
“Listen, I understand, I too have felt great hate. But hate wears you down. It does absolutely nothing to hurt the enemy. It is like drinking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with the feeling of hate, disappointment and rejection many times. It is as if there are two wolves fighting inside of me. One is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him and does not take offense. He will only fight when it is right to do so and in the right way.
But the other wolf. He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit. His temper will rage. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is a helpless anger, for his anger will change nothing. Sometimes, it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit.”
When I would get to this point, all my children asked the same question, “Which one wins?” This is my favorite part, when I can quietly say with my Texas grin, “the one that I feed.”
This is super important, listen up. You have to feed the good in you more than you feed the bad. But do know once you starve the bad, he becomes “hangry,” you have to keep starving him, over and over.
Once you make the choice to sing in every situation, when you let the good shine through, look what happens.
“Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!” Acts 16:26 NLT
When all the doors open, that means your prison cell, the pantry and every coat/broom closet. Now, to be honest, I am thankful God opens my prison cell, the pantry and the coat closet. But if I was to pick my favorite door that He opens, it would the broom closet. Because I can create such a mess in my life that only Jesus can clean up.
I need to warn you about this though. When you allow Jesus into your chaos and ask Him to help clean it up, He will clean house, every nook and cranny will be spotless. There is not a speck of mold, dirt, shame, darkness, nothing but love and light. Jesus will clean it all up. But, this is a big “but” right here, huge. If you push Jesus back out on the streets after He cleaned everything, if you stop reading the Bible, praying and singing, then your house will become vacant & empty. Scripture says in Matthew
“an evil spirit will return and when the spirit finds its former home empty, swept, and in order. Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before.” Matthew 12:44-45
Another word for empty is silence.
On March 10, 1964, Simon and Garfunkel recorded a very unique song that attracted airplay throughout the United States and this song continues to be rerecorded by many artists. The song, The Sound of Silence. Here are the lyrics.
Hello darkness, my old friend I’ve come to talk with you again Because a vision softly creeping Left its seeds while I was sleeping And the vision that was planted in my brain Still remains Within the sound of silence
In restless dreams, I walked alone Narrow streets of cobblestone ‘Neath the halo of a street lamp I turned my collar to the cold and damp When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light That split the night And touched the sound of silence
And in the naked light, I saw Ten thousand people, maybe more People talking without speaking People hearing without listening People writing songs that voices never shared And no one dared Disturb the sound of silence
“Fools” said I, “You do not know Silence like a cancer grows Hear my words that I might teach you Take my arms that I might reach you” But my words, like silent raindrops fell And echoed in the wells of silence
And the people bowed and prayed To the neon god they made And the sign flashed out its warning In the words that it was forming Then the sign said, “The words on the prophets are written on the subway walls In tenement halls” And whispered in the sound of silence
There are two stanzas I want to briefly discuss. “People talking without speaking, people hearing without listening…And The people bowed and prayed to the neon god they made.” The neon god we made is technology. Just think about this. When your cellphone makes a ding, are you conditioned to run to it, grab it and respond? If you are, are you able to recall what that person just said or is it people talking without speaking and people hearing without listening?
Look what happens when Adam is silent. “Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” Genesis 3:3-4 NKJVAdam was with his bride Eve, and said nothing. Nada. He did not disturb the sound of silence. So, what are you to sing? Sing, anything that can change your mood from sad to happy. For some, that is Psalms. For some, it is worship music. For some, it is Rock ‘N Roll. Sing songs that settle your spirit.
Who are you to sing to? To God first and foremost. In everything we do we need to give the firsts to God. But also, sing to yourself.
While studying for this message, I spent a lot of time learning about music. How it is composed and written. The way each singer moves his or her mouth to create a certain sound. I found one gal on YouTube called The Charismatic Voice, this is what she said about one of the songs she was commenting on. “When singing, don’t pour your voice out to the audience all the time, direct it in. Sometimes we need to pour into ourselves as much as we pour out to others. When you do this, don’t lower your energy level, but direct it in.” Meaning we need to give ourselves the same motivational energy that we give out to others.
Listen, God is proud of you. Jesus is proud of you. Angels are proud of you. We are proud of you, all of Heaven and Earth reaps joy. I know you have walked out of prisons, because of others worshiping and breaking your chains. Now it is your time.
“Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So, use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.” Roman 6:16
Now is the time y’all. Now is the time to use your body as an instrument. Now is the time to sing. Sing a new song or take an ole one and rerecord it to your own tunage, make it yours. Jesus grabbed every key while He spent time in hell and has handed them to you. Now is the time to open up your vocals and use your voice. Now is the time y’all to disown silence, don’t even claim it. Now is the time y’all. Now is the time.
Father, thank You for Your Word, thank You for pouring out Your entire Spirit for us. We receive it. As the world turns darker and darker, moving closer to the end times, I ask that You encourage and motivate us to sing boldly freeing all the captives. And that You keep Your mighty hand of protection on all of Your children again and again. We say these things in the Mighty Name of Your Son, Christ Jesus.
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you peace.