I recently suffered through a bout of laryngitis and a cold. This kept me from preaching, teaching, and worshiping with my brethren. Things taken for granted suddenly took on new life. Frustration reigned supreme as simple tasks became menacing foes.
My missing voice has mostly returned, but the sobering nature of the ordeal remains. For nearly twenty years, I have lived by my voice in radio, teaching, and preaching. A permanent loss would lead to paths I dare not contemplate. We appreciate something even more when it is not around.
Sadly, my preaching was silenced by laryngitis. Physical illnesses are an inevitable part of life. Even the work of God sometimes suffers. We become limited in what we can do. I feel for those whose physical condition does not allow them to serve God in the same ways they have grown accustomed to.
Too often, though, preaching is silenced by a much more dangerous foe. Preaching becomes compromised by timidity when we fear men more than God. Paul pleaded with Timothy to “Preach the word!” (2 Timothy 4:2, NKJV). Men, he warned, will “turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Timothy 4:4). God’s message becomes much less important than the feelings of the audience. Preaching becomes appeasing and Jesus is forgotten.
Sometimes, the church loses its voice in reaching out to those who are suffering. Christ has given us a charge to be his helping hands to the unfortunate (Matthew 25:34-46). He gives us an example to serve others (John 13:4-11). We must never stop reaching out to those with broken families and lives. People are out there that we can lift up out of despair and bring to Christ. We just have to open our eyes and see people as God has asked us to.
Sometimes the church loses its voice and begins preaching another gospel (Galatians 1:8). In the interest of attracting great numbers by any means necessary, they leave the teachings of God and instead teach the doctrines of men. Some elderships have told their congregations that they will be abandoning the doctrines the church has always taught and will instead be turning to the doctrines of men. It is an evil thing. We must only speak the “oracles of God” because in them resides eternal life (1 Peter 4:11; Romans 10:17).
Jeremiah tried to lose his voice for God. He grew so frustrated at the persecutions and stubborn ears of the people of God that he decided he would no longer “make mention” of God nor “speak anymore in His name” (Jeremiah 20:9). Yet, the word of God was so intense within him that it became a “fire in his bones” that he could no longer hold back (Jeremiah 20:9). We must be so saturated with the word of God that it will not allow our voices to be silenced.
Let us affirm that we will never lose our voices for God. That we will never lay down the truth of the gospel for the itching ears of men. That we will stand firm against all the fiery darts of the wicked (Ephesians 6:16). We are told that Christ’s kingdom will never be destroyed and that his voice will never be stopped (Matthew 16:18). We must be just as resolved. Souls depend on it.
Are We Losing Our Voices for God?